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.
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.
Ohana Japanese Hibachi Seafood & Steakhouse's cooks flip and fire hibachi delicacies tableside, grilling lobster tail and sirloin steak in a sizzling fire show. At the chic bar, bartenders pluck bottles from backlit shelves. Pours of cold and hot sake, plum wine, or specialty drinks such as the chocolate martini complement each succulent dish. After lunch or dinner, a lounge area seats patrons on burgundy couches amid touches of Japanese decor. As DJs spin tunes, flat-screen TVs offset the timeless elegance of shoji screens, whose panels of rice paper and lack of commercials once entertained the Japanese nobility for hours at a time.
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.
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).
Atami Japanese Sushi Buffet pairs artistically presented maki rolls and sashimi with classic Japanese dishes such as tempura and teriyaki. Their sushi chefs prepare complex creations such as a lobster-tempura roll or the hawaii roll, filled with white fish and mango and topped with spicy shrimp. On the lengthy buffet counter lit by a series of artistic hanging lamps, trays of different sushi rolls let visitors build their own sampler platters or replicas of the Brooklyn Bridge. Patrons’ chopsticks move busily in Atami’s dining room, where one exposed-brick wall lends a rustic accent to the space that also features sleek wood panels and tables throughout.
Set inside a small, charming brick building, Meridian Kitchen serves Asian and Italian fusion cuisine under the guidance of its chef, Gary Lanza. Lanza was introduced to the kitchen at a young age, when he stood on milk crates to fry calamari at his family's Italian restaurant in Greenvale.
His talents create an eclectic spread of dishes that include elaborate sushi rolls, pastas, and pizzas. Small sushi-bar plates, such as a spicy blackened-tuna taco, can preface peppercorn-encrusted skirt steaks or burgers laden with double-crème brie and sautéed onions.
Inside the 40-seat dining room, conversations bubble beneath circular chandeliers inlaid with faux candles that cast romantic soft light upon tables and food. Tall palms sprout at either end of the sushi bar, where patrons perch on high stools while watching the chefs perform their magic, pulling fish out of hats. For those who can't stay, Meridian to Go next door serves up entrees, paninis, and salads to be eaten elsewhere.