The creative spark in the New American Asian cuisine at Ippin Mono Kitchen is down to one man: Chef Sylva Senat. Trained at New York City restaurants like Aquavit and Buddakan, the French-speaking Haitian native brings an upscale, international sensibility to the restaurant's menu of sushi, noodles, and fusion dishes. Citrus panko adds extra bite to a shared plate of beef short ribs, while fresh oysters from the raw bar pair with the delicate flavors of champagne-yuzu mignonette sauce.
Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras) of icy delight, all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.
You may have to search a bit to find Joong Mi. Located on the basement level of a commercial building, it draws new patrons with its reputation, rather than with a fancy fa?ade. Once guests arrive, however, and find themselves surrounded by a haze of savory scents, they know they've found the antidote to their hunger. Korean noodles, soups, dumplings, and entrees enthrall all five senses. Bright vegetables and inky sauces juxtapose with an earth-toned dining room, and the specialty here is the combination bowl. It's served in a round, white dish striped with single dividing line, and includes a choice of two types of dishes?for example, sweet and sour pork on one side, and spicy seafood noodle soup in the other.
There's a reason chicken takes top billing at Chi-Mc Chicken And Beer?it's the eatery's most popular dish. The Korean fried chicken pairs so well with a plate of crisp french fries that diners often conduct small marriage ceremonies before gobbling them up. Of course, the menu features plenty other, more traditional preparations, such as the oft-spicy Ramyeun?a Korean version of ramen?and bulgogi, which marinates beef and veggies in soy sauce before cooking. For the more adventurous tongue, spicy whelk (sea snail) and squid seafood soup add an exotic flair to top off the offerings.
In spite of its name, Cafe Chocolate embraces the spirit of a Korean karaoke bar instead of a French coffee shop . The eatery keeps the nightlife alive until as late as 2 a.m. throughout the week, encouraging patrons to belt out their favorite power ballads while sipping a drink by the bottle, pint, or pitcher . To accompany the spirits and spirited singing, Cafe Chocolate also features a menu of eclectic comfort foods. Dishes such as the kimchi-spiked fried rice and the seafood pancake are unquestionably borrowed from Korean cuisine. However, the chefs also prepare crispy, Japanese–style tonkatsu as well as classic bar foods, including buffalo wings and curly fries.
Taco Del Mar's bright tiki-bar ambience nicely matches the vibrant colors in the food. Try to one-hand the Mondo burrito with meat, beans, rice, sour cream, and pico de gallo ($5.89), or flatten out the situation with a cheese quesadilla ($3.69). Taking a break from the tortilla, Taco Del Mar offers food in its primal pile form with a burrito bowl ($5.89) and two cabbage-slawed, chipotle-sour-creamed tacos ($4.39). Dive into an edible Mexican cornucopia with the enchilada-taco combo platter ($7.99). Those seeking a bit of satisfaction can nab smaller "Mondito" burritos ($3.99) or a taco salad in a baked, rather than fried, shell ($5.99).