9620 W Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, FL 33626
Cost range: 10.01-20.00
Payment options: Credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Full bar
More in this neighborhood: Westchase
Owner Hoang Le was the chef at Water in South Tampa for 2 1/2 years until leaving in 2006 to open his own place. It’s just slightly reminiscent of that Asian-inflected bastion of hip: backlit in moody red, a wall of bamboo provides visual interest. Beneath customers’ feet, glassed in sand-and-stone gardens put the “zen” in the bistro. Spare, attractive and inviting, it’s equally fitting for date night or a quick family dinner. Sashimi with zingy sauces, dumplings and tempura lend the menu a dominant Japanese feel, but Le’s Vietnamese roots reveal themselves in dishes like lime beef: seared sirloin curls perfumed with lime and sesame and tossed with cilantro, mint, fried shallot and chopped peanut.