Chef Aron Li is picky about the fish that goes into his sushi, favoring the cuts of Scottish salmon and fresh tuna from local japanese markets. The skilled sushi chef folds lobster, Alaskan king crab, and caviar into a sweeping variety of both traditional and inventive rolls and tops them off with imaginative ingredients such as fresh mango and wasabi mayo. As Aron slices, chef Yu San captains the grills, where he sizzles up tender morsels of steak, chicken, and red snapper for the teriyaki and hibachi-style dinners lauded by reporters from Newsday. To craft his specialty black cod, the expert chef grills fresh cod and mixed vegetables in a savory miso sauce. Come lunchtime, he turns his attention to lighter dishes, adorning crispy mushroom salads in healthy dressing and tying hibachi steaks to helium balloons.
Guests perch at tabletops and in traditional Japanese booths in the sleek dining room and sip premium sake and fruity cocktails. Soft lights dangle from the ceiling, bathing the stone-tiled walls in a warm glow.
Recalling the fast-paced urban atmosphere of Tokyo with clubby fluorescent lighting and a flock of black lacquered lanterns, the fish finaglers at Tanko craft a globe-spanning menu of excitingly presented Asiana. After forging a DIY centerpiece from appetizers such as chicken satay and pork- or veggie-packed gyoza, diners choose between hot Asian fusion entrees or a custom pairing of regular and specialty sushi rolls.
Miraku's adept chefs entertain palates with an izakaya-style menu boasting small plates crafted from seasonal recipes that employ seafood imported from Japan. Duos begin their three courses by selecting two starters such as toro kakuni, a braised tuna belly drizzled with sweet soy, or edamame falafel topped with wasabi sour cream. For the main course, chefs choreograph the Bollywood maki roll's production of spicy tuna, avocado, and curry aioli, and blend spicy salmon, leeks, and mozzarella that's as melted as a Fiat parked on Mercury to create the Italia roll. Each meal concludes with spice-quenching sweets such as red bean and green tea ice cream or ginger-red-wine-poached pear.
Taking its cuisine seriously and its name literally, the Carousel's selection of fresh sushi and cold Japanese-style tapas is dynamically displayed along a custom, culinary conveyor belt designed to tempt and treat. Hibachi-style steaks, poultry, seafood entrees, and other made-to-order items inspire stomachs as they rotate around the relaxed, family-friendly dining space. The majority of the creations are prepped and presented by chef Koichi Mimura, a native of Yamagata, Japan who knows how to turn a fishing pole into a sushi roll and a sushi roll into a work of contemplative and conveniently consumable art.
Ai's menus are replete with classic and creative plates. A selection of traditional rolls, such as tuna or salmon ($4 each), will fill the usual sushi strongholds, but for hardened appetite bunkers, call in the game-changing bombs of special rolls such as the rainbow (a California roll topped with assorted sashimi and rainbow caviar, $9.95). There are also hearty chef's specials, including mango passion shrimp (sautéed shrimp and mangos in a special Thai pepper sauce, $13.95), and dinner entrees, including teriyaki beef negimaki (thin-sliced beef and scallions in teriyaki or Asian garlic sauce, $12.95).