A Laramie din­ing envi­ron­ment like no oth­er

Prac­tice makes per­fect, dreams can come true, and hard work pays off. Laramie has a new din­ing option and an aspi­ra­tion has become a real­i­ty. Mizu Sushi, which offi­cial­ly opened for din­ner Jan­u­ary 13th, offers sushi as well as Viet­namese entrées to Laramie’s down­town cui­sine selec­tions.

“We want to offer some­thing unique to the com­mu­ni­ty,” said Lil­lian Luu, co-own­er of the restau­rant with her broth­er Travis Luu. And their restau­rant fits this niche per­fect­ly.

Travis, who majored in design while at uni­ver­si­ty, designed the restau­rant from the ground up. Design­ing is about the poten­tial of the space, he said, and when he first saw the build­ing, he, “thought it was too big.” How­ev­er, the loca­tion on Third Street right down­town was too good to pass up, and so the ren­o­va­tions began.

The goal is to, “try to do your best in what­ev­er time frame and bud­get you have,” Travis said. Despite the chal­lenges pre­sent­ed by the large space, he cre­at­ed a strik­ing ambiance. Based on the col­ors of the wood block print, The Great Wave, by Kat­sushi­ka Hoku­sai, the walls were repaint­ed, remov­ing the west­ern look of the space from the pre­vi­ous restau­rant.

The inspi­ra­tional print sits on the back wall, embody­ing the mean­ing of the name of the restau­rant, Mizu, which means water in Japan­ese. The new sub­tle tones give off a classy, sophis­ti­cat­ed look and present an atmos­phere that is relaxed and com­fort­able. With qui­et music play­ing, patrons are imme­di­ate­ly at ease to take in the sur­round­ings and enjoy the expe­ri­ence of the restau­rant. “We strive for ambiance,” said Lil­lian, and they have cre­at­ed an envi­ron­ment unlike any oth­er in Laramie.

While the pho­tos on the wall add to the theme of the restau­rant, which Travis said, “stems from his mother’s love of gar­den­ing,” the pre­sen­ta­tion of the food com­pletes the feel­ing. Plates of art­ful­ly cre­at­ed sushi adorn the menus while descrip­tions detail the array of appe­tiz­ers, sushi and Viet­namese dish­es.

For new­com­ers to the restau­rant and sushi, Travis sug­gests, “the spicy tuna tem­pu­ra roll as a starter,” and for those who are unsure about eat­ing raw fish, be aware that, “sushi is not all raw; it’s a mis­con­cep­tion,” the sib­lings say. “The cater­pil­lar roll and drag­on roll are very pop­u­lar,” said Lil­lian, both of which are cooked.

In addi­tion to the pop­u­lar­i­ty of these dish­es, the vari­eties of soups have also been a big hit, which are, “hearty meals; they’re a big bowl,” Lil­lian said. The Viet­namese entrées, many of which are recipes from Travis and Lillian’s par­ents, present yet more options for cus­tomers to enjoy. Their par­ents, who tem­porar­i­ly came out of retire­ment to come to Laramie to help with the grand open­ing, are run­ning the kitchen, while Travis and a friend of the fam­i­ly, Sam, oper­ate the sushi bar.

Sam, who is like an extend­ed broth­er to Travis, owns a sushi restau­rant in Rock Springs. This restau­rant is where Luu learned the art of sushi pre­sen­ta­tion. After work­ing as a design­er for some time, and then for an insur­ance com­pa­ny, Travis came to Wyoming to help at the restau­rant in Rock Springs. After train­ing under Sam, Travis went to Casper to work at a sushi restau­rant run by one of Sam’s rel­a­tives.

That’s when I felt I was ready in terms of start­ing my own restau­rant,” Travis Luu said.

All the research, prac­tice and work have paid off. The dream has become a real­i­ty.

“We‘re so excit­ed to be here,” Lil­lian Luu said, and they have received a warm wel­come. Whether you’re look­ing to try some­thing new, or to ful­fill a taste for some­thing out­side of the norm for Wyoming, your desires are sure to be met. And don’t for­get, while com­mon drinks are avail­able, the Viet­namese style drip cof­fee is sure to com­plete the meal.

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