Talk about good genes–two of Charlotte’s best Asian fusion restaurants, The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar and eeZ Fusion & Sushi, share a common, decidedly successful parent, Marcus Hall.
The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is located down in South Park, right next to South Park Mall, and specializes in burgers, sushi, and burgushi (a non-traditional mash-up of sushi and burgers–sushi with beef and burger parts and sandwiches with sushi parts). It’s a trendy restaurant, with a massive fish tank behind the 40-seat bar, and a large outdoor patio. The place is always packed, which I think is a great testament to the quality of food they serve.
Fusion cuisine is a big focus at Cowfish, and there are several over-the-top sushi roll combinations on the menu, like the filet & lobster roll, barbecue pulled pork roll with bacon coleslaw, and even a Mary Had A Little Lamb-urgushi Roll, complete with tzatziki. They’ve also got traditional sushi covered, including sashimi, nigiri, cones, makimoni, and hosomaki. I’ve been to Cowfish many times since moving to Charlotte, and have taken many out-of-towners there, but I’d never tried the burgushi until, on my last visit, I ordered the Nature Boy’s WOOOOO–shi BuffalOOOOO–shi Roll. Please, PLEASE go to Cowfish and order this roll. Aloud. Not only will the name make you giggle, but the Ric Flair inspired sushi roll with bison, fried green tomatoes, chipotle aioli, and jalapeños will leave your belly feeling extremely happy.
The burgers offerings are equally inventive, my favorite of which is the boursin burger, served with sautéed mushrooms and onions on an onion roll. Boursin cheese and onions?! I die! Heat-lovers will also love the Jalapeno Popper Show-Stopper, a burger that gets its kick from jalapeño-infused cream cheese, jalapeño bacon, and fried jalapeño garnish. Other notables are the reuben burger, bison burger, pimento cheese burger, and the Hunka, Hunka Burnin’ Love burger topped with peanut butter, bananas, and bacon.
Since the Cowfish menu is so LARGE, I often opt for the bento box, which gives you a little bit of lots of things: a small roll, a mini burger, and three sides of your choice (DO NOT MISS the cucumber salad).
Ginormous salads, appetizers, and desserts round out the menu. The lobster and crab spring rolls, legendary blackened ahi tuna nachos, and mu shu chicken lettuce wraps are all solid options, as are the fresh berry tall cake (lemon pound cake, vanilla bean ice cream, and berries… shown toppled over (oopsie), below) and the spiked milkshakes, of course.
Over in Huntersville’s Birkdale Village, eeZ Fusion & Sushi is serving up even more fusion fare. The decor is Asian-inspired, with bamboo pole fixtures hanging from the ceilings, a full sushi bar, and framed Asian lettering on the walls.
Some of the favorites from Cowfish’s menu also make an appearance over at eeZ Fusion & Sushi in Huntersville’s Birkdale Village, including the crab rangoon dip, mu shu lettuce wraps, Thai cucumbers, lobster & crab spring rolls, and the blackened Ahi tuna nachos.
The bulk of eeZ’s menu is dedicated to an insanely long sushi list, which includes sashimi, nigiri, hosomaki, cone hand rolls, makimono, plus fusion specialties. There’s no burgushi, per se, but they do have a filet mignon roll with avocado and scallions, and dozens of crazy sounding rolls like the tempura battered Dominatoroll with fresh yellow fin tuna and fried garlic, topped with homemade guacamole, crab rangoon dip, and sweet chili sauce. YES. I’ve tried the Boss (spicy yellowfin tuna with English cucumbers and wasabi mayo), Miss Moffit’s Roll (spicy tuna topped with avocado slices), and the All Eyes on You roll (spicy salmon roll topped with seared scallops and dots of sriracha), all of which I’d order again (and again).
As if the expansive sushi offerings weren’t enough, eeZ also offers pad Thai, curry, Mongolian beef, cedar plank salmon, blackened Mahi-Mahi, build-your-own stir fry, plus practically every kind of Asian chicken known to man (szechuan, sweet & sour, Kung Pao, cashew, teriyaki, etc.). I’m a big fan of their Asian-fusion tacos. They offer Thai curry, Mahi Mahi, and my favorite: Korean bulgogi beef. Can’t make up your mind? eeZ’s got a bento box option too: one roll, one entrée or taco, plus edamame, Thai cucumbers, and jasmine rice.
Want a little yin with your yang? Try starting with the light and refreshing squid salad and ending with the moan-inducing Peanut Blast pie that’s jam-packed with peanut butter nougat, chocolate cake, mousse, and Reeses cups.