Fresh, never-frozen beef constitutes the hamburger patties that the cooks of Burger Lovers sizzle in a kitchen smelling of tasty Americana. The staff crowns the philly cream-cheese burger ($5.99) with melted swiss and an eponymous spread, and the beef of mega-size cheeseburgers ($7.50) underlines cheddar cheese. The kitchen team further solidifies its dairy bona fides by flipping grilled-cheese sandwiches ($3.99) that unite slices of sourdough with a dynamic duo of swiss and cheddar. All burgers and sandwiches arrive with an entourage of fries, the item that burger joints' mascots most often use when signing autographs in ketchup. Burger Lovers also prepares po boys and a teriyaki-drenched hawaiian burger packed with pineapple and ham to diversify its culinary portfolio.
Behind the sushi bar at Sushi Seoul, an ocean of fresh seafood acts as an artistic medium. Skilled chefs fold neat slices of freshwater eel, plump morsels of Dungeness crab, and colorful clusters of salmon roe into specialty rolls topped with dashes of color—crisp green onions, sweet mango, creamy avocado. And to highlight how much their finished works resemble edible art, they eschew lackluster names such as “Roll #2” or “Biology Homework” in favor of appropriately poetic titles such as “Red Moon” and “Rising Sun.”
Out of the spotlight, specialty chefs do something similar with the Japanese and Korean entrees they whip up in the kitchen. Five kinds of ramen simmer with cuts of tender pork or sprigs of scallions while pans flash-fry mushrooms and black tiger prawn tempura. What results are plates as pleasing to the eye as they are to the tongue. But to keep them from bearing the responsibility of the meal alone, they pair expertly with draft brews, fruity bubble teas, and bites of mochi—a sweet, traditional treat that has the soft consistency of a marshmallow or an incredibly ineffective bank vault.
Maru Asian Tapas Bar and Lounge melds the cuisines of Korea, Japan, and China on its menu of hot and cold tapas and housemade sodas. Small-plate dishes include seared Cajun tuna tacos and fried calamari, and other menu offerings range from Japanese sushi rolls and bento boxes to Korean bibimbap and spicy barbecue pork.