With consummate showmanship, hibachi chefs grill lobster tails and shrimp in front of guests in Ginza Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar’s modern dining room. Flames from the hibachi grill gleam off black tabletops surrounded by chairs arranged in a U-shape. Behind the sushi bar, chefs prepare california rolls alongside specialties such as the Mayflower, whose spicy tuna and fish eggs evoke the sea life that pilgrims used to catch by hand and throw at trees they suspected of practicing witchcraft. In the kitchen, cooks craft more traditional dishes such as chicken and salmon glazed in teriyaki sauce or veggies and shrimp fried tempura-style.
Maru's distinct pan-Asian cuisine blends Japanese and Korean cuisine into tapas-style dining and elaborate sushi rolls. Amid deep crimson walls and rich mahogany woods, diners tuck into Korean short ribs or marinated bulgogi?thin-sliced rib-eye steak?as chopsticks conduct Japanese flavor symphonies of miso-marinated pork belly and char-broiled squid drizzled in sweet ginger sauce. Omakase-style dining gives culinary adventurers a chance to tour the chef's favorite new creations, sampling their way through an off-menu spread of sushi. Alternatively, guests can delight in the bistro's complex sushi mainstays, such as the Maru roll, stuffed with crab and cream cheese, topped with spicy tuna, and christened with crispy spires of sliced lotus root. The sushi bar also slices its own tapas dishes, slinging shareable plates of yellowtail with organic microgreens, jalapeño, and ponzu, or cuts of spicy tuna and avocado served on lotus-root chips.
A traditional Japanese art form, kabuki theater involves elaborate displays of song and dance. Living up to this tradition, Kabuki Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar puts on a show every day during lunch and dinner with an unlikely cast. Atop tableside grills, meats sizzle in song; flames dance into the air; and knives refuse to perform unless their name is first on the marquee. Hibachi chefs direct all of this action, and their skilled hands slice and cook meat entrees that range from sesame chicken to lobster to rib-eye steak. Complementing the grilled cuisine, sushi chefs prepare classic california rolls and specialty rolls such as the Krazy: avocado, crab, and cream cheese bundled beneath a cap of lobster salad.
The multitalented chefs at Café Asia Raleigh draw culinary influences from all over Asia as they devise a menu of cooked entrees and artfully rolled sushi. While sitting in black leather booths or at cherry-wood tables, diners catch whiffs of alluring aromas coming from the kitchen, where culinary wizards conjure up shrimp tempura appetizers, miso soups, and noodle and rice dishes, including lobster pad thai and chicken teriyaki served with steamed vegetables. Flavors from the ocean star in the restaurant’s sushi selection, which includes rainbow rolls with five types of fish and spider rolls with soft-shell crab, avocado, cucumber, and scallions.
Blues and reds fill the dining-room walls at Tokyo House Japanese Restaurant, which features a menu of Japanese favorites, including nigiri and maki sushi, many types of noodle dishes, and hibachi entrees. Diners can watch the chefs at work at a sushi bar as they craft special rolls such as the Scary Jerry with mild or spicy yellowtail, tuna, and salmon on top of a crunchy roll with scallop.
Drawing on 25 years working in prominent Thai restaurants, owners Oddy and sister, Kanchana, have lined Thai Cafe's menu with recipes from their home digs of Bangpoo––a village southeast of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand. Striving always to balance the four basic Thai tastes of salty, sweet, sour/bitter, and hot, the duo also instills a precise flavor profile through meticulous knife work. Finely cutting ingredients into smaller pieces ensures seasoning coverage, stir-fry crispness, and an ego boost for the self-conscious baby corns.
Butter-hued walls prepare senses for yellow-, red-, and green-curry dishes insulated with tender morsels of chicken and beef. Skilled sushi artists slice sashimi and form hand rolls from yellowtail and tempura shrimp, and chef specialties dispatch from the kitchen with Thai barbecue, crispy catfish, and roasted duck––many of which have been left to marinate or cook overnight. Thai Cafe also conveniently represents each dish's spice level by placing two red peppers beside hot dishes, three beside Thai hot dishes, and an invisible pepper beside secret-recipe dishes for the eatery's magician clientele.