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 fare 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.
Long before Keo opened its doors in 2007, owners Bill & Zahidah Hyman recognized a growing trend toward healthy dining. This, combined with America's affinity for Asian flavors, spawned Keo Asian Cuisine. Fusing traditional wok cooking from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia, skilled chefs flame-kiss tuna, yellowfin, and quail for burgers and noodle dishes before adding inventive garnishes of lemongrass and sweet oyster vinegar. Under hanging lights with Saturn-style rings, patrons can toss back a specialty cocktail on the rocks, but for the sake of the floor-to-ceiling windows, are discouraged from tossing actual rocks.