Take a quick glance over iSushi Cafe's menu, and you may feel as though you've accidentally picked up the brochure for a local aquarium. Seafood of all kinds pack into tightly rolled maki and balls of rice, mixed with crisp vegetables. Pieces of fresh yellowtail, octopus, tuna, and shrimp find their way into a diverse slate of dishes. And house special rolls feature creative combinations, with spicy flavors and ingredients as unexpected but useful as the Internet was in the American Revolution.
Successful cooking is largely a matter of knowing when to stick with tradition and when to innovate. At Taste of Sensu, tomato salsa adds a kiss of acidity to unorthodox lobster-tail taco. Crisp toast supports pulverized shrimp and ruby-red spicy tuna jam, time-tested sushi ingredients configured in an adventurous fashion. Chefs lace sushi rolls with attention-grabbing ingredients and textures; the Cabo Roll, for instance, combines shrimp tempura and tuna with seared beef, pickled jalapeño, and chipotle mayonnaise, and the spicy tuna roll gets its crunch from hearts of romaine lettuce. Toasting glasses in the dining room brim with sparkling sake, wines fermented on the West coast, and fruity cocktails like the air tanks of an amateur scuba diver.
Sushi on the Rocks pleases the palates, eyes, and ears of patrons with fresh Japanese fare, refreshing libations, and live jazz tunes. Owner John J. Lee crafts nearly 80 nigiri and maki options that range from sweet fresh fruit sushi to elaborate specialty rolls, such as the spicy tuna, tempura shrimp, and asparagus bundled into the Playboy roll. Entrees include grilled chicken drenched in teriyaki sauce, teriyaki steak or chicken options, and new specialty rolls such as the Mexican roll with shrimp tempura, and mixed crab, which is topped with spicy tuna, avocado, and mango. Thirst-quenching hot sake can warm chilled throats and the hearts of fish-loving misers, while more than 10 varieties of wines spare diners the arduous task of juicing their own raisins. Melodies swim through the elegant dining room Thursday and Saturday evenings, tickling eardrums with the sounds of jazz.
BaRa Sushi House keeps the focus on the fish. Its precisely, appealingly arranged sushi and appetizers lean heavily on seafood imported from Tokyo's famous Tsukiji fish market every week. BaRa's chefs greet each day with its very own special plate, constantly editing the menu in the hopes of finally crafting that perfect tiny replica of Michelangelo's David from yellowfin tuna. Sake is always flowing inside the snug, vintage house-turned-diner thanks to Marcus Pakiser, sake sommelier. Guests may dine on the outdoor patio when the weather permits, or host a party for up to 9 in the private tatami room.
Narita's lunch and dinner menus offer a vast array of classic Japanese cuisine. Snag an appetizing catch with chopstick lures, and nosh on dinner entrees such as the Hibachi jumbo shrimp ($14), served with steamed or fried rice, sautéed vegetables, and a soup or salad, or the popular pork ramen ($12). Prime palates for a delectable dining experience that doesn’t take place in deranged dada dream worlds, with appetizers such as the rock shrimp ($6) or crispy soft shell crab ($7.50). After starting off the day by downing an egg-yolk cocktail and pummeling frozen beef in a freezer, stay consistent by sampling a variety of expertly prepared raw and cooked sushi options. Opt for a delectable maki roll like the Mexico with shrimp tempura and avocado ($5.45), or fling fistfuls of Narita specialty rolls into your kisser, such as the kamikaze ($8.25), which is a tongue-tingling choice twined with eel, tuna, avocado, and spicy mayo.
The chefs at Blue Elephant Restaurant craft Thai curries, Japanese sushi, and Italian pasta dishes, tying them all together with the common thread of fresh ingredients and careful preparation. They specially order ingredients that are not available locally to ensure that each dish contains the freshest possible items. Basil leaves flavor the Thai-style basil chicken, and cashews add salt and crunch to mango chicken. Within sushi rolls, thinly sliced fish such as tuna and salmon complement the silky texture of cream cheese and avocado.
Prior to establishing the restaurant, the owners committed themselves to observing environmentally responsible building practices. As a result, the entire building is constructed from sustainable and recyclable materials. Energy-efficient light bulbs illuminate the dining room, and a geo-thermal heating and cooling system regulates the temperature. On stormy days, an onsite pond directs raindrops into the soil, preventing them from falling into a gutter or discarded chip bag.