Don't let the name - or the diminutive size of the dining room - fool you. Sushi O (222-113 Glenwood Ave.; 838-8868) is more than just a sushi bar. Way more. In fact, the menu is as far-reaching as the restaurant - which opened three weeks ago in the former Dunkin' Donuts space on Glenwood South - is compact.
The pan-Asian bill of fare lists nearly three dozen appetizer and entree options, spanning the continent from shrimp tempura to Chinese roast duck to Thai sweet and sour fried grouper to border-hopping fusions such as Vietnamese beef tataki.
Oh, and there's a full bar with an extensive list of house specialty cocktails ranging from Midori Martini to Silk Dragon (vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry, orange juice).
The pan-Asian menu trend shows no sign of letting up, though the concept often proves to be more exciting on paper than on the plate. But at least Sushi O's owner comes by his multicultural menu honestly. John Tang, who also owns Mount Fuji in Durham's Brightleaf Square, was born to Chinese parents in Vietnam, where he grew up.
He moved to the States in 1981 and has worked in the restaurant business for more than a quarter century, so it's a good bet he knows the market. Sushi O serves lunch Monday-Friday and dinner nightly, with a late night menu available Thursday-Saturday until 2 a.m.
The menu is decidedly more focused at Teriyakin' (10970 Chapel Hill Road; 443-2279; www.teriyakin.com), which opened in late August in Morrisville. The restaurant is the first for father-and-son partners Toshiji and Allan Watanabe. The counter service eatery caters to the nearby RTP crowd with an emphasis on fast, healthy fare.
The modest selection is centered on char-grilled renditions of the restaurant's namesake specialty. In addition to chicken, steak and beef short rib teriyaki, the offering includes a Japanese cream vegetable stew and a handful of sides such as ochazuke (a delicate rice stew).
The Watanabes are starting off simple, but they have more ambitious plans. Pending approval of their license to sell beer (exclusively Japanese) and sake, they plan to expand the menu to include popular Japanese street hawker foods such as okonomiyaki (savory pancakes with seafood, meat or vegetables) and yakisoba (fried noodles). Teriyakin' is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.