Before guests to Japone—or its less-formal sister eatery, Café Japone, located upstairs—even take their first bites, they notice the restaurant’s unusually colorful environment: an attached lounge area dubbed Sango Sho surrounds patrons in oceanic hues and fiber-optic luminescence, and regular DJ performances keep toes moving so that they don’t get caught by a shark. Karaoke kicks off at 9:30 p.m. every night in both Japone and Café Japone, giving guests two places to show off their pipes on a continually updated list of the latest hit English, Japanese, and Spanish-language tracks.
To keep mouths happy, Japone's French-trained chef fuses Japanese and French flavors. Entrees include curried jumbo shrimp and scallops, plated with fresh veggies, japanese mushrooms, and a dollop of rice, while sushi specialties include the Arizona roll with shrimp tempura and carrot.
Deftly blending New American and Spanish culinary propensities, Nicaro's menu changes daily to accommodate fresh flavors and culinary innovations. Recent offerings include bold, seafaring starters such as the shrimp bruschetta and the blackened, grilled, or barbecued salmon bites (each $9). The blackened chicken sandwich ($12) is served with steak fries and chipotle aioli, and the tossed house salad ($4.50 for a small and $8 for a large) unites julienne peppers, mushrooms, croutons, and bruschetta tomatoes in the perennial battle against boringly bagged grocery-store salads. The fettuccine with Alfredo sauce and basil pesto ($24) and the grilled vegetable platter ($15) both come stamped with the chef's recommendation.
Fast Eddie's Sports and Billiards is the quintessential place to enjoy the game, offering plenty of TVs to watch, beers to drink, and foods to nosh. The selection of starters is diverse—as it includes kung pao shrimp, nachos, and Tex-mex spring rolls—as are the three varieties of sliders. Heartier fare varies from wild-caught salmon with sauteed veggies to a 12-ounce ribeye paired with mashed potatoes to the 1520 Club sandwich stacked with ham, turkey, and applewood bacon. The bar's namesake dish is the Big Eddie, two 100% Angus beef patty that can be topped with anything from chili and jalapenos to bacon and barbecue sauce, otherwise known as "juice" in the South.