Ittou Bento anchors a menu of Japanese-fusion cuisine around a selection of Eastern- and Western-inspired sushi rolls that changes every season. Meander into mealtime with a bowl of edamame pods, squeezing out savory bites before sporting husks as a fake mustache to hide from colorblind U.S. marshals. A catalog of hand and regular rolls share names with forces of nature, such as the Mudslide roll, a core of spicy tuna and cucumber bound in rice and covered with red snapper and wasabi-ponzu sauce, or baked crab and chipotle sauce clutched inside the Monsoon hand roll. The Twister roll seals a combination of crab and avocado beneath a seal of fiery tuna slices autographed in spicy mayo by Bill Paxton. (Soy paper can be spun around any chosen roll for an additional $1.) Coat toasty throats with a cool green-tea-mochi-ice-cream lacquer or tuck in taste buds with a slice of the new york–style cheesecake. Groups of four to six can clash chopsticks over a sushi boat of sashimi and rice-borne nigiri specials crafted from hamachi, albacore, yellow-fin tuna, ebi, salmon, and other fresh catches.
A Buddha statue sits serenely against one wall inside Lotus, a spot that's part art venue, part restaurant, and part indoor hookah garden. Stalks of bamboo support the bar and the tables where diners grasp sushi with chopsticks or submerge thinly sliced steak, seasonal vegetables, and other morsels into Japanese Shabu-Shabu filled with boiling kelp water.
Fruity smoke drifts through the open space of the hookah garden, melding with fragrant steam from cups of hot tea. Egyptian rugs and massive cushions create an opulent, relaxing vibe for puffing away or sipping a cocktail.
After spending years researching curry houses in Japan, Hurry Curry launched its unique menu and original 21-spice blend stateside. Staffers sprinkle curry dishes with select meats, such as beef cutlet ($9.95) or fried chicken ($9.95), or nonmeats, such as spinach and mushroom ($8.95) or tofu ($8.95), before serving them over rice and under the ceiling alongside a small green salad. The spaghetti menu braids noodles into traditional dishes, plating hiyashi, a chilled pasta strung with shrimp, sliced cucumbers, pickled ginger, a sliced hard-boiled egg, and soy vinaigrette ($8.95), as well as tarako ika, cod roe sautéed with calamari set atop noodles and garnished with shredded nori ($8.95).