For more than a quarter of a century, Midori has been an oasis of Japanese hospitality and cuisine, as owner Ako Hirota and her kitchen and dining room staff welcome the next generations of Midori guests. Children and grandchildren of loyal first-generation customers continue to return to enjoy Midori’s atmosphere and Ako’s genial warmth.
The bustling, fragrant restaurant, located in Pavilion’s shopping center, Rancho Mirage, offers an authentic Japanese experience at its split-level granite sushi and martini bar or at cozy teak tables spotlit with blue lotus lamps.
Cheerful pop art flowers enliven the subtle green walls, accented by red paper lanterns and bamboo shades. Diners at the jovial sushi bar may share delicacies and jokes while sushi chefs expertly slice, carve, and create artistic sushi dishes. Table dining is also relaxed and intimate, with choices from the sushi bar as well as complete lunch or dinner menus.
Midori’s full menu of authentic Japanese fare includes a variety of steamed dishes, noodle specialties, tempuras, kazus, pork and beef cutlets and entrées served “don” style, over rice. Tantalizing appetizers such as Dynamite (oven-baked scallops and onions topped with mayonnaise) Sunomonon (sliced cucumber and seaweed in vinegar sauce topped with octopus) steamed Green Mussels, and Asari Sakamushi (steamed clams) are top choices.
Midori’s Love Boat for Two or Family Boat for Four provide samplers from sushi and sashimi to tempuras and teriyakis. Sashimi lovers can choose from 12 to 24 pieces of sashimi with soup and rice.
Midori offers some of the best lunch specials around, particularly sushi or hand rolls that include two to four choices of California, spicy tuna, salmon, salmon skin, and vegetable rolls with a soup or salad for one moderate price. Other favorites are Midori’s Desert Roll, which is a California roll with bay scallops; the Red Tiger Roll, Shrimp Tempura Topped with spicy tuna; or the Philadelphia with salmon and cream cheese.
Enjoy a Japanese beer, cocktail, or signature martini, such as the Geisha with pineapple juice or Hiro’s with peach schnapps and cranberry juice. To the early happy hour from 5 to 6 p.m., Ako has added a late one from 8:30 p.m. to closing. Midori is open daily for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m.
“Midori welcomes you to an oasis of authentic Japanese culture and cuisine.”
By Pamela Bieri