The culinary authors at Utage Athens Sushi Bar compose compelling nonfiction masterpieces about tasty Japanese cuisine. The 10-piece lobster-roll dish, a maki plate, weaves avocado, cucumber, lettuce, and masago into a flavorful fabric of deep-fried lobster ($12.50). Utage stultifies hunger with 26 varieties of authentic raw nigiri, one for each human sense.
Toshiro Japanese Express concocts affordable, authentic Asian fare prepared in the hibachi cooking tradition. Battered shrimp, served with a homemade tempura sauce ($4.50), is a crispy preamble to main-amble noodle dishes, which combine soba (thin noodles) or udon (thick) with an ample ecosystem of broccoli, cabbage, onions, carrots, and mushrooms ($5.95). Diners can feast their eyeteeth on meaty hibachi entrees, including tender teriyaki-chicken morsels ($5.50), served with vegetables, fried or steamed rice, and the house soup, while dividing their other 10 senses among the sleek, honey-glazed paneling of the casual eatery. An array of scrumptious sauces ($.25) stands ready to complement grill fare with zesty tastes of ginger, teriyaki, or asian sesame, while tots can munch kid-friendly fare like chicken fingers and appendage-less hibachi steak.
A Tavola! head chef Salvatore Bianco, a Naples native, crafts savory Italian offerings using generations-old family recipes, handmade pastas, and traditional wood-burning brick ovens. Diners can crack open fresh mussels coated in olive oil ($14) or wrap forks around the flavorful tendrils of the spicy spaghetti alla diavola ($16), festooned with jumbo shrimp. Pillows of ravioli come stuffed with ricotta and spinach ($15) and arrive bearing homespun, cross-stitched axioms and a coat of taleggio sauce. Meanwhile, tomato, caramelized onions, and pancetta set sail with mozzarella and hot peppers aboard the pancetta e cipolla pizza ($11.50). For a pleasing coda, tiramisu ($6) appeases sweet teeth with offerings of mascarpone and cocoa. Diners can pair these comestibles with potables from an extensive wine list while stationed inside the eatery's industrial-chic dining room, outdoors on an intimately lit patio, or underwater in a comfortably appointed bathysphere.
Casa Mia serves up a dinner menu that features 15 tapas options as well as other Latin specialties. Share small plates, such as Colombian chorizo sausage served with a diving pool of creamy salsa rosada ($6). Sauteed mushrooms and onions sneak into melted monterey-jack cheese in Casa Mia's mushroom cheese dip, waiting anxiously for slices of dunking bread to find them ($5). Less traditional options include the Latin sushi roll, which stuffs chicken ($7) or fish ($8) inside sweet plantains covered in avocado sauce. Those opposed to culinary communes can sample a Latin-inspired entree of their very own, such as the hot-pressed Cuban sandwich stacked with ham, swiss cheese, avocado, sauces, and your choice of veggies ($7), chicken ($8), pork ($9), or steak ($10). A selection of sharable desserts offers sweet-seeking tongues a dynamic finale, including churros in a chocolate dipping sauce ($5) and spanish flan glazed with caramel ($5). Check out Casa Mia’s brunch and lunch menus for earlier dining options.
WhipLash prepares a menu of healthy, creative cuisine. Hogging the culinary spotlight are the café’s Break-Neck pizzas, all prepared on a thin, crispy house-made crust topped with house-made pizza sauce and caramelized cheese. Taste the Athens Classic’s ham-and-italian sausage ($17 or $22) or crunch into the ground beef and jalapenos waiting on top of the Old Mexico ($14.50 or $18.50). Hearty sandwiches such as the mango chicken ($7.50) and the B.L.A.T. (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato) ($7.50) keep mouths from wandering off between bites, and pasta salads provide a delicious alternative to the disappointing experience of eating pasta or salad by itself.