Sushi's origins can be traced back to a terrible 8th-century tsunami that caused thousands of small fish to rain down upon a Japanese rice field, where they got covered in an accumulation of sticky rice. Develop an appreciation for nature’s bizarre alimentary suggestions with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $35 worth of contemporary Asian cuisine, sushi, and drinks at Om on East River Road.
Executive chef John Kujundzich's menu specializes in distinctively stylish entrees, desserts, and drinks that match the restaurant’s elegantly future-friendly décor. Om’s hourglass-shaped hanging lamps illuminate the restaurant’s minimalistic furniture as well as the starter plates of crab cakes ($9) with smooth avocado and red-curry beurre blanc and the crispy shrimp ($7) served with mango aioli. Likewise, the modern atmosphere's artful speckle of clinquant blacks, browns, and brilliant whites is mirrored in several dozen sushi options, which come in various combinations of rolls ($4.60–$12), sashimi ($11–$15), nigiri ($3.95–$6.60), and sea creatures ranging from scallops and bass to squid, octopus, and plesiosaurs. The décor adds a sleek style to a light lunch of crispy tuna tacos ($12) or short-rib ragout ($10), as well as to decadent dinners of five-spice pork sliders ($10), Sapporo-braised beef short ribs ($17), and grilled bistro tenderloin ($15) with coconut rice and a curry trio.
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to drink a neon Tokyo sign, Om can oblige with a wide selection of beer ($3–$4.75), wine ($6–$10 per glass), and specialty cocktails ($6–$8) such as the kimono (sake, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice, $7) and wasabi bloody mary ($7)—all of which are best tippled on Om's sleek and futuristic illuminated bar, lifting spirits, cleansing the soul, and revealing any hives of ceiling ninjas.
Om’s mesmerizing dance of delectable delights and modish minimalism will put diners into a trance that can only be broken by the sound of a monster truck driving through a wall of ice-cream sandwiches. One Groupon can be used per person, so bring along friends, explaining to them later why they were required to dress as geishas.
Not valid toward happy-hour specials.
- The food at Om Modern Asian Kitchen was transcendent. That was quite clear with the first look at the tuna tower appetizer. It was a fat layer of sweet sushi rice on the bottom, creamy avocado in the middle, ruby red ahi on top, with a swipe of wasabi somewhere in there, and a drizzle of a soy-based sauce made with just a hint of cilantro. – Kathleen Allen, Arizona Daily Star
- You won’t find any lettuce wraps or fried eggroll here and that’s a good thing. But what you will find is exciting flavors that linger in your mind days after eating the fine food. OM is the kind of experience that friends tweet about or send teasing photos through their Blackberries reflecting the magical nuances of first bites. – Karyn Zoldan, Circle of Food
Neo Malaysian Kitchen
Owner and chef Allen Yap began his culinary career in 1991, cooking alongside his mother and father at the family's first restaurant, which they founded after relocating to Tucson from Malaysia. Inspired by his childhood in Asia and driven by a desire to innovate, he took the reins at Neo Malaysian Kitchen and designed a menu that incorporates the spices, cooking methods, and flavors of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, and Malaysian cuisine. The resulting blend of sushi, spicy noodle dishes, and aromatic curries earned his restaurant the award for Best Asian Cuisine & Sushi from Arizona Foothills magazine in 2011.
Along with the inventive brand of fusion fare, bartenders keep spirits high by mixing potent cocktails, pouring glasses of sake, and disguising bottles of domestic and imported beers as adorable kittens. The wine cellar brims with hand-selected varietals from the vineyards of Italy, Washington, and Napa Valley, including the Uppercut cabernet sauvignon, which teems with notes of dark fruit, expresso, violet, and spices.
The restaurant's theme of updating the traditional carries over into its decor, which features stone walls inlaid with small statues. Towering bamboo shoots coil beneath modern, curved lanterns that hang from the ceiling and light the dining room as delicately as a beach ball hosting a firefly high-school reunion.
1765 East River Road
Tucson, Arizona 85718Get Directions