Rolling with the sushi
Yanagi impresses with authentic dining and quality service
Type of Food: Japanese style Sushi and Grill
Price: $$$ Menu prices range from $11 to $22
Yanagi is a small, welcoming restaurant with a fish tank, teppan table, unique lamps, and direct view of the Acorn Tower to liven the setting. The food was tasty and arrived fairly quickly. The cabbage and wasabi was a nice complementary addition to the meal as it gave us something to try while we were waiting. The Deep Fried California Roll was crisp and delicious, and went perfectly with the sweet eel sauce. The Yaki Soba, which they allowed us to order without chicken or shrimp since I’m a vegetarian, was a noodle dish that was very flavorful and was cooked in a sauce that tasted similar to teriyaki or soy sauce. The assorted vegetables were also quite tasty and cooked just right so that they weren’t mushy, limp, and bland as can happen far too often with cooked veggies. The service was quick, knowledgeable, and helpful. Although the food did arrive at different times, we forgave them due to their exceptional friendliness as they greeted us with a smile and sent us off with a cheerful goodbye and a mint. While it is a little on the pricier side, if you’re feeling adventurous and are tired of burger joints, I’d definitely give Yanagi a try on your next date night or outing with friends.
La Cosecha spices things up
An affordable segway to South American culture
Type of Food: South American with Spanish and Mexican fusion
Price: $$ Midday menu prices range from $7 to $15
To try something I’ve wanted to for a long time, I took a trip to La Cosecha. The interior featured dim lighting, dark colors, and rhythmic Brazilian music. The menu included pastelitos, which are a Honduran twist on the empanada. My girlfriend ordered the fried calamari, which came with an accompaniment of chile sauce and horseradish. My order of pastelitos came in a pair; they were smothered in a sort of red sauce and topped with something like cole slaw and a large slice of a large, fresh tomato. They contained everything expected, sans dried fruit, and had a different cast of spices, evident of the Honduran nature of these pastelitos. I sampled my girlfriend’s calamari, which was lightly battered, and an attractive shade of golden brown. I found the dish to be savory and crispy, but better enjoyed with the chile sauce. Not yet feeling satisfied, we decided to order chilaquiles. Chilaquiles are traditionally a Mexican breakfast dish but the La Cosecha twist included salted, homemade corn chips with shredded pork in a chile verde sauce, avocado, sour cream, pico de gallo, and a poached egg. This dish was as appealing to the eye as it was to the pallette. Resting in a authentic ceramic bowl, a rainbow of all the different ingredients was presented to me, a mountain of flavor topped with a freshly poached egg, still steaming. I was delighted by the plentiful and savory-spicy flavors of this dish. It was only lacking in that it could’ve used more sour cream, avocado, and pico de gallo, as towards the end of the dish we were left with a fair amount of shredded pork lacking in anything to go with it save chile verde sauce. Overall, La Cosecha was an incredibly enjoyable and surprisingly affordable experience, perfect for a date or inexpensive, light lunch!
A Golden Experience
A delectable review of Basil
Type of food: Thai
Price: $$ Menu prices range from $7 to $13
As soon as the door opens, the smell of curry and noodles is prevalent. At Basil, there is the option to make reservations, so it would be a good place to host larger groups. I noticed several families with young children, couples, and small groups of friends. The restaurant has a window to view into the kitchen and also a wall of tall windows that look out to the Downtown park. Although the lighting is rather dark, the bright, authentic artwork and sculptures shine through the room. The service was quick even though it was pretty busy. My waitress was quick to take drink orders. I ordered the classic Thai Iced Tea: a beverage where spicy Thai tea, sweet cream, and ice cubes mix to make one dulcet drink. After the drinks arrived, the appetizer of Golden Bags wasn’t far behind. The petite fried pouches made from rice paper were holding creamy, gooey, sautéed sweet potatoes. The combination of the crunch and sweet potato made them truly golden. Next to the Golden Bags was a refreshing cucumber salad with sesame sauce that was a tasty savory sweet addition. Basil is a fun place to go to celebrate a school accomplishment with family or to have a nice meal with friends.