The fusion of robust Malaysian spices and smooth coconut milk erupts with each bite of beef rendang. Sweet and spicy notes infuse the syrupy glaze coating each morsel of general tso’s chicken. A conical seaweed wrap imbues its saltiness in slices of spicy conch. Within the red and yellow walls of Hin Lee Malaysian Chinese Restaurant, the talented chef forges a synthesis of flavors from Malaysian and Chinese traditions. On the weekends, a rice artisan rolls cuts of fresh grouper, salmon, and spicy scallop into seaweed-encased slices at a small sushi bar, where diners can sidle up to watch the master work and shout names of current events to inspire the wasabi's improve-comedy routines.
While it takes prodigious skill to man the 600-degree, 7-foot grill that is the center of bd’s Mongolian Grill’s dining room, the chefs running it don’t have any secret recipes. Instead, customers fashion their own customizable bowls of stir-fry according to their taste preferences, dietary restrictions, and desired portion size. Guests wander, nearly overwhelmed as they choose from an array of meats and veggies and ladle sweet, spicy, and herb-filled sauces into a cup. Chefs sauté the meal in front of their eyes, swords flicking skillfully across the grill to entertain and build anticipation like a mime about to jump buses on an invisible motorcycle. The resulting stir-fry dishes are accompanied by brown rice, white rice, tortillas or lettuce wraps.
The owners like to say that The Salty Rim Grill is as much "a state of mind" as it is a restaurant. To reinforce this concept, they printed one of their favorite quotes on the menu: "The cure for anything is saltwater—sweat, tears, or the sea." These words come alive as the dining space extends all the way down to the waterfront, where there's a patio that showcases sunsets and connects to a dock for full boat access. Down on the beach, bartenders crush fresh fruit then blend the juice with muddled herbs for specialty drinks.
This celebration of South Florida's tropical atmosphere and relaxed lifestyle continues into the menu. Drawing on culinary traditions of the Caribbean, Florida Keys, and Gulf Coast, chefs prepare dishes such as stuffed fish tacos, bouillabaisse, and Walkerswood-style ribs, which taste as though they were smoked and sauced in the village of Walkerswood, Jamaica. Live music plays most nights of the week, simultaneously entertaining guests and drowning out the moans of hungry whales in Tampa Bay.
Behind the raw bar, Bill Cassels continues doing what he's done for more than 30 years—shucking oysters, plating them on a dish of ice, and watching diners' eyes widen at the fresh-caught delicacy. Lauded by the Tampa Bay Times's food critic Jim Webster for their "good raw oysters" and "great view," Bill and the other chefs at The Island Grille & Raw Bar tantalize diners with fresh seafood ranging from peel-and-eat shrimp to cedar-plank salmon. They also invite local fishers to bring in their filleted catches, which the chefs then cook or legally adopt. In addition to its dishes, The Island Grille & Raw Bar also beckons guests with a second-story location that looks out toward the horizon.
When searching for the perfect place to open up their new eatery, Fish Tales Seafood & Steak House owners Dan and Peggy Wesner got all the way to the edge of the ocean, threw up their arms, and said, "good enough." Today, their endeavor has paid off, and diners from near and far come to feast on the restaurant's flaky fish sandwiches. Each day, the kitchen releases its bounty of freshly caught whitefish and tuna onto plates, serving it in steak, fillet, or sandwich form. Chefs also assemble steak, chicken, and salmon into skillets, which arrive to tables chock-full of potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and green beans.
Fish Tale’s marina-side location attracts visitors from water and land, with room to dock your sailboat or warmongering naval flotilla. Wooden benches and tiki accoutrements adorn the dining room, and bartenders at the eatery’s two waterfront bars dispense a bevy of frosty brews.
When she dances, Sarah Murray doesn't just use a pole—she incorporates more than 15 years of ballet and modern dance training. And as the owner of Impulse Pole Dance & Exotic Fitness, she doesn't just dance. She also teaches her sultry, graceful routines in the studio's pole dance sequence. It starts with basic spins and transitions in the mandatory Pole Foundations class, then progresses to more complex inversions and tricks such as The Phoenix, in which the dancer burns down her pole and builds a new one. FlyGym classes complement the pole sessions, with workouts conducted on an aerial system of swings to help tone physiques and enhance flexibility.