At Sushi Rock, each dish is a colorful work of art, whether it's a multi-hued rainbow roll or a bright green caterpillar roll, complete with edible "eyes". Chefs treat each dish with the same artful attention, using only fresh veggies and seafood to ensure their sushi and sashimi tastes just as good as it looks. Diners can mix and match sashimi to alternate between thick slices of peppery tuna and smoky cuts of salmon, or order up sushi rolls stuffed with octopus, flying fish eggs, and fresh water eel, to name a few. Tataki dishes offer a change of pace with cooked options such as seared albacore and red snapper.
Begin your culinary journey with an order of spring rolls or cheese rolls, stuffed with raisin-studded rice paper and deep-fried (both $4.25). Classic dishes done well appease traditionalists, including spicy Tom Yum soup ($4.25–$5.25), pad Thai ($8.95), pad see eiw ($8.95), and five kinds of curry ($8.95–$9.95). Build a balanced meal with the entree and rice dishes including garlic and pepper lover ($8.95) with stir-fried meat tossed in black pepper sauce over cabbage. Diners can also pick from grilled selections ($10.95–$12.95), served with shrimp fried rice and steamed veggies. Cool off a spice-saturated palate with a sweet scoop of coconut ice cream ($3.50) for dessert. Expect friendly service, carefully curated curry, and a cozy ambiance at any of the eight outposts. Like the recipe for Play-Doh, Thai Cottage adheres to simple, timeless standards.
The sushi artisans at Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar assemble innovative Japanese dishes and artfully plated, seaweed-wrapped rolls during lunch and dinner hours. In Azuma’s signature roll ($11)—the first listed on its extensive menu—tuna, salmon, and whitefish get to know avocado and chili oil by virtue of sharing the same seaweed wrap, an orientation activity popularized in the Navy. The John Doe roll ($14) belies its name with bursts of spicy yellowtail and pepper tuna, and Azuma’s signature gazpacho ($6) cools palates with a soup of salmon, mango, avocado, and tomato juice. For hot dishes, the restaurant's waiters serve up a whole, grilled squid ($9), its 200 yards blanketed in spicy miso and ginger soy sauce. Robata-grilled specialties include eggplant skewers coated in a sweet, miso glaze ($3) and Alaskan black cod simmering in a miso marinade ($14).
Culinary connoisseurs May and Eddie Chan whip up their pan-Asian and Hunan-styled eats in a chic eatery adorned with modern lines, exposed brick, and exotic floral arrangements. Midday grazers can settle into the sleek dining room for lunch before slapping on a hardhat and constructing their meal from two courses served with brown, white, or fried rice. Kick off gastronomical jaunts with a choice of appetizer, including fried cheese wontons, a crispy Buddha egg roll, and miso tofu soup. Then pair starters with comestible choices such as sesame-crusted chicken or chinatown roast duck. Hot-tempered tongues are cooled off with a vietnamese iced coffee before getting riled up once more with pearl jasmine tea.
During dinner, diners can warm up for a marathon meal with wonton-dumpling soup. Giant plates of honey-walnut shrimp and grilled teriyaki salmon placate more carnivorous appetites and can be sacrificed to the family of hungry bears prowling the restaurant. Kick off a mouth party with beef chow fun or inspire taste buds to hit the flavor dance floor with Asian BBQ baby-back ribs and steamed Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce.
The stone-lined turtle pond in Tokyohana's dining room is hardly the space's most eye-catching feature. That distinction belongs the chefs, who "double as stand-up comics," according to Houston Press, and can be found behind their tabletop hibachi grills, surrounded by diners who are as eager for a show as they are for a meal. While shuffling orders of filet mignon, lobster tail, fried rice, and wasabi-soy-marinated tuna steak across their grill, these culinary showmen occasionally stop to dazzle. Whether that means juggling utensils, tossing bites of food into waiting mouths, or slicing individual water molecules in half is up to the chef, but the end result is always delicious.
Tokyohana's menu of classic Japanese cuisine doesn't stop at teppanyaki cooking, either. Sushi chefs are also on hand to compose elegant platters of nigiri and sashimi alongside more than 30 specialty rolls, all of which diners can enjoy at a private, quiet table.
Cozy Sushi Joint | Shareable Small Plates | Popular Happy Hours
What's to Drink: Pick your poison: Aka maintains an impressive roster of booze, including domestic and imported beers, wines, and sake in all its forms.
Where to Sit: Snag a spot at the sushi bar, where you'll be able to marvel as chefs transform paper-thin pieces of fish into edible works of art.
When to Go: Try to pop in during happy hour—one of the restaurant's most popular draws—for discounts on drinks and appetizers. It runs throughout the week from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a late-night happy hour caps off evenings from 9 p.m. to close.
Izakaya: a casual Japanese drinking establishment that's popular for after-work drinks and generally serves a variety of small, shared plates.