A reception desk lined in shimmery green tiles welcomes diners to the earth-toned dining room of MJ China Bistro, where ambitious stalks of bamboo stretch upwards around the perimeter of the seating area. Reflecting the contemporary decor of the room, the kitchen crafts a menu of traditional Chinese-American cuisine with a modern spin. Diners can wrap spoonfuls of mu shu pork in pancakes made by hand. Tea and sugar coat the browning skin of duck as it slowly smokes, its five-spice marinade growing more complex in flavor. The Chin Yuan pork chop, a classic Taiwanese street food, soaks in a secret blend of spices before being fried until just crispy on the outside but still tender on the inside, just like the best customer-service operators.
The restaurant also houses a sushi bar, where chefs whip up the TNT Roll, a combination of crawfish, tuna, and salmon drizzled in a chipotle mayo spicier than that time Charo put wasabi and Sriracha sauce in her tea.
The chefs at Sizzling Wok amass the flavors that epitomize Asian cuisine, then compile them into quick, customizable combo plates for guests to enjoy in-house or on the go. Appetizers such as cheese rangoons, egg rolls, and traditional soups can be washed down with steaming cups of hot green tea or a cold glass of soda before plates of kung pao chicken or mongolian beef arrive with a choice of rice or vegetable lo mein. Chefs can also accommodate guests on specialized diets, guiding them through the choices that comply with gluten-free, vegetarian, or soy-sauce-only diets.
Rice Asian Take-out’s cooks ladle sauces such as red coconut curry, pinoy adobo, and spicy sesame over meats and veggies prepared in Chinese, Filipino, and Thai traditions. Pork ribs in a citrusy tamarind broth vie for citrus supremacy with black mussels flavored with basil and lemongrass, and rice dishes include tocino—cured pork—with fried eggs. Contrary to what its name might imply, Rice Asian Take-out hosts a dining room awash in bright golden hues that cover the walls and catch sunlight on each table and chair. Two tall plants, stationed in front of gauzy purple curtains, guard the door from Mongolian invaders, and a frieze of framed pictures above the windows entertains eyes.
The agile hands at Dragon Gate forge an array of pan-Asian classics, including ranks of meticulously rolled maki. A delicate soy aroma emanates from edamame as diners tuck into sushi rolls such as the Maguro Dynasty roll, which cloaks a shrimp-tempura core in fresh tuna and caviar. Unagi, cucumber, and fresh salmon combine their palate-pleasing forces in the Tiffany roll, and the Volcano roll rolls onto taste buds unleashing flavorful magma of spicy baked crab, avocado, and cucumber. Chefs eschew convention like a finger-painting Leonardo da Vinci by baking california rolls and sheathing them in salmon to form the Lion King roll. Dark wooden furnishings reflect the dining room's intimate lighting, and Asian artwork adorns the walls near a teppanyaki and sushi bar for patrons eager to test Dragon Gate's culinary masterminds with knock-knock jokes.
The executive chef at Imperia emblazons an Asian menu full of fresh seafood and ingredients with a personal flair that has amassed seven Austin Chronicle reader accolades. Inside the stylish urban restaurant, pendant lights illuminate a marble bar winding past Asian decor, and cool slabs of bluefin sashimi stretch out on platters in the arms of attentive servers. Candles flicker across tables, as guests enjoy three-course omakase meals creatively orchestrated and handcrafted by the chef and catapulted directly into awaiting mouths.