After properly cooking a lobster, its once-brown exoskeleton turns bright red, letting chefs know that it's both ready to serve and profoundly embarrassed for showing up without pants. Make a meal of deliciously mortified seafood with today's Groupon: for $29, you get $60 worth of sushi and eclectic tapas at Yuki Arashi in Park City.
Best of State Awards from 2010 and 2011 attest to the strengths of Yuki Arashi's menu of Asian-influenced tapas and fresh, seasonal nigiri, sushi, and sashimi from both sides of the Pacific. The rainbow maki ($16.95) honors a california roll with a crown of blue crab, avocado, and cucumber, and the key to all municipal goldfish bowls. A tide of 18 types of nigiri washes pristine slices of sea urchin, snow crab, and ahi tuna onto white isles of rice ($6.95–$14.95 for two pieces), and sushi chefs adorn the trio of tempura shrimp, tuna, and avocado found in the luxury roll with lacy sprouts and shisho leaf before baking it with spicy mayo and sprinkling on emerald scallions and glittering roe ($15.95). One hand scoops up korean taco tapas filled with chili-marinated pork, kimchee salsa, and pickled cabbage ($10.95), while the other plunges grilled New Zealand lamb into accompanying mustard-miso sauce ($18.95). Chefs draw upon an ever-changing palette of seasonal seafood that may include live scallops from Washington and Kumamoto oysters from Japan.
Diners relax among dusky rose curtains along a wall-to-wall banquette or perch at the blond wood sushi bar to watch nimble hands roll out sushi and high-five octopi sous-chefs. Glowing pendant lamps warm the earth-toned dining room's interior, creating pools of shadow along rustic stonewalls and shimmering off punched metal partitions between private tables festooned with paintings and sprays of cut flowers.
Japanese, Korean, and French culinary traditions collide in Yuki Arashi's kitchen, forming Asian-inspired tapas strewn with local and organic ingredients. The hot and cold small plates are perfect for sharing or alternately pressing to a sprained ankle, and they range from classic gyoza to modern arrangements of truffled albacore with microgreens and garlic crisps. At the sushi bar, chefs slice catches flown in fresh from Japan and the West Coast for sashimi and nigiri, as well as for rolling into specialty maki rolls such as the inside-out Millipede with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna tartare, avocado, and tobiko.
In the sleek dining room, bulbous vases of flowers sit above high-backed banquettes, their colorful blooms echoing the honey- and plum-hued flecks in the large variegated stone wall. Seats at the sushi bar invite patrons to gaze at the chefs' artful hard work, and an intimate tatami room enables guests to forgo chairs and dine in the traditional Japanese style.:m]]