Lauded by interior designer Nate Berkus on Check, Please!, Tiparos Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar is home to a menu of Thai noodle dishes, sushi, and pan-Asian favorites served in a cozy space. Sushi chefs prepare maki mono rolls, nigiri, and sashimi behind the long bar illuminated by a line of colorful and partially edible orb lamps. Chefs can convert many entrees into vegetarian dishes and adjust the spice level of each curry, meat, or noodle dish to please both prim and reckless tongues. Tapestries imported from Thailand brighten the eatery's exposed-brick walls, while patterned paintings grid white walls beside potted flora.
Beneath hanging pendant lights and lanterns swathed in red, the chefs at Nan's Sushi craft rolls at an open counter as servers deliver westernized Chinese favorites and Japanese dishes to tables. Seafood-heavy appetizers feature mussels, scallops, and crab, and fried tofu and crispy wontons pitch in to fuel eyeballs as they consider the rest of the menu. Makimono and temaki sushi rolls are studded with tuna, avocado, smoked salmon, and other traditional ingredients, occasionally topped with a smattering of fish eggs or a single brontosaurus egg. Diners can order specialty sushi rolls to swap with tablemates, or mix and match sushi by the piece. The Chinese menu proffers popular dishes such as egg foo young, pepper-steak, and mu-shu dinner plates, all doused in a special sauce.
Slick, modern countertops, warm hues, bamboo accents, and contemporary light pendants in Triad Sushi Lounge’s dining room set the stage for a feast of Japanese delights, both exquisitely seasoned and aesthetically presented. Guests can order up a spread of traditional or fusion-style Japanese cuisine, including fresh tuna tartar and lamb chops cooked over a grill and bathed in a French-inspired red-wine-reduction sauce. Chefs tuck fresh king crab, squid, and cucumbers into colorful pieces of nigiri, sashimi, and full sushi rolls, and servers pour out sake bombs or uncork BYOB bottles. For a more private dining experience, Triad’s modern space boasts a VIP room bedecked with a 37-inch plasma-screen TV that comes outfitted with a DVD player and stellar sound system for blasting tunes or hearing the dialogue from Big Foot’s home videos.
The chefs at Blue Fin Sushi Bar arrange edible mosaics of sushi and sashimi made from the freshest, most tender grades of fish. More than 25 specialty rolls conceal oceanic morsels in seaweed-and-rice cocoons, including the spicy kani tuna roll's seared tuna, tempura crumbs, and spicy Alaskan king crab. Chopsticks can also nab classic maki rolls or skewer more than 20 kinds of sashimi. Among other vegetarian platters, the Bamboo roll's cargo of tofu and shiitake mushrooms appeases herbivorous appetites while prompting perplexed growls from dining pandas. A royal-blue awning denotes arrival at the restaurant, whose multipaned windows resemble the art-glass stylings of Frank Lloyd Wright. Soft, low lights lend a romantic touch to the dining room, and flickering candles imbue an old-timey vibe to impromptu shadow-puppet shows.
Cone-shaped track lighting dangles over the counter as I Love Sushi's chefs bundle sushi roll-ups, plate teriyaki entrees, and prep hot noodles inside a cozy pedway shop. Replete with ingredients such as white rice, fresh vegetables, seaweed, sesame seeds, and cooked or raw seafood, I Love Sushi’s more than 15 maki options make a healthy on-the-go option for midday diners. Specialties include the Lake Shore roll, which honks like a passing bus as it’s bitten, and the Fire roll, which chefs stuff with shrimp tempura and drizzle in three sauces before briefly setting it ablaze. Across from the eatery sits a table designated for dine-in customers, an ideal vantage point for checking out the cobalt, cerulean, and burnt-orange tiles that cover the restaurant's interior or for counting the number of aldermen who run by.
Each of Cocoro’s tables is outfitted with its own burner—a flame that simmers a Japanese variation of fondue called shabu shabu. Instead of cheese or chocolate, the simple broth contains water, seaweed, and salt for cooking ribeye beef and veggies. Though it isn’t the main attraction, the sushi is not to be missed. No corkage fee.