The NY Soup Exchange brews a daily selection of soups from a constantly revolving selection of more than 100 soup recipes, along with salads, wraps, burgers, and smoothie offerings. Perch under the mural of mammoth fruits and vegetables visiting the stock exchange and enjoy a pint of hearty soup such as the Chesapeake crab bisque ($7) or the Moroccan zucchini and couscous ($5.52) paired with one of the Soup Exchange’s smoothies, available in more than 18 flavors. Try a Phat Tuesday (strawberries, mango, and pineapple juice; $5) or compliment the dawn with a Rise and Shine ($6.50) blended with caffeinated coffee, skim milk, and vanilla protein powder. Each serving of soup comes with freshly baked bread and a piece of fruit.
Chef Aron Li is picky about the fish that goes into his sushi, favoring the cuts of Scottish salmon and fresh tuna from local japanese markets. The skilled sushi chef folds lobster, Alaskan king crab, and caviar into a sweeping variety of both traditional and inventive rolls and tops them off with imaginative ingredients such as fresh mango and wasabi mayo. As Aron slices, chef Yu San captains the grills, where he sizzles up tender morsels of steak, chicken, and red snapper for the teriyaki and hibachi-style dinners lauded by reporters from Newsday. To craft his specialty black cod, the expert chef grills fresh cod and mixed vegetables in a savory miso sauce. Come lunchtime, he turns his attention to lighter dishes, adorning crispy mushroom salads in healthy dressing and tying hibachi steaks to helium balloons.
Guests perch at tabletops and in traditional Japanese booths in the sleek dining room and sip premium sake and fruity cocktails. Soft lights dangle from the ceiling, bathing the stone-tiled walls in a warm glow.
Japanese and Thai cuisines share table space within the romantically-lit dining room of Aozora Restaurant. Plates of fresh sushi sporting bites of white tuna or giant clam sit next to steaming plates of pad thai or thai red curry. At one of the restaurant's hibachi tables, a large hibachi grill sizzles hunks of Angus steak or lobster tail. The space includes a large dining room and sushi bar, a separate hibachi room, and a separate private party room.
Ai's menus are replete with classic and creative plates. A selection of traditional rolls, such as tuna or salmon ($4 each), will fill the usual sushi strongholds, but for hardened appetite bunkers, call in the game-changing bombs of special rolls such as the rainbow (a California roll topped with assorted sashimi and rainbow caviar, $9.95). There are also hearty chef's specials, including mango passion shrimp (sautéed shrimp and mangos in a special Thai pepper sauce, $13.95), and dinner entrees, including teriyaki beef negimaki (thin-sliced beef and scallions in teriyaki or Asian garlic sauce, $12.95).
Recalling the fast-paced urban atmosphere of Tokyo with clubby fluorescent lighting and a flock of black lacquered lanterns, the fish finaglers at Tanko craft a globe-spanning menu of excitingly presented Asiana. After forging a DIY centerpiece from appetizers such as chicken satay and pork- or veggie-packed gyoza, diners choose between hot Asian fusion entrees or a custom pairing of regular and specialty sushi rolls.