The Devil's Kitchen; Yatai Japanese Noodle House 

Tastemakers

Let's face it, Soble's on Main Street was ready for retirement. No matter how cold the drinks were on the nicest patio afternoon, you could never shake the feeling that you were sitting on death's terrace.

Tastemakers is glad to see The Devil's Kitchen step in and brighten the conditions. Owners Martha Turner, Vaughn Turner and Scott Price have opened up the dining area, planted some new flowers on the patio and completely revamped the menu. This new Fan eatery is sure to take off once spring arrives for good and the patio swells with diners hungry for big sandwiches and fiery nachos. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Saturday and Sunday brunch. Live bands play Sundays 3-6 p.m. 2600 W. Main St. 340-5222.

If you're in the mood for something different, check out the Yatai Japanese Noodle House on Grace Street near VCU. This menu is full of tempting noodle, donburi and sushi creations, and the green tea is always piping hot.

But the best aspect of this new restaurant is the atmosphere. A brazen combination of East meets West, it's like a B-grade Samurai movie-crew collided with a West End cafeteria, with Japanese lanterns hanging over the wood-and-brick bar that has its own shingled awning. A huge karaoke machine continuously plays near the front. We especially love the restaurant's music — sounds like the soundtrack to Super Mario Bros. This place could be great with the right VCU-area bar clientele. Stop by for lunch, dinner, or late-night crooning seven days a week. 417 W. Grace

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