The chefs at Fancy Q Sushi Bar & Grill routinely have their hands full, whether they are juggling spatulas above sizzling hibachi grills or rolling up ocean-fresh fish in mats of seaweed at the sushi bar. At midday and into the afternoon, the restaurant’s lunch specials pair spicy salmon and california rolls—just two of the restaurant’s more than 85 types of sushi and sashimi—with salads or soups. Hibachi grills come alive as the sun sets, cooking entrees of steak and shrimp to pair with frosty mugs of imported Tsingtao beer. Wooden tabletops and brick walls reflect an appreciation for Japanese minimalism and modesty at odds with the chefs’ entertaining antics as they toss rice bowls high into the air and walk on shaky chopstick stilts.
Tangerine's menu collects dishes from all across Asia with an emphasis on Thai recipes and fresh sushi and sashimi. Large prawns are stir-fried in garlic sauce and tender raviolis are stuffed with lobster and dungeness crab meat then covered with a rich shitake-mushroom sauce. The sushi chefs make classic salmon and rainbow rolls in addition to specialty maki, such as the Tangerine roll filled with crab and five types of fish or the Millipede roll topped with avocado and cut into 1,000 pieces.
Fresh flowers and elegant linens help create a calming, upscale atmosphere in the saffron-hued dining room. An aquarium glows behind the sushi chefs as guests sit around the marble-topped bar, and parties slide into booths tucked in private alcoves lined with white drapery.
At OctoBachi, chefs dynamically chop, slice, sizzle, and roll a menu of hibachi-grilled meats, sushi rolls, and nigiri right before diners' eyes. The exotic dishes are artfully plated using locally sourced ingredients, including chicken, veggies, and certified Angus beef. Lorded over by a colorful illustration of the restaurant's mascot—a determined-looking, neon-green octopus wielding a cleaver—the bar area's lively atmosphere welcomes guests to join OctoBachi's beer club, in addition to participating in beer-brewing, sake-tasting, and sushi-making classes. The staff is committed to recycling as much as they can, further illustrated by the fact that the bar itself is made from recycled stair planks and the stools are rehabilitated milk crates, rescued from a life of crime in landfills.
A single cucumber roll. That's how Hana Sushi Fusion executive chef and owner Di Wang started his career in sushi nearly two decades ago. At the time, Di had only been in the United States for a year, but he soon found himself fully engrossed in sushi and its culture. While living on the West Coast, Di surrounded himself with some of the industry's best chefs, mimicking their techniques, expanding on their presentation, and carefully observing their steadiness of hand during late-night games of Operation.
A coast-to-coast move landed Di in the Low Country, where he finally decided to plunge into restaurant ownership and opened the doors to Hana Sushi Fusion. There, Di and his staff put a modern twist on traditional rolls, sashimi, and sushi, pairing them with a varied selection of wine, sake, and imported beers. The restaurant itself emits contemporary vibes, complete with the intimacy of semiprivate dining rooms.
Ta Ca's chefs firmly root their menu of sushi and teppanyaki entrees in Japanese culinary tradition. Although the selection of maki brims with familiar staples, it also features subtly modern specialty rolls with inventive ingredients, such as fried green-shell mussels, calamari, and tomato. The chefs spend mealtimes searing orders of vegetables, chicken, or lobster on the rippling-hot surface of hibachi grills. Wavy pendant lanterns illuminate the gleaming bar running along one of the dining room's orange walls. The shelves bristle with a selection of spirits, Japanese beers, and sake, which bring about endless toasts like a sand grain’s wedding reception.
The Noodle Bowl's menu of Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, and Indonesian cuisine boasts appetizers, desserts, traditional soups, and its namesake fare, which symbolizes prosperity and good luck in crock-pot-recipe endeavors in many Asian cultures. Fresh veggies and meats peacefully slumber upon your choice of egg noodles, rice noodles, flat rice noodles, clear noodles, or steamed jasmine rice in customizable noodle dishes, garnished with broccoli, bean sprouts, and bok choy. Stir-fry style mixes eggs, shredded carrots, snow peas, onions, tomatoes, and cucumber with chicken ($8.95) or beef or shrimp ($9.95). Like tattoos and Social Security numbers, the spicy curry style allows for further individualization with a choice of green-, red-, prik khing–, or massaman-curry pastes, coconut milk, snow peas, carrots, onions, potatoes, and chicken ($9.25) or beef or shrimp ($10.25).