NO SOONER are we mourning the closing of chef Yorihiro Takata's Shogun restaurant in Bethesda than we hear he has re-emerged at Wolensky's. He is preparing what is now a registered trademark, American Sushi Cuisine. What's American about it is that raw fish is taking a back seat to combinations a Japanese would find about as familiar as ham and eggs. Marinated poached chicken, grilled mushrooms, radish sprouts, tartar steak and smoked seafoods will top the vinegared rice, and marinated carrots and peppers or spinach and peppers will fill seaweed-wrapped rice rolls. These new American sushi appetizers are so American that Wolensky's adds, "Use of knife and fork is not considered gauche."
NEW WAVE COOKING -- Washington's own Jean Louis Palladin takes to the high seas this fall to teach cooking classes on the cruise ship Sagafjord for part of its month-long trip between Vancouver and Mexico. At $3,000 to $10,000 per person the cruise makes a $125 dinner at Jean-Louis seem a bargain.
CAJUN CRAZE II -- It begins to seem that Cajun restaurants are one of those fads that just won't die. The redfish may be depleted, but the restaurants keep on opening. Besides Copeland's of New Orleans opening a Washington branch this fall, look for the future Louisiana Bar & Grill to bring in a chef from Ernie's in Shreveport.
THEATER DINNER -- Dinner theater has never been one of my favorite art forms, but dinner and theater is another matter. Prime Plus makes that easy with a package at $129 per couple which includes its fixed-price pre-theater dinner and orchestra tickets for the National Theater, plus a promise to valet park your car for the evening, get you to the theater on time and serve you dessert afterwards. The next performances available for this dinner/theater combination are July 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25, to see "Cats."
The package works out to $70 a couple for tickets and $59 for dinner; adding wine, tax and tip is likely to bring the total near $170. For the price you get soup (not the kitchen's best effort), flower-garnished salad, and such entree choices as veal and buffalo tenderloin, roast free-ranging chicken or sauteed sweetbreads with truffle butter. Be sure to save time to return for dessert; it is the highlight, especially if the kitchen happens to have prepared a mascarpone cheesecake with grapefruit. For reservations call 783-0166.