The color blue permeates Maguro’s modern dining room, emanating from the glowing turquoise panels affixed to the sides of the tables and counters, the sky-colored accent lights on the liquor-stocked shelves, and the indigo overhead lights illuminating sleek wooden tabletops and hibachi grills. Here, cooks sizzle up Japanese entrees of meats and fresh fish attractively garnished with sauces and flower-cut veggies. Sushi chefs, meanwhile, coil up a slew of authentic rolls.
The skilled chefs at Sans Sushi furnish empty stomach space with a menu of sushi ottomans, nori-upholstered nautili, and artfully arranged Thai noodle dishes. Activate dormant taste buds with the brawny flavors of the sweet papaya salad, tossed with chilis, sugar, lime juice, and tomatoes ($5.95). Diners can train their forks to retrieve thick noodles in the chicken lad na ($7.95) or indulge their gustatory glands in the Captiva Island makimono roll––boasting conch, green onion, cucumber, and a fiery sauce that's as hot as a model wearing solar panels. Between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., midday munchers can grab lunchtime vittles that include all-you-can-eat sushi ($13.95), where fish-feasters can nosh on a bottomless supply of avocado-stuffed california rolls and Las Vegas rolls filled with crab, spicy mayo, and serenades by Donny and Marie Osmond.
With outposts in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch, Jpan Restaurant boasts a bold red-and-black decor aesthetic and a menu full of artfully presented fresh-fish creations. Skilled sushi chefs assemble complex specialty rolls, or let simple slices of fish steal the spotlight with array of sashimi selections. For those who prefer an entree that's seen some heat, there's an array of tempura and teriyaki dishes, as well as steamy bowls of ramen or udon noodles. The drink list includes domestic and Japanese beers, along with wines, soft drinks, and sakes served cold or heated in the forge of a samurai swordsmith.
Blue Water Bistro ensnares an entire underwater ecosystem in its sprawling menu of recently netted seafood and steak, doled out in a bustling eatery fit for couples or entire crews. Embark on a hunger-fueled treasure hunt for Mahi Mac ($22.70), a culinary crown jewel embedded with macadamia-nut and panko gems shimmering in grilled pineapple-togarashi sauce. Mango-infused california rolls ($9.50) put a tropical spin on a sushi staple, and chipotle-barbecue baby back ribs ($22.50) can be used to build a flaming xylophone. Guide conquering chompers through the Chicken Shanghai's ($16.90) open noodle gates, guarding thai basil and broccoli stir-fry infused with a peanut soy sauce fiery enough to melt chocolate-sculpted cabanas. The bar's cascade of fruity libations paints a breathtaking Caribbean Sunrise ($10.50) across palates amid the eatery's wooden floors and illustrious swordfish sculptures.
Origami Restaurant's skilled chefs serve up artful amalgamations to sate cravings for sophisticated flavors and quell cavernous appetites. The dinner menu is filled with fresh treasures from land and sea, including the seafood bibim bap, a plate of steamed rice topped with assorted seafood, marinated veggies, and a fried egg ($16.95). The spicy thai chicken is the internationally adopted child of the Korean cuisine, nurtured with creamy coconut sauce, thai basil, chili sauce, and a bevy of coloring books ($14.95).
Like two restaurants in one, NAMI Japanese Steakhouse affords guests the choice of dining traditionally or teppan-style. Those who choose the former settle into one of the eatery’s dining-room tables and enjoy sushi and any number of Thai or Chinese dishes, including traditional spicy and mild curries—enhanced by shrimp, tofu, or crisp duck—and flavorful staples, such as orange chicken, mongolian beef, and sweet-and-sour pork. Across the room, chefs break free from the kitchen and the ghost haunting it to engage customers seated around a flattop grill in teppan-style eating. They prepare anything from the hibachi menu: filet mignon, lobster, and scallops. As they grill each item in a lively, public display, diners enjoy shrimp appetizers, stir-fried vegetables, and white or fried rice. NAMI shares owners with Origami, which serves a menu of Japanese and Korean cuisine.