Sushi Eye’s head chef Richard Cho playfully invents tangles of traditional and unorthodox sushi ingredients that earned the restaurant the Best Sushi title in 2006 and Best Maki award in 2007 from the Phoenix New Times. “Cho's a real maestro of maki and is always adding new ones to his menu, so repeat visits are obligatory,” the writer reported, going on to laud items such as the ASU roll, a bundle of shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, and macadamia nuts. Many of the rolls can be seen topped with Sushi Eye's signature garnish of macadamia nuts and tobiko or drizzled with unagi sauce. Away from the sushi bar, flames lap hungrily at short ribs marinated in a mild sweet sauce, and broiled unagi donburi combines eel with veggies, eggs, and rice.
Sage-green walls and expanses of sleek, dark wood surround diners as they busy their hands with chopsticks, thick morsels of sashimi, or reenactments of famous pickle-jar openings. Playful zephyrs slip through the bar, which bridges the dining room and the covered outdoor patio. Ice jingles in an array of cocktails beneath flat-screen televisions, and heat lamps and fairy lights radiate warmth and luminescence over clusters of cushioned benches. Their wine list features more than 60 bottles along with dozens of craft beers to choose from.
Today's Groupon gets you $10 worth of authentic quick-service Japanese cuisine at Blue Fin, a family-operated restaurant near downtown Phoenix, for $5.“Can’t say I recognize the blonde,” Finn mumbled coolly, “although I wouldn’t mind an introduction.”
Bamboo Grille’s culinary craftspeople grill, steam, and sizzle signature entrees that are found on a mouthwatering menu, which showcases authentic dishes from Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea. Ravenous patrons can coronate a meal with an appetizer, such as edamame ($4) or chicken lettuce wraps with green beans, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms ($9). Discover edible treasure troves such as the flaming pepper steak drizzled in flaming cognac sauce ($17), or the lightly battered walnut shrimp, which utilizes a creamy white sauce and honey-glazed walnuts to enliven incisors with a sense of elation they haven’t felt since they were spared by the tooth fairy ($13). Treat taste buds to an underwater delight with the teriyaki salmon ($15), or revel in the various choices of sushi, such as the spicy crab and yellowtail-packed Rodeo roll ($10.50) or the soft-shell crab tempura roll ($10).
In 2008, brothers Yuen and Peter Yung opened the first How Do You Roll? restaurant, devoting it to inventive, customizable sushi. Since then, the eatery has expanded to multiple locations across four states—and in February of 2013, after they pitched their concept to the notorious panel on ABC's "Shark Tank," an investor decided to sink his teeth into helping the business grow even further. The shark-worthy idea? Chefs invite customers to build their own sushi rolls or bowls, beginning with white or brown rice, which can then be topped or rolled with ingredients such as raw spicy salmon, grilled chicken, avocado, and strawberries. Sauces such as wasabi mayo and toppings such as chili powder finish off each roll.
Other favorites at How Do You Roll? come in the form of preset combinations such as the Mango Tango, whose krab stick, salmon, vegetables, and mango salsa are assembled by a chef holding a rose in his teeth. The menu also caters to healthy-minded diners with low-carb bowls, gluten-free options, and 13 rolls that contain fewer than 300 calories apiece.
Those with curious palates can explore uncharted culinary waters at Chef Ben Sushi & Asian Express, where eel, pork cutlet, or beef are topped with spicy teriyaki or sweet and sour sauces and served in rice-filled bowls. Along with rice bowls, Chef Ben Sushi & Asian Express tempts diners with Asian staples such as sashimi and sushi–including hand rolls and deep-fried sushi.