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“Chef's Choice is always the best at Imperia”
Review of Imperia - CLOSED

Imperia
Price range: US$20 - US$25
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian, Sushi, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Groups, Business meetings, Bar Scene
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Cross street: 4th
Description: Home to Sushi Chef Tatsu Aikawa from Japan along with Chef George Thomas of Maiko in Austin. Imperia is a combination of upscale dining along with vigorous socializing. Imperia provides the most elegant of surroundings and the highest level of indulgent service, while still demonstrating quintessential southern hospitality and charm. Located in the heart of the Warehouse District, the menu is an eclectic blend of traditional Asian favorites, new and innovated Sushi, and locally inspired creations.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Chef's Choice is always the best at Imperia”
Reviewed 20 April 2014

Imperia is always my favorite stop when I visit Austin, and last night reminded me exactly why their innovative chefs always delight me and my foodie companions. We sat at the sushi bar and asked David and Dylan to just 'surprise us', which they indeed did. Each sushi dish was fantastic, especially the pressed watermelon and yellowtail with pickled watermelon rind and thinly sliced Thai chili. Of the 6 dishes that appeared, none were actually on the menu. These guys seriously love to share their clever pairings of super fresh ingredients. Not to be outdone, Brandon, Dan, and Trevor in the kitchen began sending out 'specials' of their own, including lobster with champagne sauce that they had 'invented' while we were snacking on sushi. There's really no way to describe the visual presentation for this item, so I'm going to try to include a photo. (The crab cakes in the background were another fabulous surprise, and simply the best I've had in Austin.) My advice to anyone who dines at Imperia is to trust this very talented team of chefs by choosing what they call the omakase option, listing any food allergies, and letting these chefs send out whatever strikes their fancy. I've dined at so many fantastic restaurants in Austin, but this is the only place where I am consistently impressed with the off-menu culinary brainstorms of the chefs. The only negative with Imperia is that they do not have valet parking, so I had to drop my car with the valet at Sullivan's. This of course means a pre-dinner martini in their lovely bar listening to live jazz featuring the music of Duke Ellington, but that is another review...

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank pegtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    17
    12
    3
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
76 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Justin Trip”
Reviewed 27 March 2014

The service and food were excellent! Our waiter Robert was extremely helpful and allowed us to make some really good choices.The sushi and crab rangoon were really good. I will be back the next time I am in Austin. Good food and really nice atmosphere.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LarryJean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not impressed”
Reviewed 3 September 2013 via mobile

The sushi was overpriced and tasteless... Lovely place, but skip it. They just switched menus and the service was spotty...,

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CervezaGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level Contributor
49 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Your Visit Here Doesn't Have to Empty Your Wallet :)”
Reviewed 13 January 2013

I am not into the latest trend of drinking and eating in all the new over-priced establishments that have cropped up in downtown Austin over the past few years. Is Imperia one of these? Most definitely, BUT it has survived for a reason: quality and consistency.

I was weary the first time I went in to Imperia on a date for a more formal dining experience. Yes, it was quite expensive (but really good), and that deterred me from returning until a year later when a friend mentioned their happy hour specials. It was only then that I realized you do *not* have to spend a fortune to enjoy the great quality food and drinks that Imperia offers. Also, even if you can't catch happy hour, you can still "hang out" on the more casual bar side and order sushi and apps which are typical (but not outrageous) prices for good food with ambiance.

My latest visit was this past weekend - a second "dinner" after a horrible experience at a nearby establishment. My friend and I were desperate for quality and flavor, so we headed over to Imperia. We sat in the bar area and ordered sushi and apps. The crab rangoon is made with real crab, the spicy tuna roll includes sizable chunks of fresh tuna that melt in your mouth, and the spider roll - though smaller than one would like - measures up to everything else in taste. I've never had a sushi roll at Imperia that I was disappointed with. For drink, I love tequila, so the ginger margarita is what I always go for.

Staff has always been friendly and service quick and attentive regardless of where you are eating in the restaurant. If you have reservations about it, I would say check it out during happy hour.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TaraMaSue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
120 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“A Step Up from the Austin Bar Scene”
Reviewed 20 November 2012

We went to Imperia on Friday night during the F1 race Fan Fest, so we saw the restaurant performing under stress. The restaurants in the area were absolutely slammed by the huge crowds. So it was maybe not the fairest time to make the best assessment. Having been turned away from others with, "We'll call you in 2 hours," Imperia offered a respite from the craziness.

We opted for the sushi bar. The ambiance of the place is decidely upscale. The prices matched. Two very average sushi and sashimi assortment plates, and 3 Saporos came to over $110 with tip. The sushi/sashimi combos did not come with wasabi or sliced ginger, unless you asked for them.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Roger H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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