Flashing knives and spurting flames dazzle diners as the chefs at Kuma Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar theatrically sear entrees on the tabletop hibachi grills. Equally comfortable with cooking vegetables and meats, the chefs can shuffle a number of them across the grill's iron surface, including scallops, chicken, or filet mignon. Meanwhile, the sushi chefs gingerly slice pieces of fresh salmon and tuna behind their bar—unlike traditional bartenders, who rarely slice bottles into neat sections. Their work does not stop there, however, because they also carefully layer orders of salmon nigiri that can emerge alongside a familiar or inventive sushi roll, which arrives in either six or eight bite-sized pieces.
Natives of Hawaii and California, Howard and Anita Hsu brought more than a love of surfing with them when they moved across the country. They also transported the west coast's blend of beach culture, healthy eating, and seafood-infused Mexican fare. At the locally owned and operated Gezzo's Surf & Grille, the brother-sister team oversees a staff committed to fresh in-house ingredients free of preservatives that crafts everything from salsa to tacos filled with seasoned tilapia, tofu, grilled steak, and chicken. The restaurant also recently launched a mobile food truck to serve its fare throughout Atlanta?another parallel to Hawaiian restaurants that send surfers out to deliver fish tacos to sharks off-shore.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001. Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
Mammoth burgers. Wings dipped in one of nearly two dozen sauces and spice. A plate of loaded waffle fries. Traxx Lounge & Grill delights mouths with its lively menu of no-frills pub food, but that isn't the only thing that keeps guests coming back. The bar's staff also sates other kinds of hunger, whether their flipping on televised sporting events or scheduling live entertainment that ranges from family-friendly trivia to late night DJs. No matter the occasion, bartenders always stand ready to man the taps or craft a signature sip from the bar's cocktail list.
The chefs at Toribio's Mexican Grill & Bar specialize in traditional Mexican entrees. But the restaurant isn't just a place for dinner; it's also a nightlife hotspot. Guests can sip on 14 flavors of margaritas before trying their voice at weekly karaoke. The staff adds to the merriment by hosting giant costume parties for major holidays. But they also keep normal weekends fun by serving up buckets of beer, shots of tequila, and snapping shut every guest's biochemistry textbook upon arrival.