The scene is as fresh as the fish at this Midwestern member of the RA chain, well known for pairing exceptional sushi and Japanese-fusion cuisine with a lively, swank atmosphere. A beautiful bamboo sushi bar, waterfall and distinctive red and black color scheme make RA as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds.
In addition to traditional sashimi, nigiri and maki offerings, signature sushi abounds: salmon carpaccio, Tootsy maki (crab, shrimp and cucumber roll topped with cruchy tempura bits and sweet eel sauce) and a spicy lobster roll wrapped up in soy paper. Several salads dot the menu, as well as entrees like apple teriyaki salmon and spicy garlic shrimp with tofu noodles. As for the sweet stuff, opt for the chocolate-filled fried banana with Kahlua-caramel sauce and chocolate ice cream. If that doesn't get your sugar high going, I don't know what to tell you.
Thanks to RA's extensive selection sake and signature cocktails (not to mention the club beats pumping in the background), the fun can last into the wee hours. Under-$10 lunch specials make RA a fairly frugal choice before 3 p.m. Happy hour food and drink specials are worth the trip from 4-7 p.m. on weeknights.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Natalie Goldstein