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 Laramies 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 mothers 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; its 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; theyre a big bowl, Lillian said. The Vietnamese entrées, many of which are recipes from Travis and Lillians 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 Sams 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.
Were so excited to be here, Lillian Luu said, and they have received a warm welcome. Whether youre 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 dont forget, while common drinks are available, the Vietnamese style drip coffee is sure to complete the meal.