Like romance novels, dumplings fit tempting tidbits into a small but steamy package. Passionately devour cuisine with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $50 worth of Asian cuisine if redeemed Sunday–Wednesday, or $40 worth of Asian cuisine if redeemed Thursday–Saturday, at Inyo Restaurant in Ferndale.
Head chef Kenny Wee assembles an "omakase," or "chef's choice," jumble of seasonal ingredients as well as fresh Hawaiian and Alaskan seafood into sushi and other pan-Asian eats on Inyo Restaurant's menu. Fiery flavors burst from the spicy tuna pizza starter, ignited by jalapeños and pyromaniac avocados atop a mozzarella-smothered thin crust ($13). Mango lobster steeps in a fruity sauna ($32); meat-massage therapists rub the wasabi filet mignon in a soothing honey-teriyaki glaze ($28). Crab-walk chompers through the sushi bar's bounty with a specialty dragon roll, which hugs a hodgepodge of shrimp tempura, crab, and eel ($14). During Saturday and Sunday brunch, taste buds plunge into bottomless pours, including mimosas and sangria ($15), surging forth from a full bar also stocked with sake and Asian beers to help fuel conversations about rich cultures and the secret of beating the moon in a staring contest.
The Inyo, a Japanese symbol that ensconces the good and evil of the universe in one circle, permeates the restaurant's Buddha-inspired décor. Inyo Restaurant also flaunts two plasma TVs, a patio, rich wooden accents, and black booths as plush as a cloud-stuffed teddy bear. The restaurant recommends calling ahead for wait time on Fridays and Saturdays.
When designing the menu for Inyo Restaurant, executive chef Kenny Wee incorporated influences from many different traditions, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. The diverse selections range from comforting chow mein noodles to spicy Szechuan fish, the latter of which is one of many dishes that features seafood freshly flown in from Hawaii and Japan. The jet-setting proteins can also be found alongside interesting touches such as jalapeños and strawberries.
Surrounded by dark Asian tile and crimson walls, guests can sip sake at the sleek, curved bar or experience signature martinis while watching plasma TVs. In warmer months, there's no better place to enjoy a spicy-tuna pizza than out on the patio.