It has hot oil, flames and sharp objects.

It has hot oil, flames and sharp objects.

No, it's not an '80s heavy-metal concert; it's all part of a typical meal at Sakura, a Japanese steakhouse that recently opened near Easton.

The largely red-and-brown interior offers stone, hand-crafted wall appointments, flowing water and koi fish in a stylized pond near the entrance.

The bill of fare is in line with other teppanyaki restaurants: shrimp, scallops, beef, chicken and such, plus a smattering of starters. Sushi is limited to the California roll.

Manager Anita Chuang, daughter of owners Steve and Margaret Chuang, said there are a few harder-to-find dishes, such as the calamari steak and Hawaiian sunfish. Kobe beef, at $6 an ounce, is part of the repertoire.

Sakura, referring to the Japanese cherry blossom, is at 4210 Stelzer Road, just north of Morse Road. Steve and Margaret Chuang also are owners of China Dynasty, a restaurant that has had an 18-year history in Northland. Anita Chuang's uncle, Fu Chuang, owns two House of Japan restaurants.

Sakura is the second high-profile Japanese steakhouse to open in the Easton area -- the other being Kobe.

Anita Chuang sees the competition as advantageous, giving patrons an opportunity to taste the differences of each restaurant.

"I think there's enough business to go around," she said.

Local restaurant consultant Bob Welcher said people are drawn to Japanese steakhouses because of the high entertainment value.

"This is the next level above going out and eating," he said.

Welcher expressed concern, however, over the grouping of two Japanese steakhouses, which are more special-occasion types of restaurants.

Sakura is open for lunch and dinner daily. For more information, call 614-476-6088.

Downtown Delaware is getting a delicatessen -- the first one in about 20 years.

Local businesswomen Michelle Platt and Martha Marsch plan to open 12 South Deli in September.

Platt said the two are in the process of evaluating local producers to provide merchandise at the deli, which will have sliced meats, cheeses, sandwiches, soups and other fare.

"It's going to be about the community," she said. "People in Delaware don't have the option of having sliced meat and cheese in the city. So we're going to offer something to them that's going to save time and gas."

Prices will be much lower than most upscale delis in Columbus, she said.

"We're going to try to sell a good wholesome deli sandwich for $5, $5.50," she said. Look for classic deli sides, such as potato and pasta salads, plus several vegetarian options.

Lee Yoakum, spokesman for the city of Delaware, said he is looking forward to the opening.

"I will be the first customer to buy a pastrami on rye with a crisp dill pickle," he said.

Platt and Marsch have worked out a deal to sell their fare at Backstretch, a bar next door.

The deli is taking over the 1,700-square-foot space formerly occupied by Avesta Eclectic Cuisine, 12 S. Sandusky St. Owner Avest Saaty said she couldn't work out a lease agreement with Platt, who owns the building. Saaty, meanwhile, has taken over food preparation for all the local Mean Bean Cafes, including one in Delaware. She had planned to open another Avesta restaurant in the downtown area, but no deal has been struck.

A well-established pizza shop has moved to Pickerington and expanded its menu along the way.

Catalfino's Italian recently shuttered its Refugee Road store and took over the Wings & Things spot at 10501 Blacklick-Eastern Road.

Jim Catalfino, whose father, Frank, started the business in 1974, said the relocated Catalfino's is a full-service restaurant, with a wide-ranging menu that includes not only pizza and subs, but also pasta, salads, homemade soups and starters.

The average ticket is $9.95.

"We're trying to be a good value for the dollar," he said. It's still a family-run business and Frank Catalfino still works there, Jim Catalfino said.

The restaurant is open six days a week, closed Sunday.

For more information, call 614-575-5380.

-- By Gary Seman