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Varina's rings in before the New Year

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Just in time for the change-over to the new millennium, Cuisine 2000 has phased in a new name: Varina's. And while the restaurant is still a mainstay for Thai and fusion food in Winter Park, the owners have been adding Japanese influences.

The place now sports a sushi bar, and the seating will expand into the former New York Arcade space that surrounds it.

Sushi chef Kenji Mori slices the rolls in eye-popping proportions -- sometimes about twice the size of what most other sushi bars offer. It's part of the style he developed at Ran-Getsu of Tokyo on International Drive, where he was head chef for 14 years. You can stick with maki and nigiri rolls, but there are some interesting and unique items to try. Look for highly seasoned red and green seaweed salads, and minced meats glazed with lemongrass and ginger soy sauce.


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