A host of Japanese culinary traditions makes up Yama Sushi’s menu, where diners discover not only sushi but also hibachi-seared steaks and bento boxes brimming with dumplings and sides. Choose a basic salmon roll or opt for the super lobster-tail roll, with fried lobster tail topped with barbecue eel and eel sauce. Miso soup served with optional seafood, whole fried soft-shell crab, and plates of curry fried rice further complicate guests’ decision-making processes. Yama Sushi’s owner, who likes to personally greet patrons and ensure they aren’t wearing black shoes with brown belts, hopes his own friendliness is echoed by the warmth and cozy nature of his restaurant, which he calls “our fairyland.”
Former commercial airline pilot Rodrigo Albarran, copiloted by his family and team of chefs, flies vibrant Mexican plates across the runway of R&R Taqueria's eight-stool counter. Though the salsa-spangled morsels emerge from a pair of modest eateries situated at an Elkridge Shell station and the White Marsh Mall food court, the dazzling menu garners praise from a bevy of media palates, including that of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and the Washington Post. Critics laud the zingy salsas prepared throughout the day, tender handmade tamales, and pastor beef marinated slowly in a blend of onions, dried chilis, and pineapple. R&R also loads fresh tacos with lamb or beef, then dapples each with onions and sprigs of fresh cilantro, following the culinary traditions of Mexico City and Mexican-cheese support groups alike.
Brian Bunce Barbers shears, snips, and shapes head fleece in its retro-inspired barbershop. A red-and-white checkered floor leads the way to vintage 1940s barber chairs, which, when sat in, instantly relax and improve the bench-press strength of any hairy heroes in need of mug renewal. Each barber station boasts its own plasma-screen TV framed by dark wood cabinetry.
Inside the savory-scented digs of Honey Baked Ham & Cafe, spools of hardwood-smoked, spiral-sliced ham entice carnivorous palates. Here, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff still makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
The hammery's kitchens also whip up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato soufflé. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.
Z-Burger's namesake burgers are almost as excitingly varied as their fans. The juicy beef, turkey, and veggie burgers can be crowned with customizable combos of more than 20 free toppings. Running the gamut from traditional to unusual, said fixings include banana peppers, sauerkraut, and Z-Burger's special sauce, harvested from the rare special plant. Fresh-cut fries and onion rings accompany kosher hot dogs and Philly-style cheesesteaks alongside burgers.
Shakes, made from Wisconsin custard, come in 75 flavors, including apple pie, s'mores, and bananas foster. Z-Burger has been written about in a number of newspapers, including City Paper, Washington Post and Washington Business Journal, and has also been featured on The History Channel, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Bill Clinton has eaten there on multiple occasions as well.
It takes moxie to name your eatery after the world's tallest mountain. But the culinary team at Mount Everest Restaurant earns the appellation by whipping up a mammoth menu of classic and lesser-known Indian dishes. Cooks cover all the staples—from lamb rogan josh to chicken skewers cooked in tandoor ovens. Housemade cheeses simmer in curries or creamy mountain sauce, made according to a secret recipe passed down through generations of Himalayan yetis.
Beyond Indian entrees, the menu includes low-fat Nepali options such as cauliflower sautéed in Nepalese spices and garnished with cilantro. Libations from a fully stocked bar complement each aromatic dish, served under sparkling chandeliers and amid paintings of the famous summit.