At 808 Tapas, two island cuisines converge in a bounty of Japanese and Hawaiian dishes. The worldly palates of executive chef Yoshiyuki Kojima and sous chef Rex Ibanez don't stop there, either. Elements from global recipes influence every one of their dishes, whether it?s the eatery?s take on nachos?ahi tuna poke and avocado atop fried lotus root chips?or their potato-free fries, composed of Panko-crusted slabs of eggplant. Italy even gets its time in the sun with a caprese salad crowned in lomi-lomi salmon, a Hawaiian specialty. Inside the restaurant, diners ponder whether science will ever determine how many Hawaiian islands there are at long communal tables or at the sushi bar, where chefs craft more than 20 roll varieties.
Poshburger Bistro, the latest venture from Michelin-starred chef Conrad Gallagher, brings visitors face-to-face with exotic wild game, albeit wild game that’s sandwiched on a bun. The gourmet eatery’s chefs craft burgers from organic, free-range, grass-fed animals—wild boar, Black Angus and Kobe beef, lamb, ostrich, and elk—as well as from fresh tuna and salmon. They then top their creations with ingredients such as seared foie gras, prune-and-armagnac aioli, and Asian coleslaw. The burgers fly out of the kitchen alongside plates stacked with sides and snacks that pay tribute to the classic burger joint, including spicy buffalo wings and seasoned fries.
Poshburger also embraces the comforting feel of the classic burger joint. Inside the simple cafeteria space, dark-blue-tiled walls surround the communal dining area—rows of polished tables and benches made from blond wood. The simple tables groan under the weight of the adventurous food and glasses filled with craft beers, 1 of more than 30 boutique wines, or the current milkshakes du jour.
Smoke rises up from Bee Gee Kitchen's handmade charcoal-fueled grill as it sizzles with the bamboo-skewered meats, seafood, and vegetables of Japanese yakitori-inspired dishes. Chefs adorn the skewers in their own signature sweet and spicy sauces and also specialize in a variety of hibachi, udon-noodle, and teriyaki dishes. Waiters carry steaming dishes out into the cheerful dining room, where bright green walls and sunlight beam down upon rows of tabletops. Outside, cars line up before a drive-thru window, picking up freshly prepared dishes to enjoy at home or while taking repeated laps around their favorite roundabout.
Although the Sumo Bowl sounds fattening, this signature dish is unlikely to add the pounds necessary to take on a loincloth-clad wrestler. The dish unites steamed rice, three types of lean meat, and wok-stirred vegetables drizzled in teriyaki sauce, creating a flavorful mélange that reflects Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Grill's focus on healthy, made-to-order Japanese cuisine. To complement customized bowls of rice or yakisoba noodles, diners can opt for a side of grilled egg rolls, which offer a healthier alternative to egg rolls that are fried or guarded by an irritable lioness.
Samurai Sam’s aims to help its customers eat smarter by offering fast-food meals made from healthy Japanese recipes, a novel concept that resulted in the eatery being lauded by Entrepreneur magazine as a top Asian-fast-food franchise. At more than 40 locations in 17 states, cooks top bowls of steamed rice or yakisoba noodles with wok-cooked vegetables, lean meats such as chicken and salmon, and their signature Samurai Sam’s teriyaki sauce. The kitchen staff also craft salads from crisp lettuce, cucumbers, and other fresh vegetables tossed with light dressings, chicken breast, and wonton strips or crunchy noodles. Egg rolls and crab puffs, which are grilled instead of fried, help round out the health-friendly menu.