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).
Zake's massive menu is packed with Asian-fusion cuisine, hibachi entrees, classic sushi, sashimi, and specialty rolls. Fans of fish out of water can start with a signature appetizer such as Zake Tartar, an aquatic amalgamation of salmon, tuna, and white fish weaved together with a fiery ponzu and bedecked with wasabi aioli ($10). Sample the selection of more than 50 sushi options with the sushi deluxe, an assortment of nine sushi pieces chosen by Zake's master chef plus a spicy tuna roll ($23). Artfully-prepared dishes from outside the sushi-sphere include a savory thai curry soup with beef, chicken, or shrimp, thai basil, and seasonal veggies over a choice of steamed rice or noodles ($11), and the hibachi bento boxes such as the rib-eye steak, grilled up and accompanied by a California roll, shrimp tempura, gyoza, a spring roll, soup, salad, and house dessert ($25).
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.
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 River Oaks sushi stop serves up fresh seafully inclined fare for lunch and dinner daily. For dinner, start with an order of salt-and-pepper shrimp (jumbo shrimp stir-fried with sweet sautéed onions, $7) or the southern-battered fried oysters ($7) with cocktail and tartar sauce. Nigiri selections such as super white tuna ($3.50) or unagi ($2.50) pepper the sushi menu alongside elegant rolled treats such as the tiger-eye roll ($7.50) filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese, jalapeño, and spicy mayonnaise, and the signature Fins roll ($9), an inside-out roll with spicy crab and tuna, topped with masago, green onion, more crab, and more tuna. Elegant entrees will please the forkfully inclined, including the miso-marinated sea bass ($25) with stir-fried fresh veggies and the juicy rib-eye steak ($25) served with the chef's daily side.
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.