Top 10 Restaurants on Washington Avenue

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10. Sammy's Wild Game Grill

Although the Moon Tower Inn guys have been stymied in their attempts to get up and running again over the past year, you can get your wild game hot dog fix at Sammy's -- and more. Depending on the season, the chili-cheese fries could feature anything from rattlesnake to elk in the chili on top, while wild game sliders see antelope, venison, buffalo, elk and kangaroo in between their buns. And if you're a spice-hound, you'll want to buy some of Sammy's wonderful ghost pepper sauce to take home with you.


I still think that TQLA's name was a mistake -- it leads people to believe that TQLA is only a bar, or only serves tequila -- but the food and the drinks are certainly not. Chef Tommy Birdwell is still turning out the same high-quality food that made me fall in love with TQLA when it opened in 2010, dishes such as crawfish corncakes with lime butter, pumpkin seed-crusted salmon with fried green tomatoes or blue corn-fried oysters with chorizo cream. Southwestern food has never tasted better nor more updated, even in simple adaptations like TQLA's green chile-laced burger with jalapeño cheese and avocado.

8. Sushi Tora

Ken Tanagi rules the roost at his sushi restaurant, backed up by his mother -- Mami -- of the infamous, now-closed Coco's Yakitori. The pair run a tight ship, making excellent rolls and serviceable sushi to a packed house nearly every night. But be warned: It's very loud inside, not only because of the music Tanagi plays but also because of the amount of screaming at his co-workers he does on a nightly basis. It's all in good fun, though, and you'll always get dinner and a show at Sushi Tora.

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Katharine Shilcutt