Unless you’re a certain type of college student, burgers and sushi probably sounds like an odd combination. But don’t take the name so literally – one or the other is perfectly acceptable. In fact, for couples or groups with divergent tastes, it’s nice to have the option between the two. That said, the two cuisines couldn’t be much more different from each other. Burgers, popularized in the United States and known around the world as a hearty, filling, and sometimes greasy sandwich, are the opposite of what comes to mind when you think of sushi, which is traditionally a lean, clean, healthy affair. But that’s where the differences end. In recent years, restaurants and chefs around the world have taken great liberties with both, creating new genres to keep up with the ever-evolving tastes of the masses. This is the intersection where ART Burger Sushi Bar exists – creative burgers and sushi, both available in classical or contemporary forms.
Let’s start with the Something to Share section, a collection of updates and fusions. Art House Fries and Sweet Potato Fries represent standard burger bar fare, while the Ahi Tuna Lollipops (wakame salad, soy ginger reduction) and Firecracker Shrimp (sake, garlic chili paste, avocado lime dipping sauce) take up the flag for contemporary sushi bar items. Somewhere in the middle, instead of standard cheese sticks, ART offers house-made Fried Mozzarella Wontons with fresh tomato jam, and the Chicken and Dumplings are Japanese in spirit, as opposed to Southern. Because all of the burgers are half-pound patties and come served with choice of house-cut fries, kale slaw, or sweet potato fries, you might regret having ordered that appetizer. But this is a restaurant, so to-go boxes are always available. Aside from The Art Burger (bacon, marinated red onion, bleu cheese, walnut chutney), all of the other Burgers & Such items are named for famous dead painters. In reality, each one is probably worth mentioning, but the highlights of the beef patty offerings are the El Greco (chorizo, marinated bell peppers, manchego cheese, Dijon mustard), the Munch (pork belly, whole grain mustard, cheddar, fried egg), and the Dali (fried pickles, avocado ranch, lettuce, tomato). The creations on the ‘Such’ portion get even more interesting, each of them highlighting different international cuisines. Take the Martinez (mojo pork patty, smoked ham, dill pickle, Swiss Cheese, brown mustard, pressed), the Caravaggio (ground lamb, cucumber tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, pita), or the Da Vinci (falafel veggie burger, hummus, tabbouleh, goddess dressing), each of them works of art with regional ties. The Sushi Bar offers standards and unique new creations alike, from Nigiri to Outside the Box. In addition to fresh fish with or without rice (Nigiri and Sashimi), Specialty Roll options include the Beach Roll (crab, Hamachi, salmon, tempura flakes, sriracha, spicy mayo), Whistler’s Mother (eel, avocado, crab, cream cheese, scallions, eel sauce,) and the American Gothic (sweet potato tempura, avocado sesame seeds, honey/ginger/soy reduction). And then there’s the Outside The Box offerings, which are American classics rolled up with rice. Choose from the Fried Chicken Roll (with macaroni and cheese and bbq sauce), the Carolina Roll (bbq pulled pork, kale slaw, onion straws), or the Burger Roll (hamburger, cheddar cheese, onion straws, steak sauce). It’s also worth mentioning that ART sources all of their meats from responsible farms where hormones and additives are nowhere to be found.
This space is a new revelation for Myrtle Beach – a narrow, Cosmopolitan strip of restaurant with local paintings (for sale) greeting guests on their way to the dining area. The décor is contemporary beach-themed, with nods to the minimalist economy of traditional sushi spaces – sleek surfaces, industrial hues. Asymmetrical wooden planks also line most of the walls – think washed-up driftwood shaped into eye-pleasing formations. Flanking the back end of the bar space is a nitrogen machine, where a bartender is usually busy crafting extra-cold concoctions, with a cool, weightless fog emitting from the process. The menu, the atmosphere, the design – each of them ART, indeed.