CRAB gets Cornered

Exams. Hangovers. Regrettable drunken hookups. College kids have always had plenty of excuses to be crabby, but now UVA students can be crabby whenever they want at CRAB (the Corner Restaurant and Bar), which opened August 20 on Elliewood Avenue next door to Martha's Café and just across from the Biltmore Grill in a former software company space.

CRAB will serve lunch and dinner seven days, says former Virginia Beacher Anthony Freeman, who co-owns the restaurant with Al Lundgren, Mike Norris, and Jason Connelly, but will be the only on-site owner.

As you've probably guessed, CRAB will serve... crabs. But the seafood smorgasbord won't stop there. In addition to the six-legged scuttlers, the raw bar will offer shrimp, oysters, and clams. Seafood sandwiches, pasta, and salads will also grace the menu, as will fried chicken for fish-phobes.

Freeman says he's "taking demo tapes now" for potential live music acts, but at the moment no bands are booked to perform on the front and back patios. He expects to focus on "up-tempo dance music and DJs," instead of rock n roll.

To peruse CRAB's menu without a trip to the Corner, check



 It didn't take long for word to hit the Dish desk: Yamata, a new sushi spot in the Rio Hill Shopping Center, opened on August 18, according to the restaurant's friendly hostess, and within days unsolicited rave reviews were rolling in.

Mark McCardell, a recent transplant from Tampa and a sushi aficionado who, with his fiancée, has eaten at "approximately 60 sushi restaurants," calls Yamata's food and presentation "the best we have ever seen."

Though both McCardell and Dish found communicating with Yamata's employees, for whom English is a second language, particularly difficult, McCardell says it was more than made up for when the head chef made a visit to his table and "carved an intricate flower from some type of vegetable root and gave it to my fiancée." Ahh, romance.

According to the hostess, though Yamata is the first restaurant owned by Jingruo Wang and Wenan Zu, the duo have extensive experience both in this country and abroad, and Wang in particular has "elevated sushi to an art form with elaborate sculptures," according to friend Curtis Putnam.

The décor, in McCardell's words, is "what you'd expect from a strip mall," but from the sound of it, that's no reason to stay away.




 Talk about taking drive-thru to the next level! Charles Okros of Louisa County backed his station wagon into the Pantops Burger King last Wednesday, August 28, smashing windows and causing one diner to "cry out in fear," according to the Daily Progress, which later elaborated, saying the woman was "almost in tears."

Though Okros couldn't be reached for comment, BK General Manager Tammy Thompson tells Dish she was in the kitchen during the incident. While she didn't hear the crash, she was quickly called out to assess the damage. Fortunately, she says, no one was entering the restaurant at the time, and the steel bars between windows stopped Okros' car from fully entering the building. Though plywood still covered the windows at presstime, Thompson said repairs are imminent, and says the crash hasn't hurt business at all.

The good news for Okros: unlike a Whopper and fries, this drive thru had no charge, according to County police, and no order was placed, not even a court order.