The culinary wizards of Mt. Fuji Sushi & Hibachi synergize bold and rich flavors from fresh ingredients and meats before their customers’ eyes. Hibachi preparations of filet mignon ($24.50) and salmon ($20.50) eschew the kitchen for the dinner table, where red-hatted chefs grill meals inches away from patrons that will devour and name first-born children after the seared morsels. Special sushi rolls compete for diners’ attentions with unique swaths of ingredients; the Rock ‘n’ Roll is laced with mango, avocado, and shrimp tempura ($13.75), and the Godzilla roll balances its triple-fish attack with caviar and scallions ($12.25). The restaurant’s wide array hibachi grill-top tables encourages socialization, where strangers can become close companions as they marvel at their chef’s showmanship and amaze onlookers with their broccoli-catching skills.
Golden Phoenix's owner brings a Thai background to the eatery's cuisine, but the cooking staff ably represents Thailand, China, and Japan with an eclectic menu of pan-Asian staples. Diners can clasp fresh sushi rolls or lap up spicy coconut curries, complemented by a broad selection of wines and sake.
Carved straight-backed chairs and hanging crimson lanterns cultivate a traditional Chinese vibe inside Golden Shanghai's spacious dining room. Nearby, a wall with strings of firecrackers and golden Buddha statues creates an exotic backdrop for family dinners or faked vacation photos. In keeping with the traditional décor theme, chefs plate MSG-free Chinese classics such as crispy duck and spicy Hunan beef as well as more adventurous specialties from a separate authentic-Chinese menu.
Elsewhere, however, the kitchen defies standard categories, bringing together the disparate cuisines of Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam for eclectic feasts. Tender morsels of Thai satay chicken share table space with Japanese sushi and udon, and chefs also stir up bowls of Vietnamese noodle soup. As they chomp their way through the tastes of the East, visitors can toast another year of not renewing their passport with glasses of tropical cocktails or frosty, thirst-quenching beers.
Banzai Sushi's chefs award imaginative nicknames to the 100 distinct sushi rolls that earned the restaurant a top-five spot on ABC 7's A-List in 2011. The Nitros roll, baked in a blanket of spicy sauce, awakens taste buds with salty smelt roe and crunchy flecks of tempura, while Drum rolls keeps things fresh with tuna, lemon, and asparagus. For a hot meal, diners can tear into a hibachi-grilled meat or classic teriyaki entree, each available with a choice of salmon, chicken, or New York–style steak.