Asian Station 82nd indulges diners with a sumptuous fusion menu that blends classic Japanese fare with modern and traditional Thai dishes. Chefs flaunt their creativity with specialty rolls that artfully envelop fresh seafood such as king crab, spicy scallops, or tuna, and they assemble entrees including tangerine beef and mango chicken that showcase light Asian flavors.
Though the restaurant flaunts an elegant, modern interior design, a sound system playing Top 40 tunes, a mounted flat-screen television, and a vast selection of sake all help forge a more relaxed atmosphere. Diners can eat in the main room or in an auxiliary dining room, where cushioned benches support guests looking up at the illuminated cerulean dome or walls adorned with oversize red and black squares left over from the painting crew's checkers tourneys.
The chefs at Hachi Restaurant & Lounge accessorize the simple, straightforward presentations of Japanese cuisine with flourishes of pan-Asian and European flair. Cinnamon-coated orders of seared tuna arrive with a piquant dab of wasabi aioli, and grilled clams fist bump taste buds with their bacon-truffle butter. Even the sushi pushes its traditional bounds with a dollop of mango salsa or yogurt sauce lining rolls of spicy salmon and hand-peeled grains of rice.
Much like Paul Bunyan's cummerbund, the dining room spreads across two stories, creating the ambience of a lounge with its intimate lighting, S-curved couches, and rich wooden floors. Circular sconces cast sunburst patterns of light across the walls, and blue and purple fiber-optic lighting dangles over the bar.
Sushein's sushi will slip right through your fingers if you're not fast enough. A rotating conveyer belt, like an airport carousel full of tiny, brightly colored edible luggage, carries the super-fresh morsels past diners, who can pluck up the rolls of their choice as they approach. Wildly popular in Japan, this processes, known as Kaiten-style sushi, allows diners to sample many different kinds of rolls in a lively and whimsical environment. White blown-glass chandeliers illuminate the bite-laden conveyer belt as diners watch from their perches in stylish white booths and white tables. Flat-screens broadcast anything from the game to late-night shows on Saturday, when Sushein’s sushi scoots by diners until 1 a.m.
Chinese-American owner Yeh Ching brings the flavors she picked up while living in Malaysia to Canteen 82, teaming with her Hong Kong–born partner, Alan Lee, to further diversify the restaurant’s eclectic menu of Asian fusion fare. Dim sum influences abound, with house-made Shanghai soup dumplings served by the dozen, but small plates aren’t everything at Canteen 82, where robust entrees include a traditional Malaysian slow-cooked beef dish touted in a 2010 review by the New York Times. An espresso machine conjures velvety lattes to chase Malaysian-style curry puffs or dishes from a vegetarian menu to sate herbivorous patrons and their pet brontosauruses.
Sushi Mambo's exterior, with its wooden panels and Japanese-style sloping eaves, evokes the rustic charm of an Edo-era highway inn or the comfortable elegance of a samurai's man cave. Guests dine on artfully arranged maki lined with yellowtail, salmon, and eel or savor the tastes of miso ramen soup or bowls of chicken udon. Specialty rolls combine the complimentary flavors and textures of crunchy tempura chicken, creamy avocado, and spicy sauces, and sashimi plates arrange delicate slices of salmon or tender tuna onto colorful plates of greens, lemons, and carved carrot flowers. The restaurant was also featured on the TV series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
Fresh, chilled fish crown the hand-cut rolls of sushi at Wild Ginger, where the Japanese delicacies comprise only a small part of the robust Asian fusion menu. Diners can stick to one cuisine or construct meals that pull from all over the East, beginning with an appetizer of edamame, moving on to aromatic platters of pad thai or takeout-classic general tso’s chicken, and sides such as Singapore-influenced rice noodles. Skilled culinary professionals hand-blend the restaurant's broad repertoire of sauces from ingredients so fresh that they regularly deposit coins into the kitchen's swear jar.