Oct 8, 2008 at 6:10 pm

CAFFE PERUSA, 9200 Taylorsville Rd., 495-5070. The little-known Continental restaurant tucked away in a strip mall stands out with its succulent food well worth the cost. The variety of choices make it difficult to decide on just one entrée, but the “Study in Oysters” appetizer is a good start. (Reviewed 7/17/08; Rating: 91)

ASAHI JAPANESE RESTAURANT, 3701 Lexington Rd., 895-1130. Chef Yong Bong Tak has made Asahi a worthy addition to St. Matthews. The extensive menu includes more than 100 sushi options, including the “Hawaiian Roll” and pairs of nigiri sushi. (Reviewed 7/23/08; Rating: 78)

BUENOS DIAS CAFÉ, 1703 Charlestown-N.A. Pike, (812) 282-2233. A simple, modern strip-mall exterior conceals one of the region’s most interesting small Latino eateries. The menu includes affordable, delicious dishes such as a Honduran Breakfast, Mexican stewed beef and fiery shrimp. (Reviewed 8/6/08; Rating: 88)

CARLY RAE’S, 103 W. Oak St., 365-1003. With the arrival of Chef David Clancy (of the late Bistro New Albany), Carly Rae’s is emerging as a strong contender to break the spell of the doomed location at the corner of First and Oak streets in Old Louisville. The attractive and fair-priced casual bistro offers a mix of Cajun, Creole, Mediterranean and a lot of Clancy. (Reviewed 8/20/08; Rating: 88)

BIG AL’S BEERITAVILLE, 1715 Mellwood Ave., 893-4487. With a cozy bar, front patio with tables and an outdoor beer garden complete with a horseshoe pit and cornhole, it’s a fun, laid-back place to spend a Saturday afternoon or a weeknight happy hour. The typical pub-grub menu features an extra-thick fried bologna sandwich, wings, bratwursts and deli sandwiches. (Reviewed 9/3/08; Rating: 81)

MOJITO TAPAS RESTAURANT, 2231 Holiday Manor Ctr., 425-0949, This established East End restaurant features small-plate Spanish tapas with a Cuban vibe. Chef-owner Fernando Martinez recently traveled to Europe and brought much of what he learned back home to kick Mojito’s menu up a notch. (Reviewed 9/17/08; Rating: 93)

DAKSHIN INDIAN RESTAURANT, Eastland Shopping Center, 4742 Bardstown Rd., 491-7412. This recent arrival ranks as a favorite among the region’s Indian community. The menu is said to include at least one dish from every Indian state, from Tamil Nadu and the Malabar Coast to Kashmir and the Himalayas. (Reviewed 10/1/08; Rating: 86)