Raw fish, like snowballs, must be rolled with care before being thrown at a school superintendent for refusing to call a snow day. Enjoy well-crafted, conveniently projectile edibles with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of sushi and Asian cuisine for dinner at Teriyaki Cafe.
Teriyaki Cafe's raw-fish expert Christopher Wong—who has channeled his culinary prowess and Indonesian roots into 17 years of sushi rolling—crafts made-to-order specialty rolls and pan-Asian entrees alongside his brother, executive chef Irwan Wong. More than 30 10-piece house rolls can festoon plates in artfully strewn slices, enough rolls to name each day of the month or each finger of a six-handed man. The Titan roll ($12.50)—a deep-fried cocoon dappled with breadcrumbs that harbors bites of grilled steak, shrimp, and avocado on cream-cheese cushions—packs a wallop of flavor worthy of its name. Flying Dragon rolls ($12.50), meanwhile, roast shrimp princesses in tempura batter and douse eel tidbits in barbecue sauce, wrapping crab and cucumber in its coils as chopstick lances charge. For an alternative to oceanic fruits, classic Chinese and Japanese platters tickle tongues without utilizing MSG or feather dusters tucked in between noodles. A teriyaki hot plate arrives on a sizzling skillet with sides of soup, cucumber salad, a spring roll, and crab rangoon, all orbiting around a choice of meat ($12.95–$17.95). Meanwhile, the sweet-and-sour triple delight ($9.49) arrays sauce-covered chicken, pork, and shrimp on a heap of steamed white rice.
Guests can dig into their eastern dinner eats from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. The café's hanging orange lights supply each table with a warm mini sun, and mounted Asian artworks exude a welcoming zen vibe by murmuring "om" when patrons aren't looking.
Near the bustling intersection of North Davis Highway and Olive Road lies a tranquil temple. It's not an Egyptian ruin or a place of worship but a shrine to eastern Asian cookery. Inside, brothers Irwan and Christopher Wong whorl squid, smelt roe, and escolar into made-to-order sushi rolls and craft Chinese classics such as orange chicken and kung pao pork without MSG. Diners can gather at tables trimmed with fresh flowers or pull up to a plant-lined sushi bar, which doubles as a stage for sparring samurai and geisha dolls. Here, the Wongs embellish Amazon rolls with fresh avocadoes and dot grilled chicken rolls with eel sauce and sesame seeds. On-the-go diners can retrieve takeout at the handy drive-thru window rather than having servers shot-put it through the front door.
North Cross Village
8084 N Davis Hwy.
Pensacola, Florida 32514