In between the turkeys, hams and prime rib of late, I personally need a break from those rich holiday foods. So right now, I'm enjoying flavors like sesame oil and spicy cabbage, and fresh, clean tastes like sushi. Here are two great spots if you're looking for the same thing--a new one, and one that continues to thrive.
Shilla, Sarasota’s newest Korean restaurant, brings flavorful, house-made kimchi and galbi short ribs to a nondescript, half-abandoned strip mall on North Beneva.
While the hours are a little inconsistent, Shilla now mostly focuses on dinner service. A must-eat is the seafood pancake. Loaded with shrimp and an assortment of seafood and scallions, the pancake itself is a full meal. My suggestion: share as an appetizer so you can dive into the unique flavors of dishes like clam soup and Shilla's wonderful Korean barbecue short ribs. Don’t be shy: taste the pickled radish and kimchis, they make the experience even more flavorful. And though Shilla does offer delivery, it's best to dine in. Like most Asian dishes, the interpretation gets lost during the sit time.
Shilla Korean Restaurant is located at 501 N. Beneva Road, (941) 366-9700. It is open for lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday and for dinner from 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 5-10 p.m. on Sunday. Closed Mondays.
Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill
Not new on the scene, but a continued bright spot in downtown Sarasota, is Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill. Owner Samuel Ray and Tsunami's wonderful server Jeffrey continue to elevate sushi, sashimi and even their uptown interpretation of Chinese dishes. Relax in a booth while soft guitar music plays and tuck into some of the freshest sashimi in town, along with creative twists on a few Chinese classics. There's a sweet happy hour deal for sushi rolls and cocktails, as well.
Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill is located at 100 Central Ave. in downtown Sarasota, (941) 366-1033. It's open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 12-2 p.m. and 4:30-9 p.m.