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Enter the Dragon

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

There’s a doorway leading into Misuta Chow’s where a dragon appears just above the door frame. As you step into the restaurant, you’re quite literally ‘entering the dragon.’ The imagery is apropos: The dining at Misuta Chow’s is a fantastic experience. If you haven’t visited yet, allow me to give you a glimpse.

I visited Misuta Chow’s with Rafeal Suarez, Lieutenant in the Buffalo Fire Department. When he’s not running into burning buildings to save people, Lt. Suarez is sharing his expertise on Buffalo cuisine. So rich is this base of knowledge, that he is producing a foodie show called “Rafeal’s Plate.” Dinner at Misuta Chow’s felt a lot like an episode.

All the food I ate was delicious. We started with the Big Daddy Platter. The Karaage chicken in the platter stole the show for me. With a touch of spicy mayo, the Karaage slaps. For the main course, I ate the grilled shrimp bowl. Lt. Suarez said the shrimp were grilled “to perfection.” I believe him. To be honest, they were so tasty I scarfed them down. I did the same with dessert, chocolate Taiyaki. My only regret is not taking more time to taste.

In fact, as Lt. Suarez and I conversed over dinner, I began to think about “taste” in new ways. I know when I like the food I’m eating, but I don’t always appreciate the nuances of what I’m tasting. Just as importantly, the people with whom I eat are great people, but I don’t slow down and enjoy their company nearly as much as I should. On this night at Misuta Chow’s, I took my time; I experienced great food and great company. These are the benefits of “Rafeal’s Plate,” as I think back.

What Lt. Suarez does better than anyone I’ve met is create art from the dining experience. On one canvas lies the food; on another, the guests, sharing conversation and nutrition; and on a third canvas, there’s the restaurant aesthetic. I had the distinct feeling that I was part of the culinary exhibit; I was living art.

With that said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the vibe at Misuta Chow’s. When you enter the dragon at Misuta Chow’s, you step into a museum of sorts. I ate on the second floor where the restaurant decor is outstanding. There are classic arcade games lining the walls; for fifty cents, you can play Pac-Man and teleport back to your youth. Where I sat down to eat, there was bright word-art on the wall across from me; it said “Pow.” And every time I looked up from my meal, I stared into “Dog Boy’s” creepy red eyes. He was bursting with energy just like my Karaage chicken.

Frankly, I fell in love with Misuta Chow’s because of the aesthetic. Avid travelers, Christy Allen and Johnny Chow were inspired to bring a slice of Japan to Buffalo. I’m so glad they did. After speaking with Johnny Chow about Japan and the rich culture that he witnessed, I realized how lucky we are in Western New York. We don’t all get to travel to the Far East. So, if you want a taste of Japan, you can have a meal at Misuta Chow’s and be introduced. If you’re like me, you’ll start planning a trip.

Dr. Peraza

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