Simple, understated decor and dim lighting make HaRu Japanese Cuisine a serene place to dine, recently earning it a positive review in The News & Observer. After settling into a high-backed chair or wood-cut booth, diners can take a gander at the extensive menu, which features classic Japanese dishes such as udon noodles and chicken katsu alongside Korean specialties. Behind the sushi bar, chefs whip up rolled specialties packed with fresh fish and colorful veggies.
Maru's distinct pan-Asian cuisine blends Japanese and Korean cuisine into tapas-style dining and elaborate sushi rolls. Amid deep crimson walls and rich mahogany woods, diners tuck into Korean short ribs or marinated bulgogi?thin-sliced rib-eye steak?as chopsticks conduct Japanese flavor symphonies of miso-marinated pork belly and char-broiled squid drizzled in sweet ginger sauce. Omakase-style dining gives culinary adventurers a chance to tour the chef's favorite new creations, sampling their way through an off-menu spread of sushi. Alternatively, guests can delight in the bistro's complex sushi mainstays, such as the Maru roll, stuffed with crab and cream cheese, topped with spicy tuna, and christened with crispy spires of sliced lotus root. The sushi bar also slices its own tapas dishes, slinging shareable plates of yellowtail with organic microgreens, jalapeño, and ponzu, or cuts of spicy tuna and avocado served on lotus-root chips.
Most American chefs never even flirt with the ingredients Cho Won Garden’s chefs rely on heavily, from the garnish radish kimchi to their popular Bulgogi dish, which consists of sliced, boneless prime beef. They also serve meat, rice, and vegetable medleys in traditional stone pots—the very vessels in which the earliest cooks in human history learned how to boil down rocks into pebbles.
Asuka's delightfully diverse menu rolls out sushi classics alongside juicy steaks, hearty pastas, and tender seafood brimming with Asian flavors. Dig into panko-breaded don katsu—chicken or pork cutlets deep-fried to juicy crispness ($15)—or put a pile of chopsticks on the table and play pick-up sticks to determine who gets the first slice of a dragon roll ($11.95) or a rainbow roll ($9.95). The garlic teriyaki tuna ($17.95) keeps senses floating on seaside flavor clouds, and the bulgogi don buoys a convoy of potato noodles, thin beef slices, mushrooms, and veggies in a sweet soy broth ($16).
Anyone unsure of how Tap's Pourhouse and Eatery got its name need only glance at the bar area. More than 60 taps, ranging from such classics as Guinness and Sam Adams to craft brews including North Coast PranQster Belgian and Stone IPA, line the custom wood bar. Customers can perch there on a barstool or sidle up to a dining table to pair their brews with plates of jumbo wings or bacon cheddar burgers. Wherever their position, diners will have a plentiful view of the big game—more than 30 TVs line the restaurant's walls, displaying a full spread of the night's sporting events. Tap's also features a brunch and lunch menu, along with unusual kid's meals that include chopped chicken salads and 4-ounce hangar steaks.