Thai Lagoon’s extensive menu puts traditional and modern Thai dishes, such as pad thai ($10.95) and sautéed shrimp in curry ($13.95), alongside Chinese favorites such as Kung Pao chicken ($9.95) and Szechwan chicken ($9.95). Diners can customize entrees with their choice of chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp and can request vegetarian alternatives. Dive into the aquatic flavors of the pad woon sen talay, a stir-fried seafood selection doused with chu see curry sauce, snow peas, and green peas sautéed in oyster sauce ($13.95). Or sup on chicken paradise, which transports its eater to earthly paradise with cashews, pineapple, onions, mushrooms, and scallions ($13.50).
Under the leadership of executive chef Kazushige Honda, Otani Sushi's culinary team crafts authentic Japanese fare, all highlighted on a massive menu of rolls, tempura, and teriyaki dishes. Guests can customize their own roll or feast upon sashimi, nigiri, or specialty sushi such as the Hard Rock roll, an amalgamation of shrimp, crab, and salmon. Cooks receive roll orders, along with hot entrees and starters, until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and up to 30 guests can enjoy soirees until 2 a.m. seven days a week in the soundproof private party room. There, from a selection of more than 100,000 songs in English and Japanese, visitors read lyrics whizzing by on 40-inch flat-screen TV, croon to their selected song, and shed a single tear at their own heartfelt performance. Otani Sushi also hosts karaoke sessions for the rest of its diners seven days a week.
As weary guests lug their suitcases and collapsible travel saxophones up to the front desk of Best Western hotel, their senses are suddenly awakened to the scents of sizzling garlic, simmering coconut, and fresh basil. The source of the exotic aromas is the onsite Thai Lagoon Bistro—an elegant Thai eatery lauded by reporters from Crave Magazine as a hidden gem. In the restaurant's kitchen, chefs fold fresh seafood, meats, and vegetables into a sweeping variety of authentic Thai favorites and rarities—from the popular pad thai noodles to the lesser-known tiger cry spicy beef. They stir pots of soup peppered with lemongrass and chili before turning their attention to massaman chicken curry, which writers from The Columbus Dispatch praised as being “aromatic with allspice, clove, and cinnamon…” They even extend their culinary expertise to a selection of Chinese classics, including kung pao chicken and orange beef.
Diners await meals at white-cloth tables in the elegant dining room lit with soft candlelight and speckled with tropical plants. In the mornings, the restaurant transforms into a breakfast buffet with American-style dishes, including cereals and pancakes shaped like John Wayne waving the US flag.
Haitian & American Restaurant re-creates some of its namesake countries' most popular meals for the hungry guests who wait within its cozy Columbus dining room. Haitian staples such as fried plantain and black rice flank crispy fried goat or whole red snapper, whereas all-American french fries accompany orders of philly steaks and cheeseburgers. Papaya and strawberry juices, as well as American and Haitian sodas, complement each meal, no matter its country of origin. In addition to everyday dinners, Haitian & American Restaurant hosts a live DJ every Saturday night, inviting diners to groove from their seats or time their bites to the beat of the music.
Izzee's BareFoot Bar is stationed along the sand at The VolleyPark next to Sequoia Pro Bowl. The island-themed eatery refuels athletes fresh from a game of volleyball as well as spectators catching some sun. Underneath thatched tiki roofs and bright-yellow umbrellas, patrons can abide by the laid-back eatery's philosophy of "No shirt, no shoes, no problem" while noshing on bar food. The menu features quick snacks such as nachos and chicken tenders as well as bigger meals including pizzas and half-pound Angus burgers. Izzee's BareFoot Bar at The VolleyPark is open Sunday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Friday nights customers can partake in open volleyball at no additional charge from 5 p.m. to midnight.
East of Chicago slings several varieties of pizza, including thin crust, crispy crust, pan, and Chicago style (12” only) in 10”, 12”, 14”, 16”, and “outdoor trampoline” sizes. From there, you can pile on the bacon, beef, olives, green peppers, ham, mushrooms, pepperoni, pineapple, and other toppings like so many fraudulent voter ballots. Specialty pizza options include the taco and barbecue chicken varieties ($16.29 for a 14"), while fresh, oven-baked subs such as Italian, meatball, and spicy steak ($4.79 for a 6", $6.99 for a foot) are available for pizzaphobes. Pair your pick with an order of breadsticks ($3.99), boneless wings ($7.39 for 10 pieces), or loaded nachos (fiesta for two, $4.99) before forcibly sedating your sweet tooth with Oreo-covered brownie bites ($3.99), a Jif peanut butter and Smucker's jelly pizza ($4.79 for 10"), or a stuffed apple petezoni dessert.