Q2 Bistro's menu of Cantonese-inspired dishes features family-developed recipes as well as flavor combinations hand-me-downed from the master chefs of China. Wake up your taste buds with spicy salty calamari ($6.95) and walnut shrimp ($6.95), or put a crabby tummy growl to rest with an appetizer platter of two crab rangoons, two spring rolls, and two egg rolls ($7.50). After taking down these edible opponents one at a time with flying forks of fury, entrust your taste buds to the man in charge by trying a chef specialty such as the Mongolian trio (tiger shrimp, beef, and chicken sautéed with white and green onions in a spicy Mongolian sauce, $11.25) or spicy pineapple fried rice ($10.55). Q2 also boasts a wide selection of signature rice pots, including the hoisin duo with tofu (tender slices of beef and chicken sautéed with tofu, broccoli, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots, $10.95), goncho beef with green beans (wok-flashed beef stir fry with green beans, $10.75), and eggplant with minced pork (served in a spicy Szechwan sauce, $10.55). For a more traditional standby, opt for a plate of kong pao chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp ($8.95–$9.95).
Just like at family gatherings, diners gather at long, rectangular tables and wait for their hosts to serve dinner. Unlike family gatherings, however, a flame suddenly bursts forth from the table’s built-in grill, where standing cooks sauté seafood, chicken, beef, and vegetables. Such is the scene at Chef Honda Restaurant, where a row of these hibachi tables fill a dining room accented with earth tones. In addition to traditional grilled entrees, the cooks prepare specials such as spicy-tuna carpaccio and seared maki rolls.
The expert teppanyaki chefs at Ichiban use their iron griddles as the primary tools in building a menu that sizzles with steaks, seafood, and noodle dishes, and a sushi bar that unfurls with makimono. Although the sushi wears its Japanese pride on its seaweed sleeve, both steakhouses also boast a streak of avant-garde international influence, with such offerings as the seared salmon roll––salmon skin and cucumber topped with seared salmon and salsa ($13). The Crazy roll's deliciousness makes diners believe that their tongues are flavor magnets with morsels of shrimp tempura, avocado, flying-fish roe, and spicy mayo ($7). Hibachi dinner entrees—such as the filet mignon and scallops ($22.95)—arrive with an entourage of sides that include two pieces of shrimp tempura, vegetables, and steamed rice (substitute fried rice for $1.65).
Mulan Asian Bistro mines the culinary history of China and Thailand to build the entrees and signature noodles dishes that fill the lunch and dinner menus. The dan-dan garlic noodle dish with chicken accessorizes a nest of egg noodles and bean sprouts with a spicy coat of ground chicken stir-fried with scallions, garlic and chili peppers ($5.95 for lunch, $8.50 for dinner). Morsels of battered chicken breast share space with broccoli-cap roommates in orders of sesame chicken ($6 for lunch, $10.25 for dinner), fighting over how much sauce each piece gets and making a chore wheel to decide which has to clean the plate. Coax forth spice-driven salivations with the thai red curry shrimp's bowl of bell peppers, bamboo shoots, and shrimp bobbing in a simmering mixture of sweet coconut milk and spicy red curry ($7 for lunch, $10.95 for dinner). Vegetable entrees break from the meaty chains of traditional proteins with herbaceous items such as the spicy mala string beans ($5.50 for lunch, $7.35 for dinner), which can also double as a vegan-friendly medium for tin can telephones.
Under the leadership of executive chef Kazushige Honda, Otani Sushi's culinary team crafts authentic Japanese fare, all highlighted on a massive menu of rolls, tempura, and teriyaki dishes. Guests can customize their own roll or feast upon sashimi, nigiri, or specialty sushi such as the Hard Rock roll, an amalgamation of shrimp, crab, and salmon. Cooks receive roll orders, along with hot entrees and starters, until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and up to 30 guests can enjoy soirees until 2 a.m. seven days a week in the soundproof private party room. There, from a selection of more than 100,000 songs in English and Japanese, visitors read lyrics whizzing by on 40-inch flat-screen TV, croon to their selected song, and shed a single tear at their own heartfelt performance. Otani Sushi also hosts karaoke sessions for the rest of its diners seven days a week.
A whirlwind of utensils hovers over a sizzling grill under the ministrations of a deft hibachi chef, sending morsels of seared meat to diners seated around a crimson-hued circle of polished wood. Guests can request orders of teriyaki chicken, hibachi steak, or shrimp and watch the multitasking chef cook each meal to order while entertaining fellow diners and writing a grocery list to shop for after their shift. Vibrant, rustic murals and dioramas decorate the dining room, and lantern-style light fixtures cast a warm glow on tables and working fountain by the restaurant's entrance.