Chefs at Raku concoct authentic Asian dishes in traditional Korean and Japanese style, served on rough-hewn wooden tables lit by elegantly patterned paper lanterns. House specialty tonkatsu, pan-fried crispy pork loin, graces the menu with its unrepentant tanning habits ($8.95). Traditional Japanese-style ramen comes in a variety of soothing favorites, with combinations such as soy-based broth, peas, ramen, and tender pork ($7.95). Asian favorites such as steamed pork-belly buns draped with hoisin sauce ($3.95) or hearty donburi dishes mingling meat, vegetables, and rice ($6.95+) sate the secret desires of shy palates, and imported Asahi beer cascades from its cold draft. Raku is open until midnight on Sunday–Thursday and until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights for extended gatherings of friends, family, and lukewarm coworkers.
At first, Tin Drum Asia Café's rapid service and bright decor evoke the aromatic street stands of Hong Kong, where founder Steven Chan ate throughout his childhood. The traditional ambiance is no accident—the franchise's name also harks back to a bygone era, when a tin drummer would awaken citizens and regale them with current events as they ate the day’s first meal. The electronic kiosks dotting the café, however, plunk this traditional scene in the middle of a cyberpunk setting. They allow patrons to customize their orders based on taste preferences and nutritional content, accommodating dietary endeavors such as vegetarianism and weight-loss goals.
This merger of technology and urban convention reflects a penchant for edgy ideas that also affects the menu. Items inspired by the culinary techniques of Japan, China, Vietnam, and Thailand share space in the savory catalog, taking the form of street tacos, soups, and mango chicken, a take on the general tso's staple that's sweeter than a syrup-soaked army helmet. Music is the final ingredient that charges the atmosphere. Nation's Restaurant News reports that it typically plays at an energizing 120 beats per minute and was a factor in attracting the café's initial college crowds.
The Chocolate Bar's menu contains a veritable cornucopia of house-made chocolates, dessert plates, small bites, specialty cocktails, and expertly chosen wines. If you opt for the prix-fixe wine flight, you'll get three wines ($12) and your choice of three truffles ($5), three assorted popcorns ($12), or three cheeses ($13) to sample this chocolate cabin's wares. Otherwise, you can branch outward like a curious and hungry poltergeist tree with $25 worth of treats. Turn your palate to a culinary cocktail such as a summery beer float ($6), Leinenkugel's sunset wheat poured over a scoop of orange sherbet. Offset a liquid treat with some solid comestibles, such as smoked sockeye salmon ($10) in truffle and shallot vinaigrette. If you stopped by with a gaggle of friends, sweet-feast on a large dessert plate of peach melba ($8), a treasure trove of almond-vanilla sponge cake, peach sorbet, and raspberry mousse.
PocketBar by Octane Coffee is a community of passionate coffee and food lovers serving Midtown and Bank of America Plaza.
We brew Counter Culture Coffee. We serve Sublime Doughnuts. We are a happy little coffee shop in a really big building
What do you get when you cross local, farm-to-table ingredients with a southern-cooking mentality? It’s a question that Briza attempts to answer with food that stands out for its dedication to quality—yet doesn’t skimp on the playfulness. When making the menu, Executive Chef Janine Falvo was inspired by her family’s robust culinary traditions and by the chefs she worked under as she made her name in the business. From them she contracted a passion for working with only fresh and local ingredients whose flavors pop on their own merits.. Her cornmeal fried green tomatoes up the ante on the Southern staple, with a breading that melds with the acidity of its pickled shrimp accompaniment. Halibut comes on a bed of lobster homefries, in which each chunk of crustacean and each tiny, crisp potato cube contributes flavor or texture. Then there’s the organic smoked and fried chicken, which adds a new layer to a well-loved dish. Certainly it’s that creativity that played a part in previously awarding Falvo with Restaurant Hospitality's Rising Star Chef accolade. Looking around the modern-meets-baroque dining room, it’s evident that a mix of textures is just as important in the scenery as it is in the food. Velvety couches flank stainless steel cocktail tables in the bar area and the dining room cozies studded armchairs up to heavy wood tables. Everything looks touchable, yet museum-worthy—a conundrum that thankfully doesn’t apply to the pretty and magnetic food.
At Big Kahuna, recently named one of the "Best new restaurants of 2013" by Jezebel Magazine, the surf culture of Southern California meets the warm embrace of Southern hospitality. Retro long boards hang from the restaurant's walls, and alfresco dining—with its fresh breezes and sounds of nature—evokes soaking up a sunset from a Malibu beach house. Just as Big Kahuna's ambiance blurs the lines between cultures, so, too, does its menu. Diners can reel in all-natural burgers, steak churrasco, rice bowls with grilled veggies, baja fajitas, and fresh seafood, including ahi tuna, or imbibe beach-inspired cocktails such as surf-tinis and margaritas. Their emphasis on hospitality extends beyond the restaurant, with two hours of validated parking available during lunch and five hours during dinner, allowing guests enough parking time to eat dinner and see a show or game.