At Sakura Garden, diners don?t have to choose between Chinese food or sushi?they can enjoy them both in a single meal before washing it down with an Asian beer or fruit-flavored sake. At the corner sushi bar, chefs combine vinegared rice, seaweed, fresh fish, and vegetables into artfully prepared dishes such as the Sakura Garden special roll, a colorful mix of tuna, salmon, crab, eel, and avocado rolled up in soy paper, then drizzled in a housemade sauce and flying-fish roe. The Chinese dishes are just as fresh and delicious; choose from a number of pork, chicken, beef, or shrimp entrees served with white or brown rice.
California Rollin's crew of nimble-fingered sushi slingers prepare fresh sushi rolls and 70 cooked comestibles to populate an extensive Americanized menu. Raw delicacies include the hamachi maki, which corrals lemon-kissed yellowtail and scallions, and the cooked Cinema roll, whose shrimp and avocado add a cool complement to the tangy crunch of onion rings. The Leviathan roll ensconces bites of eel and cucumber inside another rolled layer of tempura shrimp and seaweed salad. Patrons can accompany each meal with with unique dessert rolls such as the tempura-cheesecake roll with a fried Oreo and draughts of hot sake, the traditional Japanese beverage made from fermented rice.
Sakura Home Japanese Restaurant serves up a variety of specialty sashimi and sushi rolls such as Toro, which is comprised of tuna belly fat and uni. Guests further experience a Japanese dining tradition in the restaurant's tatami room, where they sit atop plush cushions on the floor and eat at low-resting tables. But the restaurant isn't entirely chair-free?a private hibachi room seats diners around a table with an inset grill, where skilled chefs make a show of slicing and sizzling steak, lobster, and vegetables. Out in the main dining room, sushi makers also put their skills on display while crafting specialty rolls with ingredients such as tuna and honey mayo.
Revamped by new owner Mark Teng in 2004, Plum House stays true to its traditional culinary focus, serving Asian dishes in a dining room with suspended paper lamps that hang above tableside foliage. Chefs slice through white tuna, snow crab, and fatty salmon, fashion specialty rolls with names such as Blossom and Tarantula, and pour teriyaki sauce over chicken and seafood. Combination lunch boxes provide ample servings of teriyaki or tempura fare in a format that has proven timeless, unlike Mercury Rising–branded lunch boxes.
Flavorful hibachi steak, teriyaki red snapper, and vegetable-laden bowls of udon noodles abound at Blue Ocean, but the crown jewel of its menu is the extensive selection of sushi. Diners in a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere, use chopsticks whittled from golden trees to pick up these elaborate rolls, which revel in rich flavors and even richer culinary traditions. The Blue Ocean roll, for example, features tuna, salmon, yellowtail, crabmeat, and cucumber topped with avocado and vibrantly colored roe. So whether it hails from land or sea, each entree is a celebration of Japanese cuisine and fresh ingredients.
Diners fade into soft focus through the steam rising from hot-pot dishes, which simmer in iron or clay cauldrons atop tables. The warm vapor hints at slices of beef, crabmeat, and deep-fried shrimp, and the table-top preparation slows meals to a pleasant crawl and draws patrons together. Nearby, clattering blades and spatulas orbit chefs at hibachi grills, where steak, salmon, and lemon-doused lobster crackle against the hot surface. At the sushi bar, nimble cooks twist rolls, slip knives through sashimi, and wrap sheets of seaweed around fish that still have their watches set to Atlantis time.