From their command center behind the open sushi bar, Umi Sushi’s skilled chefs champion fresh, authentic Japanese fare by sculpting vibrantly hued rolls and umami-packed entrees. These culinary gurus scuttle about the kitchen decorating sleek white plates with traditional morsels infused with inventive flavors such as honey wasabi sauce and pink soy seaweed. Artistically composed platefuls of fresh fish and bowls of steaming noodles arrive before guests perched on modern wooden benches in the dining room. When warmer weather rolls in, Umi Sushi’s outdoor brick patio beckons eaters to sun on its stone benches as their chopsticks click through the kitchen’s masterpieces.
An unmistakable elegance permeates the dining room at New Peninsula Restaurant. Armless, checker-patterned chairs surround tables blanketed with crisp linens and gleaming silverware, and two milk-white horse statues stand mid-canter amid the lush greenery of the room's potted plants. With sporadic lanterns and track lighting casting a dim glow throughout the space, the shining, cerulean-blue aquarium stands out like a beacon. Overhead, the recessed ceiling features pinpoints of light against a blue-black background, mimicking the appearance of a nighttime sky or a Magic Eight Ball full of fireflies instead of advice.
Within this distinct setting, New Peninsula Restaurant's chefs indulge diners with a menu of pan-regional Asian cuisine that mainly draws inspiration from Chinese and Japanese culinary traditions. Sushi chefs fill plates with nigiri, sashimi, and more than 40 different rolls while the rest of the kitchen prepares classic dishes such as steak teriyaki and stir-fried soba noodles with chicken. Chinese dishes include Peking duck, roast pork lo mein, and shrimp in spicy Szechuan sauce.
When owners, Robert Beer and Tom Lam, opened Nisen Woodbury, they set out to seamlessly combine sushi and traditional fine dining into one stylish package. So for the upscale menu, their chefs craft specialty rolls such as the Scottish goat, filled with ginger salmon, goat cheese, roasted Portobello, and jalapeño salsa, and cook high-quality meats, such as organic chicken and Kobe-style beef, to perfection. And regardless of whether it’s served hot or cold, the food that emerges from the restaurant’s kitchen is artfully presented. This fits with Nisen Woodbury’s interior décor, which features warm mood lighting and tables set beneath lofty, arched ceilings that draw hip crowds of discerning fine diners.
Wild Ginger’s crew draws upon culinary traditions from Japan, Thailand, and China as the chefs slice burdock root, shiitake mushrooms, and lemongrass. In the bustling kitchen, they decorate colorful eats with tobiko and curlicues of honey-infused wasabi. Steam trickles from bowls of noodles and tempura-battered lobster. Servers whisk the newly minted dishes out to the yellow, orange, and green dining room, delivering them to tables of guests and cartoon silverware seeking a night away from the demands of constant singing.
Traditional Japanese sliding doors sit next to recessed lighting that glows with the neon hue of a thumping nightclub. This juxtaposition of ancient heritage and fresh innovation extends to the steak house's menu, which features surprising takes on the maki sushi roll staple. The Passion roll, for instance, kisses its white tuna with a searing flame before pairing it with juicy mango for a sweet and savory juxtaposition. The evocatively named Hot Girl Roll, on the other hand, bundles together different types of seafood, with crab and salmon complementing each other's marine flavors. Those sitting at the hibachi grill can enjoy the traditional acrobatic show, with dextrous chefs cooking up steak, chicken, and shrimp, then flipping finished morsels through the air and into diners' mouths and the air ducts as special treats for the AC repairman.
At Shiki Japanese Restaurant, guests dine from a litany of delicious Japanese dishes, from sushi maki rolls made from fresh slices of fish to savory teriyaki steaks or plates of crispy chicken katsu. Patrons feast on a colorful array of sashimi and maki treats, such as the classic salmon and avocado Alaskan roll, or the tempura lobster, tokibo, and mayo Big Mama roll.