Zizi’s serves up a menu of 100% vegan provender, including meat stand-ins such as lentil burgers and seitan steak, and veggie creations made from organic, natural ingredients. A starter of meatless chili nachos kicks off an evening of healthy eats before entrees like the mango tofu arrive bearing sautéed, non-GMO, soy-based sustenance swimming with bell peppers in a tangy red sauce that tastes vaguely of sunshine. Lentils replace ground beef in the gluten-free lentil loaf, served with cauliflower mash and broccoli, and the balsamic portobello reveals its piquant flavors under a balsamic glaze among fire-roasted red peppers and steamed veggies. The carrot cake softens palates with garden-grown confections as sweet but less time-consuming than manually mowing fields of sugar cane with your mouth.
Captained by a chef with 20 years of experience and employing authentic ingredients such as galangal, lemongrass, and fresh coconut milk, Thai Herb packs its menu full of blandness-defying southeast Asian classics. Diners can start their meals with a serving of steamed basil-lemongrass mussels ($6.95) before moving on to house specialty pra raam chicken, a succulent dish showered with cashews and drenched in peanut sauce ($10.95). A team of heat-hardened firefighters ushers out the slab of crispy spicy duck, which dresses a piquant quackbird with mushrooms and bell peppers ($15.95).
When you first walk into Krazy Fish, it’s apparent that the restaurant’s staff has had some fun with its moniker. Murals of giant sea creatures colorize the walls, and mannequins swim in green-tinsel seaweed and reefs of faux-pearl necklaces. But, like Charlotte magazine says, “as soon as you’re sipping the restaurant’s icy hibiscus, ginger, and honey agua fresca or digging into the tender, citrus-flavored ceviche appetizer, you’ll barely noticed [sic] the odd plastic fish hanging above your table.”
Krazy Fish’s eclectic menu teems with fresh seafood, southern-inspired comfort fare, and bowls of Asian noodles. The kitchen staff infuses pan-seared swai with spicy wasabi and sprinkles with cilantro grown in the backyard garden. Seven types of salsas enliven the tacos, including the tropical pineapple salsa. Krazy Fish also offers three TVs for game watching, a wide selection of beer, wine, and mixed drinks, and is available for private events.
Anyone unsure of how Tap's Pourhouse and Eatery got its name need only glance at the bar area. More than 60 taps, ranging from such classics as Guinness and Sam Adams to craft brews including North Coast PranQster Belgian and Stone IPA, line the custom wood bar. Customers can perch there on a barstool or sidle up to a dining table to pair their brews with plates of jumbo wings or bacon cheddar burgers. Wherever their position, diners will have a plentiful view of the big game—more than 30 TVs line the restaurant's walls, displaying a full spread of the night's sporting events. Tap's also features a brunch and lunch menu, along with unusual kid's meals that include chopped chicken salads and 4-ounce hangar steaks.
At Kobe Hero Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar’s 16 tableside grills, masterful Teppan chefs elicit delighted gasps and occasional shouts of, “Fore!” as they toss and sear the meat, seafood, or veggies that comprise their signature hibachi dishes. But sizzling plates of shrimp and lobster tail or filet mignon and scallops represent merely a portion of the menu; the other part is occupied by sushi delicately crafted by the deft chefs behind the bar. Much like a theatre professor’s living will, each colorful roll is designed and presented artistically, with selections such as the Poison Spider roll showcasing the oranges and greens of soft-shell crab, spicy crab, masago, lettuce, green onion, and cucumber.
At Curry n Cake, chefs and bakers offer the twin delights of traditional Indian cuisine and custom cakes. While a front counter shows off decorated cakes—available both whole and by the slice, and with eggless and sugarless varieties available—the restaurant menu reveals a large selection of curries and Indian food. Selections include creamy paneer butter masala, lamb kebabs, and tandoori chicken.