The intermingling aromas of ginger, coconut, lemongrass, chilies, and basil is pretty typical of most Asian eateries. But Grasshopper Restaurant isn’t like most Asian eateries. Rather than stick with one regional specialty, it borrows recipes and flavors from Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisines. The chefs also distinguish their menu by avoiding any meat, opting for stir-fried seitan and tofu as protein-packed alternatives. However, the Zagat-rated restaurant mostly relies on fragrant herbs, piquant seasonings, and fresh vegetables to concoct its animal-friendly, plant-hostile versions of classic dishes such as beef lo mein, barbecued pork, and steak with spicy black bean sauce.
Imperial Kitchen's chefs have prepared authentic Chinese cuisine for more than 35 years, searing seasoned chicken, roast pork, seafood, and assorted garden pluckings in vegetable oil. Classic dishes such as cashew chicken and satay beef arrive fresh and made to order so that diners can customize the heat level of each dish, turning the dial from mild to extra spicy to hotter than a pile of burning fireman calendars. Combo dinners bolster favorite entrees with pork-fried rice, whereas chef's specialties add inventive flair with lotus flour and flavorful ginger sauce, spicy orange sauce, or the chef's signature sauce.:
A banner printed with tiny white fish flutters above Ma Soba's sushi bar, where chefs in pert white hats tuck ribbons of fish atop rice and seaweed. In the kitchen, stovetops sizzle with Chinese, Korean, Thai, and other Asian dishes, such as bulgogi, tempura-battered seafood and vegetables, and entrees spiced with chili-and-ginger general tso's sauce. Wine and water goblets moor maroon tablecloths in the softly lit dining room, where potted orchids and bromeliads complement a Japanese screen painted with branches and cherry blossoms. Ma Soba also packs entrees into tidy containers for carryout and delivery orders to offices, homes, and tree houses.
Mandarin Cuisine's expansive menu is filled with classically made Chinese dishes. Break in your chopsticks with an order of crunchy crab rangoon ($4.95) or Peking ravioli ($5.50). Flavorful Far East imports include crispy orange chicken ($11.50) and Mongolian-style beef with scallions and onions ($12.75). Like Penn & Teller, the honey-glazed chicken with chili garlic ($12.75) is an irresistible combination of sweet and spicy. For a meal worth untangling, try the house specialty rice noodles with chicken, pork, shrimp, and veggies ($9.25). Mandarin Cuisine also offers a range of low-calorie dishes ($9.25–$13.50).