Noodles, sushi, sashimi, and curried hot pots rub international elbows on Aji Sai Asian's diplomatic menu of fusion fare. Hungry diners and Frankie Valli aficionados will adore the Chinese-style happy four season platter loaded with chicken, beef, shrimp, and scallops tossed in a soy-ginger sauce with a side of rice ($16). Choose a robust dish such as the popular Aji Sai seafood curry hot pot with succulent shrimp, scallops, and lobster simmering in a spicy thai curry sauce ($16), or keep dinner light and fresh by sampling dishes from the extensive sushi and sashimi menu. Raw fish purists delight in the flameless sashimi offerings, including stripe bass ($4), red snapper ($4), and yellowtail ($5), and voracious vegetarians find ample nori-bound nourishment in the abyss of the sweet-potato tempura roll, a spicy-sweet beta-carotene powerhouse ($4).
The sushi smiths at Mikato churn out tightly rolled rice-and-fish treats, steaks, and other traditional Japanese fare. In addition to a variety of rolls, Mikato's chefs orchestrate ingredients in the form of entrees such as sukiyaki steak, a thin-sliced sirloin with sukiyaki sauce and vegetables ($16.95), and the Mikato dinner special, a mélange of filet mignon, lobster tail, and shrimp ($28.99). Chow on culinary creations in the comfort of plush chairs and the soft light emitted from multicolored paper lanterns, all while taking in the Japanese woodblock prints adorning the walls and cowering in the glare of samurai masks that all vaguely resemble TV personality Judge Judy.
“Warning,” declares Taste’s menu, “you may get sick of reading the word ‘Homemade.’” Skim the sandwich section and you’ll see why. Chefs flavor their creations with numerous homemade ingredients such as thousand island sauce, pickled red onions, and rémoulade. They also use their own meat—rather than pre-made deli meats—and accompany sandwiches with homemade pickles and a choice of homemade chips or potato salad. Along with sandwiches, Taste’s culinary team also crafts gourmet salads and pairs graham crackers and jams with up to six local or imported cheeses from its cheese bar. To wash down meals, guests can choose from 16 beers, 24 wines by the glass, or wine by the bottle.
The old town of Mobile welcomed Wintzell's Oyster House with open arms way back in 1938, when it was just a 6-stool oyster shack advertising "Oysters?fried, stewed, or nude." The restaurant has a host of locations, but each serves up the same regional, seafood-centric cuisine that made the place legendary.
At Papa's Pizza, a family of pie-tossing perfectionists shares its legacy with a menu of classic Sicilian recipes and New York–style pizzas. Dough artists immortalize notable descendants of shoe-shaped landmasses, adorning the Sophia Loren pie with spinach, onions, green peppers, black olives, and mushrooms ($18.99 for 14”). The Frank Sinatra croons with its quartet of savory meats ($18.99 for 14”), challenging chompers who enjoy the lighter crunch of a thin-crust cheese pizza ($13.99 for 14”, $15.99 for 18”). Other hot, made-to-order edibles include strombolis ($6.50), which marry ground beef and mozzarella in a ceremony more appetizing than a wedding held inside of a gingerbread church.