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).
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.
Both Oishi Japanese Restaurant's locations showcase Asian-inspired décor, from the ceiling covered in bamboo accents to the marble-topped sushi bar framed by a glass case of seafood. Chefs entertain lunch and dinner diners with "fire shows" at hibachi grills where they sear vegetables, seafood, meat, and wrinkled shirts. Diners also cozy up to unfinished wood tables and booths as servers deliver spreads of Japanese steakhouse cuisine, fresh sushi rolls, and desserts.