Looking for pizzazz

I needed something with pizzazz on my palate last week and I found it at Sushi Garden. Cha Kim's parents started the restaurant in 1995, and she now owns it. About a year ago Kim, a graduate of Parsons the New School of Design in New York, redesigned the space. It's hip, urban and best of all, has great food.

Easter fare

I love Easter brunch because it's a chance to show off the best of breakfast and ease into afternoon delights like blackened halibut and prime rib. Churchgoers and late sleepers don't worry. Most restaurants serve until 3 or 4 p.m. Here's some of what local eateries are doing on April 4.

Catering to curry

You can see the crown of a Sarah Palin-style hairdo sliding back and fourth behind the counter at Thai House Restaurant. Thai versions of '80s hits play in the background and the tangy smell of curry perfumes the air as Malada Vongsamath works in the kitchen. Head chef and owner, Vongsamath prepares every dish served.

Going Greek

My first bite of moussaka from Sparta Pizza was satisfying and rich. It's impossible to eat an entire slice by yourself, but you'll try anyway.

Blissful bites

Chefs and restaurants pull out all the stops to dazzle diners on Valentine's Day. Also almost everyone is offering specials all weekend since the big day falls on a Sunday. Dine out twice and squeeze in smooches between blissful bites.

Hot stuff

Winky's Wings is a hot, salty experience most people won't forget -- and neither will their taste buds. Its wings pack the kind of heat that sticks around like a first kiss lingers on your lips.

Sweet service

Last week I went out searching for lunch while my 7-month-old daughter cooed along with Beyonce on the radio. We ended up at Flo's Pancake House, a nondescript diner in Muldoon.

Hot Mama!

I love fried food and any sandwich experience that could end up with half in my mouth or on my lap. On my first visit to Hot Mama! Pizza & Phillys I stumbled through the ice covered parking lot on the corner of Arctic Boulevard and 36th Avenue drawn by the siren song of the deep fat fryer.

Spoiled on sushi

On my first visit to Sushi & Sushi (3337 Fairbanks St.) I was grouchy, cold, tired and covered in snow. The location housed the first incarnation of Peter's Sushi and is now owned by a former Peter's manager, Chong Wick.

Bodacious burgers

When my parents first moved to Alaska, all my dad could talk about was Burger Jim (704 E. Fourth Ave.) His curiosity was not surprising since, well, his name is Jim. It wasn't until this week that I finally stopped in. I've been missing out.

Cold day, warm drink

We've already got our first dusting of snow and it feels like it might only be a matter of time before we're in full-blown, snow-to-your-knees winter.

South of the border

There's no substitute for good Mexican food. I expect, no, I demand refried beans, rice, spicy salsa and great tortillas served hot with melting cheese and spices oozing everywhere.

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