9. Yusho

 
Salmon at Yusho

Salmon with salmon roe, curried leeks, potato, and oysters at Yusho

9. Yusho

Merges spent 14 years as executive chef at Charlie Trotter’s before busting out to do his own smart small-plate storefront. It’s industrial and hip–and yet not. Merges’s wife, Rachel Crowl, designed it, and between a mishmash of mismatched chairs and cool lighting, she managed to make the long space inviting and relatively quiet. Merges works wonders of his own with megacreative Asian dishes. His duck confit takoyaki balls are a quirky riff on Osakan street food (he swaps out octopus for duck), his grilled leeks threaded on a skewer and topped with crispy shallots and Marcona almonds are a playful veggie winner, and his crunchy double-fried chicken with kanzuri dipping sauce makes everyone beyond happy.

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Price symbols indicate the typical cost of a meal (without tax, tip, or alcohol) per person.
¢ … under $20 | $ … $20 to $29 | $$ … $30 to $39 | $$$ … $40 to $49 | $$$$ … $50-plus

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