With its whistle blowing and its lights blazing, a miniature locomotive rounds the bend at Sushi Train's sushi bar. Instead of boxcars freighted with hobo gold, however, the engine tows dozens of sushi plates, which diners can pick up as the train passes. Sushi Train's creative, playful approach to sushi extends to the recipes themselves: the Bomber, for instance, includes jalapeño, Velveeta cheese, and smoked salmon, and the Bayou roll blends catfish and blackened shrimp with spicy sauce. Chefs also roll out dozens of traditional nigiri and roll recipes, such as california rolls and vegetable fuko maki.
The Sushi Place’s chefs integrate shrimp and scallops with cream cheese and spicy mayo, yielding rolls with complex profiles of texture and flavor. Edamame and seaweed salad segue into thin-sliced salmon, tuna, and yellow-tail sashimi. Tempura batter crackles around veggies and shrimp, punctuated by the sound of whirring chopstick sharpeners, and notes of plum and grass drift from glasses of sake.
An unassuming brick storefront with bamboo-shaded windows barely contains the thrum of voices and simmering broth that roils within Tokyo Pot. Shabu shabu is by necessity an active method of dining and The Oklahoman’s Food Dude Dave Cathey says “It’s impossible to sit through a meal at Tokyo Pot in silence.” This vibrancy arises from the broth-filled pots that sit in the middle of each table and remind diners of the genuinely social nature of cooking and sharing food as they dunk thin slices of meat into the hot liquid. Gentle pendant lighting brings to life the colors of bright cut blossoms and illuminates jets of rising steam that resemble famous clouds.
Kumeo Komazaki, known to friends as "Koma", relocated to New York City from Japan 30 years ago, bringing with him the culinary skills he learned as a chef for Japan's Imperial Palace Hotel. While working as a chef in New York, Komazaki happened to read the address on a box of beef shipped from Wichita, then seized the opportunity to establish his own restaurant there. At the Wichita location and its sister restaurants in St. Louis and Omaha, chefs entertain diners as they prepare steaks, seafood, and chicken at teppanyaki tables, flipping sizzling victuals through the air and searing meat to perfection. Sushi chefs roll and slice fresh seafood into bite-size pieces, which can be brought to mouths with chopsticks or hunger-induced telekinesis.
A chef stands over a flaming tableside teppanyaki grill, twirling his cooking instruments in the air and catching them in each hand. As his audience whistles and cheers, he sears juicy morsels of filet mignon, chicken, and seafood alongside colorful slices of mixed vegetables. Chefs are equally busy behind the sushi counter, artfully arranging more than 100 different types of rolls with fresh tuna, spicy salmon, and crispy shrimp tempura. At the bar, expert mixologists shake premium liquors and juices into cocktails, garnishing them with duos of plump olives and curls of lemon rind. At nightfall as the moon filters in through the skylight windows, the contemporary dining room comes alive with glimmering televisions, lively music, and friends debating the existence of wood nymphs over drinks.
The talented hibachi and sushi chefs at Saké Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar freshly flip, cut, and roll all of the meals they serve. Elegant blue lighting washes over a capacious menu that caters to variable tastes with more than 30 dexterously crafted sushi rolls, such as the spicy-crunchy-tuna roll, yellowtail-scallion roll, and the large dining-room-carpet roll. In-table hibachi grills set the stage for fast-handed chefs to perform theatrical flips and flourishes as they prepare grilled, aerodynamic meals featuring chicken, shrimp, or steak, all accompanied by a festive trio of soup, salad, and fried rice.
As hungering eyes look upon dexterous feats of cooking, elegantly modern décor beckons forth diners' appetites with clean lines, glossy surfaces, and ancient Edo-period hedge-maze maps.