ISAO originally opened its doors some five years ago and quickly proved to be a big hit among lovers of Japanese cuisine. This modern shophouse may not be as flashy or trendy as some of the city’s other Japanese establishments, but it offers a level of cosy comfort and friendly hospitality that it hard to beat.

As soon as you step inside ISAO you are greeted by rows of booths that run along bamboo walls. The main part of the first floor is dominated by a large sushi bar and counter. People who enjoy watching the art of sushi creation can take seats at the counter to watch the restaurant’s sushi chefs work their magic. The chefs here formerly worked at the Green Tea sushi bar in Chicago and create sushi with a unique North American twist.

If you are a connoisseur of Japanese cuisine you will have no trouble picking your way through the extensive menu, which includes a few unique delights that are just waiting to be enjoyed. However, the staff at ISAO are very knowledgeable and are happy to explain the menu and make recommendations.

There are so many delicious dishes just waiting to be enjoyed at ISAO that it is worth visiting with a group of friends so that you can sample a selection of tasty treats. The laidback atmosphere here makes this the perfect place to share dishes with friends and you will want to linger over dishes so that you can really appreciate and savour the fresh flavours.

One of the great things about ISAO is that all dishes are created fresh to order and there is a huge range of different dishes. Sushi lovers will find plenty of creations that are sure to satisfy, while other creations include filling bowls of katsu don and fresh salads that are simply bursting with flavour.

After taking their choice of seat on either the first floor or more intimate second floor of this wooden shophouse, diners will want to start their meal with a selection of appetisers. The volcano appetiser is tangy and exciting and features a spicy scallop that is served in its shell, while the rosy salmon appetiser melts in the mouth.

ISAO is famous for its sushi, and ordering one of the special sushi platters is the perfect way to enjoy a selection while still leaving room to try other dishes. The Jackie roll features shrimp, seaweed, avocado and fish roe, while the California crab roll and spicy tuna roll make perfect accompaniments.

People who want to sink their teeth into something a bit different should try ISAO’s fusion dishes such as Winter. This imaginative offering features a light mix of ebi shrimp, soft, white crab meat, carrot and avocado wrapped in cucumber and served with a tangy sauce. The sushi sandwich is another favourite and features layers of salmon, tuna and sushi rice set between deep fried tempura.

ISAO can be found on Sukhumvit Soi 31 and is open daily from 11:00 to 14:30 and 17:30 to 22:00. To get there, take the BTS to Phrom Phong station.