Dancing flames erupt from teppan grills, illuminating the captivated faces of diners seated around the tabletop grill. The roaring fires are tamed by Sakura's highly skilled chefs, who playfully flip spatulas in the air before sizzling up plump morsels of teppanyaki steak, chicken, and seafood. Behind the sushi bar, chefs fold fresh fish into both raw and cooked specialty rolls, which reporters from Tucson Weekly lauded as "some of the most delicious seaweed, sweet vinegar rice and raw fish concoctions imaginable."
Kimono-clad waitresses glide through the lively dining rooms, bearing plates of sushi, vegetarian and vegan dishes, and colorful specialty cocktails. In the sports bar, the walls grasp massive flat screens and hundreds of pictures of the owner posing with local celebrities—from weather girls to the neighborhood grocery’s bag boy of the month. Towering chrome heaters warm the tabletops of the expansive outdoor patio, where colorful lights and hanging flags set the stage for live music performances each night.
Live Theatre Workshop's thespians and production crew dedicate their theatrical talent to dramatizing plays in an intimate black-box theater. Paula Vogel's 1998 Pulitzer Prize–winning drama How I Learned to Drive centers on a teenage girl stumbling through a dangerous relationship. The show plays out on the Mainstage, a small theater that seats audience members within reach of the actors, intensifying performances and allowing patrons to see performers' faintly visible muses.
Grand Cinemas, originally opened in 1998, has two second-run theaters, Crossroads and Oracle View, in its movie-watching network. Films may be a few months old by the time they reach Grand Cinemas’s 35-foot screens, but Dolby surround sound and a unique snack bar keep the experience from going stale. Their managing staff is always eager to accept suggestions for feature films both large and small, and their modest ticket prices and membership packages grant visitors a bigger budget for snacks, offering discounts of up to $2.50 on a single item and diamond-studded soda glasses. See independent films from Hollywood and Sundance at the Crossroads location at a discounted rate.
Grand Cinemas's rates fluctuate throughout the week.
For more than 17 years, Chad's has offered a casual, relaxed atmosphere with a dinner menu that centers largely on its specialties: prime rib and a slew of succulent steaks. All steaks—including Chad's signature rib eye ($21.95), the filet ($21.45), and the sizzling mushroom steak ($17.95)—come with a dinner salad, fresh baked cheese bread, cowboy beans, and choice of baked potato, sweet potato, french fries, or rice. At many steakhouses, non-beef eaters are taken out back and impaled with a barbecue fork, but Chad's respects other diners with a menu that includes charbroiled chicken breasts ($14.95) in a lemon-butter or teriyaki sauce, the delicious oxymoron that is jumbo shrimp scampi, grilled and smothered in garlic butter ($16.95), and a fresh-catch seafood option offered at market price. Chad's is also open for lunch, with a range of sandwiches, burgers, salads, and soups.
Named the Best Place to Take a Dance Class in 2012 by Tucson Lifestyle magazine, Shall We Dance boasts experienced instructors that help instill dancing wisdom and undeniable rhythm in people looking to twirl and sidestep across the studio’s hardwood floor. Students pair up during group dance lessons or work one-on-one with instructors during private lessons as they are shown how to gracefully execute an arsenal of dance steps in styles such as salsa, Argentinean tango, swing, and waltz. The studio also offers weekly dance parties (held Friday nights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.), which provide a casual setting for students to practice with different dance partners, ready couples for weddings, or prep solo dancers for musical housecleaning sessions.
R-Place Bar & Grill serves up burgers, seafood, salads, and sweets within family-friendly casual confines. Diners can engage in light levities with homemade soup or salad before initiating carnivorous conversations with half-pound specialty burgers such as the Horsey, topped with melted swiss, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and spicy atomic horseradish ($6.99). A Friday-night all-you-can-eat fish fry from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., with hand-battered cod, fries, and slaw ($7.99), satisfies growling stomachs along with the Saturday-night Steak Stampede, allowing meat mavens either a top sirloin ($10.95) or a T-bone ($12.95). A Brownie Blast tops the eponymous chocolate treat with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, chilling belly-dwelling gnomes like a cool zephyr ($4). With breakfast served until noon, R-Place's TVs appease sports fans all day, and more hands-on types can wage friendly battles at the eatery's dartboards and pool tables with coffee creamer chips or pure pride on the line.