The other battle of 224: Sawa vs. Mizu

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Both Sawa and Mizu Japanese restaurants are known as “fan favorites” in town. Both restaurants menus include items such as sushi, hibachi, and noodles, along with Japanese desserts such as mochi. Compared to Mizu, Sawa has many fire tables and plays the “Happy Birthday” song when it is your birthday, which adds to the atmosphere. Also, Sawa has been in Youngstown much longer than Mizu. Therefore, we decided to conduct a survey of Canfield High School students to see which Japanese restaurant they prefer.

First, we asked the students a general question: Do you prefer Sawa or Mizu? The results were not surprising, as 23 of the 30 students preferred Mizu. With that being said, there are many features of these restaurants that many students prefer one over the other. Although each restaurant has so many items on the menu, even one menu item could make someone choose Sawa over Mizu or Mizu over Sawa.

Junior, Cece Economus believes Sawa is better then Mizu because “the Yum Yum sauce is better, the rice is better, it’s just overall better. But, the atmosphere at Mizu is better. Although, Mizu is a copy of Sawa.” So, these items on Sawa’s menu make Cece prefer Sawa over Mizu.

Next, we talked to Senior, Ben Shapiro, and he believes that Mizu is better. He said, “Well, if I’m dining in and I’m not eating hibachi, then it’s certainly Mizu. But, if I’m getting cooked in front of, Sawa gets a big advantage for that and the entertainment factor. But with the food, I think Mizu has a little better food, I like their rice a little better – I think their rice is a little bit tastier. The Yum Yum Sauce is a little tastier even though Sawa does give you a little bit more. The chickens about a wash, the sushi is probably better at Mizu, and it’s not quite as gross there. So, Mizu probably has the advantage for me.” These aspects of Mizu make Ben prefer Mizu over Sawa.

Next, we asked: Do you prefer Sawa’s Yum Yum Sauce or Mizu’s Yum Yum Sauce? These results were quite surprising with Mizu having 15 votes and Sawa having 13 votes. Yum Yum sauce is a thick and creamy sauce that is key to Japanese restaurants, and includes tomato paste, melted butter, garlic powder, paprika, and mayonnaise. Yum Yum Sauce is served with Hibachi at both restaurants, and has been a fan favorite for years. Although, at both restaurants, both sauces are very different, while Sawa’s sauce is much heavier than Mizu’s, which could make students prefer one restaurants Yum Yum Sauce over the other.

We next asked students which menu item makes them want to go to Mizu or Sawa. These responses were all over the board, in which 13 students go for chicken, 10 students go for sushi, 2 go for the Bento Box, and 3 go for the rice. While both menus are very similar, Mizu is more known for their crazy sushi flavors compared to Sawa. Mizu has a large sushi menu including the Youngstown Roll, the Monkey Roll, and Sashimi. Many people go to Mizu to get their interesting types of sushi.

Next, we asked the following: Which restaurant has the best fried rice? With these responses, 11 students prefer Sawa rice, and 19 students prefer Mizu rice. This is one of the aspects that makes students prefer one restaurant over the other. Sawa’s rice only consists of eggs and rice, while Mizu’s rice contains eggs, rice, and vegetables. Both restaurants serve their fried rice with Yum Yum Sauce as well, and is included in the hibachi meal.

Lastly, we asked students if they get vegetables with their meal or if they as for no vegetables and extra rice. These responses resulted in 18 students ordering vegetables, and 13 students ordering no vegetables and extra rice. Both restaurants allow the option of ordering extra rice instead of vegetables. Also, both restaurants serve the hibachi with stir fry vegetables and those vegetables include onions, carrots, zucchini, and broccoli.

As Mizu and Sawa are some of the most popular restaurants in town, many people enjoy many aspects of those restaurants, which make them continue to go there to eat, items such as the Yum Yum Sauce, fried rice, choice of protein, and sushi. But both restaurants still remain popular in Youngstown, Ohio.


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