Yo! Sushi in the Mall at University Town Center just rolled out a new Japanese street food menu, and you should definitely start your meal with the fried chicken wings ($5), which are perfectly crispy and salty thanks to their sake and soy sauce marinade. They're served with lime and easily shareable--although after a few bites you'll probably want them all to yourself.
$2 will land you a crazy tasty pupusa at Bitia's Taqueria, a small 17th Street joint that specializes in Salvadoran delights. The thick corn pancakes come stuffed with a variety of ingredients, but we prefer a vegetarian option that comes with buds and flowers from the loroco vine and lots of melted white cheese. A heaping of curtido, a crunchy, pickled, slaw-like topping, adds textural contrast. Order several.
At the small and nautically themed Lobster Pot, the lobster roll ($19.95) is a meal and comes on a plate attractively presented with a choice of two sides from a selection of eight (though nearly everyone goes for the crispy French fries and the coleslaw, which is exceptional and has a lot of crunch). A toasted New England roll is split and flattened; on it there’s bit of lettuce and then big chunks of chilled Maine lobster tossed in a little mayonnaise. Authentic and entirely satisfying.
The Savor Sarasota menu ($29) at MoZaic started a week early, and, knowing the restaurant’s regular full-flavored offerings, we jumped. Our first course, three-melon gazpacho with cucumbers and mint, was a refreshing opener. And our entrée pick, zatar-rubbed free-range pork tenderloin with prune bread pudding and star anise Calvados sauce, had just enough kick. We’ll be back.
We love Jack Dusty's elegant, tropical ambiance--it doesn't hurt that the food is great, too. The ahi tuna poke ($18) was a recent favorite--the tuna had bold, fresh flavor thanks to the addition of seasame seeds, shallots, soy sauce and diced avocado, and sitting in the shade on the restaurant's porch with a cold drink and a soft sea breeze only added to our experience.