The Tennessean: Asian Fusion Restaurant Coming to $200 Million Bellevue Project

The owner of a Thai and Japanese sushi restaurant concept has leased space at the $200 million One Bellevue Place mixed-used development with plans to open a second Nashville location by year's end.

The move comes roughly six months after The Eastern Peak took over the former Thai Star space at 536 Thompson Lane in Nashville,

That sister concept to Jasmine Thai Cuisine and Sushi Bar in Murray and Paducah, Ky.is the latest restaurant signed up for  space at the redevelopment project that's rising on the site of the former Bellevue Center mall.  Chicken Salad Chick, Chili's Grill & Bar, Panera Bread, Desano Pizza Bakery, Wild Eggs and The Well Coffeehouse will be among other tenants.

The Eastern Peak Asian fusion concept offers Japanese and Thai fare including sushi, noodles, curries and stir-frys. Appetizers, soups and salads are also available with a full bar. "We have a really good happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays only," said Laura Thornton, its spokeswoman.

AUTHOR: Getahn Ward

Nashville Scene: Visiting Off The Radar Restaurants

PHOTO: Daniel Miegs

PHOTO: Daniel Miegs

I know of several people who judge a Thai restaurant solely by its execution of pad Thai. While I can understand that being the measuring stick, if that’s all you consider, you’re missing out on a lot of the menu at many, many decent-to-good Thai spots around town. That being said, I tend to rank my favorites by how much I like their take on pad kee mao, or "drunken noodles." I like it hot enough to make me break a sweat but not so spicy that I can’t taste the Thai basil in the dish.

For years my favorite pad kee mao came from Thai Star, with Smiling Elephant and Thai Phooket occupying the rest of the winners’ podium. Even when Thai Star was hidden in a tiny strip mall next to the Kroger near where Thompson Lane meets Briley Parkway, I would make the trip for that dish. When they moved into modern new digs on a different stretch of Thompson Lane across from Hearth and Grill (and just as soon as you pass through the railroad tunnel where the Tuba Dude entertains afternoon commuters), I was excited that they were a little closer to home.(Even if the left turn into or out of the parking lot ranks among the most dangerous in town.)

So I was a little bummed when I heard that Thai Star was closing and reincarnating into a new restaurant named The Eastern Peak. In fact, I pretty much forgot about it until I got one of those notifications from none other than Yelp saying that “a new restaurant has opened near you with great reviews.” Sure enough, I recognized the address and checked out what the Yelpers were saying, and the early reviews were indeed overwhelmingly positive.

I quickly carved out some time to check The Eastern Peak out for myself, and since then I’ve probably carried a dozen people there for their first visit, to universal acclaim. After a modern redo of the interior to create a nice Zen-like organic atmosphere, it has become a downright classy place for lunch or dinner. The addition of a cocktail program designed by bar consultant Ryan Yamada (of whom I’m a huge fan), plus great happy hour prices on drinks, sushi and appetizers, has made The Eastern Peak a favorite happy-hour stop for me. I mean, if you’re gonna be stuck in traffic, would you rather be sitting down enjoying creative sushi rolls and well-executed cocktails or being serenaded by a sousaphone? Just sayin’ …

The Eastern Peak is actually part of a small chainlet of Asian restaurants based out of Kentucky, with the other two named Jasmine and located in Murray and Paducah, Ky. The menu features traditional Thai dishes made with exceptionally fresh ingredients and bright flavors, and they’re not afraid to blow the top of your 

head off with spice if you challenge them. I’ve enjoyed both their green and red curries, but pad kee mao is still my go-to.

Other entrees are a little more pan-Asian or fusion-ish, with Miso Salmon and Basil Duck being excellent choices if you’re looking for something more exotic. Given that ordering sushi when you’re not in view of the ocean is always a risky proposition, I can report that the rolls and sashimi that I’ve sampled at The Eastern Peak have always tasted fresh, if not especially flavorful, and the skilled knifework of the sushi chefs brings out the best that they can out of the raw material. Since most of the work takes place behind the walls of the kitchen, it’s not necessarily a place to go for the omakase experience, and I wish there was an easier way to get recommendations from the chef about what is best on a particular day. But for the prices they charge, it’s a worthy place to order widely off the menu to find a new favorite roll.

Open from 11 a.m. until late seven days a week, The Eastern Peak is a dependable alternative for anyone looking for some really solid Asian food in an attractive and comfortable ambiance. This is a real under-the-radar find that I’m happy to share the secret about. Just be careful making that left turn! 

Author: Chris Chamberlain

Nashville Lifestyles Best Of: The Eastern Peak

PHOTO: Danielle Atkins

PHOTO: Danielle Atkins

While some restaurant trends seem to crop up on us en masse (we’re looking at you, gourmet burgers joints), other cuisines are sadly underrepresented. Asian food is high on that latter list—which is why we’re grateful that The Eastern Peak has opened on Thompson Lane.

Part of a tiny chainlet of restaurants in Western Kentucky that go by the name Jasmine Thai Cuisine, The Eastern Peak falls into a pan-Asian category, with a menu that’s mostly made up of Thai and Japanese dishes. The owners completely remodeled the dining space (previously the home of Thai Star), and the results are striking.

Decorated in natural materials, the room is accented with rough-hewn wood and globoid paper lanterns. The color scheme is glossy black, with dramatic accents of red. The kitchen is hidden away behind a wall of bottles on offer from a short, but affordable, list of wines.

