Café Asia's menu reads like a jetsetter's dream itinerary. Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan, and Vietnam. These seven East Asian countries may be the starting point for the eclectic lineup of spring rolls, ramen, fried rice, panggang, and noodle bowls, but it's Café Asia's chefs who take it to new places. The Vietnamese grilled pork demands special attention; chefs marinate the meat overnight with lime, garlic, fish sauce, and pepper. Café Asia could easily stand on its own as a sushi bar, however. Contemporary twists on traditional rolls have led to creations such as the eight-piece cajun roll with crawfish tail, sriracha, spicy mayo, and diced jalapeño, which is the world's spiciest fish.
The food's diversity has won many fans. In an article published on January 3, 2011, Examiner.com rightly noted that the restaurant has "enough choices to please almost any palate." The Washington Post also noted that the restaurant has hosted such distinguished guests as Dr. Jill Biden. Two full-service bars and a lounge allow Café Asia to host a slate of special events each year, including its New Year's Eve party.
Wasabi cycles through a seasonally fresh assortment of bold ingredients, which come in plenty of forms beyond the roll variety. Most plates are moderately priced and portioned with the intention of pairing. Start out raw with fresh sashimi, such as salmon ($4) or yellow tail ($5), or snag a more complicated arrangement of wasabi and pork shumai dumplings in a vinegar chili soy sauce ($4). Give any plate wings by pairing it with a four-glass sake flight ($7–$20).
Uni serves fresh sushi rolls and classic Japanese cuisine in a welcoming, lively atmosphere. Nudge napping taste buds with a starter such as black pepper calamari, crisply deep-fried and served with a spicy wasabi cocktail sauce ($5.95) before moving on to a cooked or uncooked entree. Sushi neophytes can opt for a teriyaki or tempura plate, or dip their toes into the seafood pool with a nibble of namesake sea urchin (uni) nigiri ($6.50). Snack on signature sushi offerings including the mango salmon roll filled with refreshing mint, mango, and cucumber ($6), or boldly joust the fiery red dragon roll sporting tasty twin flames of lobster and tuna ($12). Finish with a delectable dessert such as ice cream tempura, ice cream coated in a fried shell, and coated again in a tasty oxymoron.
Today's Groupon gets you $40 worth of meticulously arranged raw-fish rolls for half price at Sushi-Ko Japanese Resturant. Sushi-Ko says it practices "cuisine of subtraction," meaning each slice of yellowtail or wedge of whitefish work with the rice as simple, artful food compositions. It compares its culinary artistry to Ikebana, Japanese flower arrangements that emphasize the beauty of plants' shapes.
The rich, gleaming woodwork and clean, modern lines of Sushi Taro's seating areas reflect the restaurant's dedication to creating a refined dining experience for its guests. This dedication is further reinforced by the chefs' careful presentation of each dish, many of which are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients and seafood imported from Japan.
The Kaiseki Experience
Although an ever-changing la carte menu is available, Sushi Taro's chefs prefer to provide their guests with a more traditional Japanese dining experience: kaiseki. This chef-curated, multi-course experience is intended to highlight the natural flavor of seasonal ingredients at the peak of freshness. Simple, yet thoughtfully composed presentations showcase the individual beauty of each dish. Kaiseki menus allow chefs to introduce diners to the flavors and preparations of authentic Japanese cooking.
What the Press Says
Tipples from Abroad
Sushi Taro's beverage menu features a curated selection of red, white, and sparkling wines alongside an impressive assortment of traditional Japanese drinks. Familiar Japanese beers appear alongside the restaurant's diverse sake collection, which includes bottles that have been carefully aged for as long as 10 years. Additionally, Sushi Taro does its best to introduce diners to shochu: a distilled Japanese beverage that is often compared to scotch.