Suro pairs a sushi menu filled with fresh selections with a seasonally changing dinner menu. The spring and summer menu featured festive first-course options, like the barbecue-glazed bacon-wrapped shrimp ($9), and the crispy duck spring rolls ($9), while Suro’s mighty main fare pleased protein-lovers, like the Dijon and panko-crusted rack of lamb served over a parsnip puree and drizzled with blueberry-port demi glace ($25), or dayboat sea scallops served over corn fondue and chorizo ($24). Suro also offers pearly portions of fresh nigiri and sashimi ($2+), alongside rolled classics ($5+) and artfully constructed maki. Conquer culinary mountains by ordering the Mount Fuji, a swaddled tuna, salmon, and snapper creation with fresh veggies flash-fried and topped with Suro’s house lava sauce.
Start with a clam basket ($5.95) and savor the hand-dipped mollusks served with fries, or opt for an order of Caribbean stuffed shrimp with crab ($9.95). The Florida-style grill's eclectic menu boasts seafood specialties sure to make any aquaphile's mouth water. Nibble discreetly on the house-made blue crab cakes, drizzled with Caribbean chili aioli ($12.95), or the Key West stuffed grouper, packed full of spinach, scallops, crab meat, and shrimp, served under a creamy white-wine and feta sauce ($13.95). For the seafoodphobic, Snookers offers an array of landlubbing options, such as the build-your-own pizza ($7.95), a pulled-pork sandwich ($6.95), 10-ounce New York strip steak over Jamaican rum sauce ($12.95), and six different choices of grilled beef patties (starting at $5.95). The eatery's lighter salad, wrap, and pasta selections are a satisfying choice for those intent on saving room for an order of banana foster bites with ice cream ($3.95) or bread pudding ($3.25).
Dale Del Bello remembers everything about his first hibachi experience. While stationed in Korea as a part of the Air Force National Guard, Dale and a group of friends visited Tokyo on leave. They followed a traditional route among his fellow service people, which took him to a hibachi restaurant. Immediately he sensed that he’d stumbled upon more than just dinner. The chefs’ showmanship fascinated him as they seared meats and vegetables on their tabletop grills, allowing guests to sample forkfuls directly off the 600-degree surface. After returning to Buffalo, New York, in 1971, Dale opened his first Arigato location, attempting to recreate what made that dining experience so remarkable. Since then, he has distilled the authentic experience into something that families can enjoy without traveling abroad, establishing Arigato restaurants throughout New York and Florida and staffing them with more than 60 chefs from Japan.
Surrounded by 8–10 diners, these chefs act not only as the restaurant’s culinary creators, but also as showmen and magicians of sorts, dexterously slicing ingredients, flipping shrimp tails into their hats, and conjuring soy sauce out of thin air. Away from the flaming tabletops, meanwhile, bartenders make use of their own skill sets as they mix specialty cocktails, which occasionally use splashes of plum wine or sake to imbue familiar-sounding drinks with new dimension.
A.J. Jewell, born in Japan to an American father and a Japanese mother who was a chef, inherited a love of cooking that transcended the Pacific. When he moved to Tampa in the 1980s, it was only logical that he follow his mother into the restaurant business. At age 18, he trained as a teppanyaki chef, learning to commune with the open flame, and soon after apprenticed under master chefs to perfect his technique. After years at Sushi Tsu, sharpening his culinary acumen, and studying world cuisine, Jewell became its owner. Each of Sushi Tsu's chefs apprentices under Jewell's sage gaze for two years before stepping into their role as teppanyaki specialists. Diners can request their favorite chef for their meal to build a rapport or establish an ongoing rock-paper-scissors game. In addition to serving fresh sushi and hot hibachi-style steakhouse food, the eatery showcases local artists with occasional live jazz music on weekends and artists painting inside the restaurant.
Chef John, the culinary leader behind Shogun Sushi, honed his skills in upscale Manhattan eateries before making his way to Tampa. He approaches sushi with a creative mind and an eye for presentation, updating traditional rolls with unconventional ingredients such as bacon and pineapple. One dish that moves even further into fusion is the sushi pizza, which is healthier than both regular italian pizza and pizza carved from butter. The "crust" is a scallion pancake, the "sauce" is avocado paste, and the toppings are pieces of either salmon or spicy tuna. Not all of Shogun Sushi's food belongs to the fusion category, though; diners can opt instead for traditional Japanese cuisine such as an udon noodle soup with fish cakes, egg, tofu, and shrimp tempura.