Miraku's adept chefs entertain palates with an izakaya-style menu boasting small plates crafted from seasonal recipes that employ seafood imported from Japan. Duos begin their three courses by selecting two starters such as toro kakuni, a braised tuna belly drizzled with sweet soy, or edamame falafel topped with wasabi sour cream. For the main course, chefs choreograph the Bollywood maki roll's production of spicy tuna, avocado, and curry aioli, and blend spicy salmon, leeks, and mozzarella that's as melted as a Fiat parked on Mercury to create the Italia roll. Each meal concludes with spice-quenching sweets such as red bean and green tea ice cream or ginger-red-wine-poached pear.
Taking its cuisine seriously and its name literally, the Carousel's selection of fresh sushi and cold Japanese-style tapas is dynamically displayed along a custom, culinary conveyor belt designed to tempt and treat. Hibachi-style steaks, poultry, seafood entrees, and other made-to-order items inspire stomachs as they rotate around the relaxed, family-friendly dining space. The majority of the creations are prepped and presented by chef Koichi Mimura, a native of Yamagata, Japan who knows how to turn a fishing pole into a sushi roll and a sushi roll into a work of contemplative and conveniently consumable art.
Ai's menus are replete with classic and creative plates. A selection of traditional rolls, such as tuna or salmon ($4 each), will fill the usual sushi strongholds, but for hardened appetite bunkers, call in the game-changing bombs of special rolls such as the rainbow (a California roll topped with assorted sashimi and rainbow caviar, $9.95). There are also hearty chef's specials, including mango passion shrimp (sautéed shrimp and mangos in a special Thai pepper sauce, $13.95), and dinner entrees, including teriyaki beef negimaki (thin-sliced beef and scallions in teriyaki or Asian garlic sauce, $12.95).
Recalling the fast-paced urban atmosphere of Tokyo with clubby fluorescent lighting and a flock of black lacquered lanterns, the fish finaglers at Tanko craft a globe-spanning menu of excitingly presented Asiana. After forging a DIY centerpiece from appetizers such as chicken satay and pork- or veggie-packed gyoza, diners choose between hot Asian fusion entrees or a custom pairing of regular and specialty sushi rolls.
The NY Soup Exchange brews a daily selection of soups from a constantly revolving selection of more than 100 soup recipes, along with salads, wraps, burgers, and smoothie offerings. Perch under the mural of mammoth fruits and vegetables visiting the stock exchange and enjoy a pint of hearty soup such as the Chesapeake crab bisque ($7) or the Moroccan zucchini and couscous ($5.52) paired with one of the Soup Exchange’s smoothies, available in more than 18 flavors. Try a Phat Tuesday (strawberries, mango, and pineapple juice; $5) or compliment the dawn with a Rise and Shine ($6.50) blended with caffeinated coffee, skim milk, and vanilla protein powder. Each serving of soup comes with freshly baked bread and a piece of fruit.