It's easier to pair food and drink for a meal than set them up on a date because of food's high standards and drink's tendency to throw itself in people's faces. Savor volatile combinations with today's Groupon: for $30, you get an Araki-style sashimi platter with six types of fish and five-glass flight of house fruit-infused sake at Araki's Japon in Foothill Ranch (up to a $64 value).
Chef and owner Hisashi Araki fuses authentic Japanese cuisine with European influences, combining flavors of Japan, France, Italy, and Germany in his reinterpretation of sushi. The chef's Araki sashimi platter stages a performance of six specialty cold dishes that change to match the freshest daily market selections. Slices of yellowtail carpaccio entertain diners with notes of cilantro, serrano chili, and lively games of pin the tail with the chopsticks, and the scallops sashimi coats tender bivalves with a spicy yuzu sauce. Cuts of the tai japanese sea bream luxuriate under layers of dry miso and chives, drizzled with a hint of truffle oil. Guests can pair elegant slivers with a flight of five homemade sakes infused with fruit to tickle palates better than bites from a knuckle sandwich.
A row of red and black booths lines a wall decorated with stone accents and paintings, as wooden chairs rest beside polished marble tables. Diners can take a seat in pristine white chairs lining the sushi bar to watch chefs use the power of persuasion to talk fish into seaweed straitjackets.
26612 Town Centre Dr.
Foothill Ranch, California 92610