What may sound like strange bedfellows on paper actually turn into perfect couplings on the plate, as these worldwide restaurants demonstrate. Some shamelessly mash-up menu items—sushi burritos, anyone?—while others plate different international cuisines together side by side in unexpected harmony. But all are achieving something unique that's worth eating:
New San Francisco restaurant Volta intermingles Swedish and French cuisine as if they've been together all their lives. Diners have been raving about a starter dish of herring prepared in five different ways, a perfect foil for a rich French dish like beef bourguignon.
Brooklyn's Shalom Japan has created a new kind of cooking that melds Jewish and Japanese flavors, an aesthetic that becomes really clear over the course of the omakase (chef's choice) tasting menu. But if you choose to order à la carte, don't miss the eggy challah bread, spiked with sake, or the matzo ball ramen, which comes with a decadent foie gras dumpling.
Across the bridge in Manhattan, Mission Cantina slings a combination of Mexican and Chinese dishes influenced by chef Danny Bowien's time in San Francisco. Look for the rotating Chinese burrito special, which has included fillings like Kung Pao pastrami, or the always-available mu shu and General Tso's chicken tacos.
San Francisco's EireTrea may be the unlikeliest food truck on wheels with its Irish and Eritrean wraps and sandwiches. Regulars rave about the fried chicken sandwich with mayonnaise made with berbere, an East African spice blend that includes ginger, garlic and chili.
Chicago's Belly Shack discovered that marrying Korean and Puerto Rican food, the respective cuisines of husband and wife team Yvonne and Bill Kim, was the right thing to do. We'll take a Korean BBQ beef bowl with a side of tostones, please.
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