At Ugly Tuna Saloona, college students and locals alike gather for live music, fresh seafood and pub fare, and an extensive menu of frosty beers and fruity cocktails. Acoustic troubadors and live DJs serenade crowds on the expansive dance floor, while plates of fish n' chips, burgers, and spicy hot wings quell hunger pangs. Potent tropical cocktails and margaritas delight guests with fun presentation?served in containers such as a 64-ounce fishbowl replete with fake sharks and microcosmic hurricanes.
Two Fish Bistro is the yang to the yin of Red, a sushi bar in the same building also owned by the Daeoh group. While Red draws out the essence of raw seafood, Two Fish unleashes the flavors of its flame-kissed counterpart to craft a menu that 614 calls "concise and approachable." To introduce diners to their distinct flavor parings, Two Fish's chefs assemble mini fish tacos from housemade crispy flour chips, sautéed whitefish, and garlic-parmesan aioli. Their entrees draw on wild-caught seafood purchased fresh daily, such as the specialty tuna, a walnut-crusted, medium-rare cut that perches on a pillow of fluffy wasabi mashed potatoes with a maple-butter reduction and treats diners to the satisfying crunch of a charred-scallion garnish. To accent its colorful, carefully plated cuisine, Two Fish keeps its interior sleek and simple. Several enormous windows marry form and function, bathing the square wooden tables and mixed wood walls in natural sunlight or the unnatural glow of bioluminescent snowflakes. Three flat-screen TVs watch over a gray stone bar, surrounded on all sides by minimalist low-rise chairs.
What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
I've been involved in the food service industry all of my adult life. I enjoy preparing and serving [food for] my guests, friends, and family.
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
It's hard to pick one dish that is the most popular item. We make a great jambalaya?it is a slow-cooked meal filled with shredded pork, Andouille sausage, tomatoes, and shrimp, served over rice. Our most popular sandwich is the black bean burger?it's prepared from scratch. It's a spicy blend of black beans, carrots, onion, oats, and cilantro.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
A friendly menu for a variety of diners. We enjoy accommodating the needs of our guests.
At Shoku, morsels of succulent beef, marinated chicken, and ocean-fresh seafood fill out feasts of Japanese noodles and sushi or dishes inspired by national favorites of Asian nations including Korea, China, and Thailand. Broth-soaked udon noodles jostle for attention with plates of pad thai, pan-fried pot stickers, and bowls of sizzling beef bulgogi. Guests take a seat inside to watch a master chef deftly carve seafood at the sushi table, or they can lounge under umbrellas at the outdoor seating to watch the passing foot traffic and hourly soapbox derbies along Grandview Avenue.
Guests at Royal Ginger Asian Fusion Bistro can select from a staggering variety of flavorful meat- and seafood-laden dishes on the restaurant's sprawling menu. Diners can dive through reefs of egg rolls to spear a steamed or pan-roasted Chilean sea bass ($20.99) or cut up grilled filet mignon and shrimp ($22.99) into pieces small enough to inhale. The japanese eggplant garlic sauce or thai red curry sauce can be paired with meat ($13.99) or prawns ($16.99), or it can be easily veganized with tofu ($13.99) at the swoosh of a magic fennel wand.
A part-time college job turned into a career when John Ko married the daughter of China Dynasty's original owners. John, his wife, and his in-laws are content with maintaining the same traditions that have lasted more than 25 years. John's mother-in-law continues to work in the kitchen as head chef, cooking a familiar assortment of classic Chinese dishes that draws inspiration from various regional styles throughout the country. Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce, Cantonese-style roast duck, and spicy Szechwan green beans with chicken represent just a handful of dishes that have endured at China Dynasty over the decades.
A golden statue of a jovial, laughing Buddha greets diners as soon as they enter the restaurant's expanded space, which features two dining rooms as well as a full-service bar area. Lipstick-red chairs surround the tables that fill the intimately lit space and red accent walls similarly add a splash of color amid the rooms' pale green and tan color schemes. In addition to the Buddha statue, China Dynasty features a small collection of traditional Asian artwork and artifacts on its walls, including silk clothing, oversized Chinese hanzi, and baby pictures of the restaurant's first lo mein noodle.