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.
Restaurateur Ele Tran channels her native Vietnam into a pan-Asian menu of chicken and seafood integrated with coconut and lemongrass. Fire Street Food also offers prime-beef burgers, artfully wrapped sushi, and a wide spectrum of tofu dishes to feed vegetarians and the actors who play them in made-for-TV movies.
Within the kitchen of Clemson Sushi Bar, chefs prepare the same creative sushi rolls and Asian cuisine offered at sister restaurant Calamari’s Sushi & More. They sear filets of oh-so-fresh tuna, simmer miso soup, and fry sizzling calamari. They also fashion specialty rolls such as the Monster roll, a medley of shrimp tempura, bacon, tuna, salmon, and shrimp—all served by a waiter wearing a Frankenstein mask. Vegetarians can also nosh on meat-free snacks such as rolls filled with marinated carrot and asparagus.
Tsunami's menu floods at least half of the senses with sushi, steak, noodles, and traditional Japanese tempura. Appetizers such as the subtly salted edamame ($4.50) or the teriyaki skewer ($5.99) prepare diners for entrees so established that they can demand bowls of only neon-green M&Ms on their tour riders. Hibachi dinners, prepared teppan style with the help of an iron griddle, include teriyaki chicken ($13.99) and rib-eye steak ($16.99), and are served with the choice of salad or miso soup and steamed or fried rice. Nosh on noodle dishes such as the udon soup ($6.99 veggie, $9.99 shrimp tempura, $10.99 seafood) or round up the usual sliced-to-order suspects with Tsunami’s extensive and inventive specialty roll and sushi lineups. The classic California roll ($4.95) faces off against the succulent but notoriously jealous green dragon roll ($9.50), which joins eel, crab, and cucumber with avocado. The new “my..my…Mai!!” roll ($8.95) unites deep-fried tempura shrimp, crab, cucumber, cream cheese, and spicy sauce topped with oven-baked salmon flakes, and the heartbreaker ($8.95)—spicy tuna and cucumber topped with albacore tuna, avocado, and scallions—has ended most of its relationships with a text message of a few words and a single emoticon.
Unfold your elemental dreams with World Oriental Kitchen's (W.O.K.) menu of Far East-inspired fresh and organic food, all prepared without artificial additives, such as growth hormones or trans fats. Palate-parachute into your meal with an appetizer, such as crispy shrimp wontons ($5), before skiing into the sustenance of an entree such as the spicy sirloin ($11), with free range beef, organic zucchini, sweet corn, cabbage, green onions, egg, and chilies, doused in Szechuan sauce and served over rice. Do-it-yourselfers can take a break from handcrafting a private Mediterranean island and assemble their own wok-fired meal—start with a rice, noodle, salad or veggie base ($5), and then add your favorite ingredients ($1.50–$2.50) from an assemblage including beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, chestnuts, pineapple, and R2 motivators. Hydrocarbon-powered sauces available for extra topping-ing include black pepper, honey lime, teriyaki, chili bean, and coconut curry. W.O.K. also rolls sushi and signature rolls ($3.95–$11.95) into your stomach with wild abandon.
A confluence of cuisines produces signature smells and tastes at Tropical Sushi, where biculinary chefs prepare traditional Japanese entrees along with Mexican- and tropical-inspired dishes. The distinct food groups often merge with formidable results, including crab, shrimp, and scallop deluxe nachos, a meal made possible only after the tortilla chips’ father gave the union his blessing. Fresh ingredients ensure tasty meals such as the rendang, a spicy meat dish hailing from Indonesia that piles slow-cooked beef atop coconut milk, herbs, and white rice. Tropical Sushi’s seven varieties of fried sushi encourage diners to crunch their way to seafood centers.