Ryan Yamada, of the bar-consulting business Raise the Bar, developed the drink list, which is packed with creative cocktails utilizing culturally appropriate ingredients in drinks like the cucumber-lemongrass martini, a Chinese five-spice old fashioned, and a wasabi bloody Mary. Even better, they’re only $5 apiece during happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Along with great drink deals, the restaurant offers discounted wine and sake, as well as sushi and appetizers for the same price.

The cocktails are designed to match well with the appetizer and sushi plates. The kitchen demonstrates deft knife skills in their presentation of sashimi and signature sushi rolls, like the hamachi (yellowtail) sashimi, the Red Dragon Roll (spicy tuna, avocado, and cucumber, topped with tuna), and the Eastern Peak Roll (egg omelet, crab, avocado, lightly grilled salmon aburi, salmon roe, spicy mayo, and eel sauce).

Beyond sushi, there are straightforward Thai dishes, like a well-seasoned and beautifully plated pad Thai, with radishes, peanuts, and bean sprouts. (There’s a flavorful tofu option for vegetarians, too.) Other traditional Thai noodle dishes, like pad kee mao (drunken noodles) and lo mein, incorporate fresh vegetables and come in varying heat levels. (Note: The kitchen is not afraid to make you sweat if you challenge them.)

Fresh ingredients also make notable appearances in both the green and red curries, where tart lime leaves offer citrusy snap and crunchy bell peppers and carrots contribute color, flavor, and texture. Save room for one of the most flavorful bowls of tom kha chicken soup in town, with just the right spicy-sour mix of coconut milk, lemongrass, and galangal root.

More substantial entrees include a complex version of orange chicken, wherein the deep-fried chicken benefits from a nuanced orange glaze before being tossed with bell peppers, ginger, garlic, and onions, as well as basil duck, which is spiced up with Thai chiles. Or try roasted duck curry, accented with red-coconut curry and pineapple.

If there’s any room for dessert, go for a bowl of light green tea ice cream—a fitting palate cleanser after such a far-reaching journey.

AUTHOR: Chris Chamberlain

Eater Nashville: Nashville Restaurant Experts Name The Biggest Dining Suprises of 2016

EXCERPT:

Chris Chamberlain, food writer for Nashville Scene’s Bites Blog, Food Republic and author of The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat Before You Die:

Eastern Peak on Thompson Lane just through the railroad tunnel has been a fortuitous find for great Thai food, sushi and cocktails. Their happy hour rocks!

The Tennessean: Eastern Peak Offers Fresh Asian Fusion Flavors

PHOTO: Nancy Vienneau

PHOTO: Nancy Vienneau

With unprecedented development occurring all over our city (no patch of land left unturned!), it shouldn’t be surprising to find an upscale Asian fusion restaurant on Thompson Lane. And yet, it is, pleasantly so.

The Eastern Peak took over the former location of Thai Star on the Railway Plaza, with stylish updates. The interior has been redone in walls of reclaimed wood, slate-tiled floors, marble-topped dining tables, an array of modern globe lanterns overhead, a welcoming bar to one side of the room. There’s a wall of glass that looks out onto a dining terrace, hidden from the busy thoroughfare by a fence. The overall effect is appealing, unexpected and a strong indicator of the reaches of change in Nashville.

The menu is divided into sections of Japanese and Thai fare: sushi, noodles,  curries and stir-frys, along with appetizers, soups and salads.

For our first taste, my companion and I shared an order of Vegetarian Spring Rolls — nothing new to report here. More compelling was the Grilled Shrimp-Avocado Salad, a Japanese inspired dish composed of five large tiger shrimp (split to make 10 pieces), radishes, edamame, carrots, candied pecans and toasted almonds on a bed of mixed greens. Central was a rosette of sliced avocado frilled with strands of daikon. The creamy vinaigrette, abundant with fresh grated ginger, was served in a separate bowl. This fresh and beautiful presentation was a pleasure to eat.

We also tried the Tom Yum Fried Rice, vegetarian version. The rice had been cooked in coconut milk and seasoned with Thai chili sauce and had a smattering of carrots, onions, mushrooms and sugar snaps tossed throughout. It is available, too, with add-ons of protein — grilled chicken, pork, tofu, fish, which would add more dimension to the otherwise flavorful dish.

Author: Nancy Vienneau

Style Blueprint: Did You Hear About All This Nashville Goodness?

Fresh Option for Asian Food

Nashville’s food scene continues to explode with one of the most recent openings being The Eastern Peak. Billed as “Superior Asian Cuisine,” The Eastern Peak features hand-picked ingredients to create authentic Thai and Japanese dishes. Click here for a complete menu. The Eastern Peak is located at 536 Thompson Lane, Nashville, TN 37211. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Learn more on the website or at (615) 610-4888.

Author: Ashley Haugen

EATER NASHVILLE: The Eastern Peak Now Open in Woodbine

WOODBINE - Thai and sushi spot The Eastern Peak opened to the public this past Wednesday. Located at 536 Thompson Lane, the restaurant serves stir fry, curry, noodle and rice dishes, as well as a variety of sushi rolls and sashimi. The space, formerly occupied by Thai Star, has been completely renovated and features a newly constructed patio. [EaterWire]

 - Kristy Lucero