Sushi.Com's adept chefs craft a menu of traditional raw and cooked Japanese fare, replete with fresh ingredients. Seafood mavens artfully decorate square and oval ceramic plates with maki rolls such as crunchy tuna, spicy salmon, and shrimp tempura ($4+). A la carte sushi or sashimi plates carry duos of smoked salmon, tofu, or barbecued eel ($3.75+) to tables, where they perform flavorful duets for taste buds. Meanwhile, sips of wine or sake accompany bowls of udon or soba noodles ($10.95), or a steaming dish of beef teriyaki ($15.95), highlighting flavors, washing down bites, and inspiring conversations about renaming a first born child "Pinot Grigio".
The food at Wild Ginger Japanese Restaurant bursts with color. Sushi chefs slice and stack multihued ingredients in more than two dozen specialty rolls, such as the Green Lawn roll covered in bright-green tobiko. Golden sauces cover Thai-influenced curries. And sizzling woks turn shrimp bright pink, much like arguments about whether or not they're basically the same thing as prawns. These and other dishes pop against the dining room's restrained decor, which includes charcoal-hued floors and dark wood accents.
An article on ThisWeek details the journey Benson Yu took from spending a dozen years working in sushi restaurants to striking out on his own. For Ronin Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar, Yu personally engineered more than 40 specialty maki rolls, including the Lollipop roll: yellowtail, salmon, crab, and avocado, wrapped in thin cucumber. As the owner and head chef, he curates the massive menu of both sushi and Asian-fusion cuisine, featuring classics such as general-tso's chicken, and original compositions, such as tropical fried rice tossed with spicy curry. The article on ThisWeek details how Ronin—which means "maverick samurai" in Japanese—features a dining room spanning 1,800 square feet, where diners sip on hot and cold sake and imported beer while practicing chop-stick skills or using forks like they’re chopsticks.
Dishes as vibrant and diverse as the UN’s annual Mardi Gras celebration deck the tabletops at Kogen’s, the seventh Asian-influenced eatery borne from the Mark Pi restaurant group. Drawing inspiration from Japanese street food, Chinese dry-food markets, and upscale American cuisine, the chefs craft an artful and varied menu that embodies both traditional favorites and experimental creations. Here, helpings of pad thai and hunan chicken share real estate with kung pao lo mein and sashimi platters. The signature sushi rolls dabble in a range of flavors, for example, the Margarita roll combines spicy tuna with avocado, lime, and wasabi mayo, and the Fire Dragon roll sets tongues ablaze with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, spicy mayo, and sriracha sauce.
At Kaya Grill & Sushi, diners cook their own Korean barbecue to taste at built-in tabletop grills. Patrons grill their choice of two meats, such as marinated beef short ribs or tender rib eye and sample sides of rice, onions, peppers, and lettuce. The eatery's chefs also whip up classic Korean food and fresh sushi rolls for more conventional dining. A karaoke party room with buffet-style service can accommodate up to 80 people for events such as wedding receptions, birthday parties, or business meetings where quarterly earnings reports are delivered to the tune of "I Will Always Love You."
Fingers scroll across tabletop iPads, zooming in on photos of rolls, noodles, and the rest of Aoi Blue Bar's menu. Rolls brimming with scallops, tuna, and cucumbers slip past in the images, and udon noodles swirl around vegetables, tofu, and beef. Behind a nearby stone-topped sushi bar, decorative wooden fans sprawl over a parsley-hedged display case full of fillets, shrimp tails, and avocado halves awaiting sushi knives on a bed of ice. International influences infiltrate the primarily Japanese menu in the form of kimchi and handmade lamb meatballs. Aoi periodically invites DJs to fill the dining room with thrumming beats and lively lights, which turn diners to dancing after their meals and let visiting disco balls fit in.
At Shoku, morsels of succulent beef, marinated chicken, and ocean-fresh seafood fill out feasts of Japanese noodles and sushi or dishes inspired by national favorites of Asian nations including Korea, China, and Thailand. Broth-soaked udon noodles jostle for attention with plates of pad thai, pan-fried pot stickers, and bowls of sizzling beef bulgogi. Guests take a seat inside to watch a master chef deftly carve seafood at the sushi table, or they can lounge under umbrellas at the outdoor seating to watch the passing foot traffic and hourly soapbox derbies along Grandview Avenue.