Around Town

New Japanese restaurant Fujisan aims to bring ‘good food’ for low prices in Fairfax

Fujisan arrived at 10698 Fairfax Blvd at the beginning of the month (staff photo by Vivian Hoang)

A new Japanese restaurant has rolled into Fairfax City, opening its doors on Aug. 1.

Located at 10698 Fairfax Blvd next to Party City, Fujisan offers a wide selection of Japanese delicacies like wagyu steak, donburi (rice bowls) and ramen, but particularly specializes in sushi with options for both raw and cooked fish. Hibachi is also available, though it’s not cooked at the table.

For its soft opening period, Fujisan is offering 10% off the first order each customer makes using its website.

Fujisan’s official ribbon-cutting will take place on Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. Fairfax City Mayor Catherine Read says she recently organized the grand opening after learning about the new restaurant from a friend and trying out its food for herself.

“The hibachi was great, the soup is great, the quality of the food is great,” Read said. “It’s a cute little restaurant…I can hardly keep up with the number of new businesses opening in the city. And these ribbon cuttings are a great way to bring out [Fairfax City] Economic Development, local press and to get people to come by.”

Owner Kathy Yan, who previously operated a hibachi restaurant in Montgomery County, Maryland, says she moved to Fairfax two years ago. Since then, she has been working towards opening Fujisan, named after Japan’s tallest mountain, Mt. Fuji.

She expressed her desires to deliver an “upscale casual” dining experience that she says she hasn’t been able to find in the area.

“I go to those fancy restaurants in D.C., Arlington all the time,” Yan said. “I like the atmosphere, I like the seating, I like chatting with my friends, but I just think we pay too much for the food, so I want to give people a similar experience here but not so expensive. Good food, good environment but not super fancy prices.”

Yan says Fujisan works hard to keep prices low without sacrificing high quality, offering special lunch deals under $20 that are prepared by top chefs with “many years” of prior experience working in New York and at “five star hotels” in D.C.

“We have very, very good price compared to our food quality, presentation and fresh fish,” Yan said.

Customers especially seem to love the Fujisan Box Deluxe, which offers a combination of sushi and sashimi at a discounted rate, according to Yan. Salmon volcano rice — consisting of “seared salmon with a poached egg over rice” — is another crowd favorite for those who may not enjoy raw fish as much, she says.

Yan noted that Fujisan also caters towards younger customers, offering a special kids’ bento box and deep fried ice cream that has been popular among children.

“[We’ve gotten] I think 90% positive feedback,” Yan said. “People are happy.”

Yan’s next hurdle to overcome is obtaining a liquor license so Fujisan can introduce cocktail specials in time for its grand opening next month.

“We’ll have happy hour all week,” Yan laughed.

Yan’s future plans, however, are much loftier than just one license, as she aims to expand operations in the next few years.

“Here, we want to start small, and we want to have more interaction with our customers — we want more personal experience,” Yan said. “So we don’t want it too big. We want izakaya style, like more casual dining but still good food. So we hope to be able to open more locations in the coming three and five years in this area.”

Until then, Yan is focused on her one storefront and making sure Fairfax residents know that Fujisan is open and eager to serve new customers.

“We want more people to know we are here, we are open,” Yan said. “I believe once they know we are open, they come here, and they will come back. Even though we don’t have many customers since we are new, a lot of them have already come back three times.”