Dining out with friends can foster healthy relationships that might otherwise be limited to impersonal group texts or overly personal bath-time visits. Get a bite in person with a person with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of contemporary Asian fare at The Red Crane in Cupertino. In between The Red Crane’s simply dressed white walls, chef Royce Mori artfully plates a spread of pan-Asian lunch and dinner dishes brimming with fresh seafood and drizzled in succulent sauces. Elegant, minimalist presentation emphasizes the vibrant colors and beautiful singing voice of the dinner menu’s oven-roasted, coffee-glazed baby back ribs, which fall off the bone and into open mouths ($17). The understated flavor of raw plates such as the hamachi sashimi—sliced yellow tail and avocado puree in a roasted garlic vinaigrette ($16)—serve as prelude to the char siu marinated Chilean sea bass ($24). Lunch specials include the miso-glazed Japanese eggplant ($10) and shaking beef tenderloin dressed in a tangy black peppercorn sauce with tomatoes, sweet onions, and romaine lettuce ($12). The accommodating staff is on hand to recommend wine pairings or relight tabletop candles that have flickered out due to excessive whooping from overly excited dinner dates.
The Red Crane
Dishes of salmon tartare and bacon-fried rice glide through the dining room of The Red Crane, as if imitating the flight of the restaurant's namesake. They land atop crisp white tablecloths, which cover tables dotted with glowing tea candles. In the kitchen, chefs prepare other contemporary renditions of classic Asian cuisine, using traditional recipes to create teriyaki sauce and enhancing other dishes with modern design principles. Brimming with tuna, salmon, hamachi, and three types of vegetables, the chefs' signature rainbow ceviche is more colorful than a sunset during a paintball tournament.