Jasmine Cafe and Lounge, located between downtown Duval and Adams Street, brings a splash of global flavor to the local market.
Restaurant Owner Roger Unger opened the establishment nearly 10 years ago. Unger said his restaurant was one of the first sushi restaurants in the area.
Although Jasmine specializes in made-to-order Japanese delicacies, its menu presents a variety of food.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about sushi. Less than half of our dishes are raw,” he said. “You’re not just stuck with sushi and fish. We have salads, sandwiches and wraps, too.”
Ivy Williams, a 20-year-old International Affairs student at Florida State University, is a frequent customer.
“You can tell the person took their time,” Williams said.
Dorlande Charles, a senior political science student from Orlando, was introduced to Jasmine last semester, and was impressed by the atmosphere.
“It’s not like other places,” said Charles. “It’s not at that point where there are too many people and you have to wait too long for your food.”
The restaurant’s hostess has seen many couples enter through the Jasmine’s doors.
“We see a lot of blind dates and first dates. We even have our regular couples,” she said. “It’s great because you can walk around downtown after dinner. It’s perfect.”
Jasmine is gearing up for Valentine’s Day. They are taking five reservations for every thirty-minute time slot.
“Come hang out here, and we’ll hang out with you,” Lupiani said.