Though Iron Sushi authentically executes standard maki recipes such as the california, spider, and alaska roll, the specialty here is the unexpected. Like pets and favorite washing machines, many of the restaurant's specialty rolls have human names?such rolls as the Eddie's Special, made with shrimp tempura and cream cheese, and the Hannah Roll, which combines soft-shell crab with sweet unagi. The more adventurous might choose the Avocado Special, a roe-topped tower shrouded in avocado slices that's accompanied by the simple description, "chef's secret." More than a dozen appetizers let diners prelude maki meals with classic Japanese dishes such as agedashi tofu and wakame salad.
The chefs at Genghix Asian Fusion craft a menu of attractive dishes that explore the intersection of Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and Korean cuisines. Start a meal by toppling a savory tower of sashimi-grade tuna tartare ($8) hewn from bricks of spicy tuna and mortared with wakame seaweed and avocado. A vast range of entrees sate a panoply of possible hankerings, with dishes such as the spicy, deep-fried Warrior chicken ($10) and the onion-bedecked Bouncing filet mignon ($16). The garlic-black-pepper tilapia ($15) chromatically complements a side of sautéed greens and rice, just like a cyan wall enhances the hue of a hamster's violent red eyes. A legion of nimble-fingered fish-rollers handcrafts nigiri ($4+) and maki ($4+) rolls, as well as more elaborate Chef Special rolls with majestic aliases such as the Lion Queen ($12), Godzilla ($14), and Loco Ninja ($8).
To make Groupon customers feel like they're big in Japan, Meiko Sushi is offering a special menu (a $50 value) just for them. After opening with two bowls of house salad and a plate of gyozas, friendly waiters will sing "The Circle of Life" while parading out a lion-king roll (a California roll baked with a fillet of salmon). Once your guard is down and your mouth is open, they'll light the fuse on a firecracker roll (a maki roll of spicy crab meat and cucumber buttered with avocado and Siracha hot sauce) and toss it in. Closing with a golden California roll (a crispy, deep-fried California roll garnished with flying fish roe, scallions, and the sweet house sauce) gives the crackling palate a smooth come-down, particularly when washed down with two shots of cold fruit sake (or if you're under 21, green-tea ice cream). Vegetarians can swap the selected rolls out with more herbivorous vegan rolls, broccoli rolls, and kappa rolls. Finicky fish eaters, meanwhile, can do the same with Philly rolls, spicy tuna rolls, and tempura rolls.
The chefs at Zakuro Japanese Bistro & Sushi Bar travel back and forth through culinary epochs as they forge a menu that blends traditional Japanese dishes, such as sukiyaki and sashimi, with the modern flourishes of more than 40 specialty maki rolls accented by 20 homespun sauces. With an eye for both aesthetic beauty and flavorful depth, these maki rolls like to surprise the taste buds with distinctive additions such as thinly sliced lemon, fried lobster, or garlic sauce. Along with past and present, Zakuro's chefs explore the cuisine's future with spicy Zakuro spaghetti and other fusion dishes.
As diners expand their palates, they can refresh them between bites with paired selections of crisp and robust sakes. Dim light ties together the rich-burgundy walls and the chocolaty leather of the chairs and booths, enhancing the romance of the dark-wood sushi bar and preventing anyone from trying to stage a shadow-puppet opera.
The executive chefs here (both veterans of New York’s Nobu) love introducing diners to seasonal items—firefly squid, red barracuda—not typically found on American sushi menus. Some items aren’t even on the menu so if you’re feeling daring, simply take a seat at the bar (like Steve Jobs was known to do) and tell them.
Within the white sides of an 18-foot gourmet food truck, a former Ritz-Carlton chef crafts innovative Indian, Korean, and Latin American dishes of burritos and tacos whose ingredients are made from scratch. House-made rice simmers with chef-prepared vegetable and chicken broths, and 100% vegetable-based chutney sauces shower meals with garden-derived flavor. Meats such as lamb and chicken bathe in chef-made marinades and sweat over the flames of high-quality BTU equipment. Small Time Cooks sells offbeat beverages, such as coconut juice or apple cider, to help wash down savory meals, and their mobile capabilities make them an delivery choice for racecar drivers seeking a midrace snack.