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.
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.
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.