Continuing an age-old Japanese culinary tradition, Shabu-Ya specializes in shabu-shabu, or hot pot––a modern take on the steaming soups historically eaten by Genghis Khan and his armies. The café's sleekly modern interior is designed to evoke the colors and shapes of this signature dish, from vegetable-green couches to round hanging lights that recall bubbles in boiling broth. Meals can begin with seaweed-encircled sushi while diners decide which meats and veggies to simmer in a choice of shabu-shabu broths such as Korean kimchi and vegetarian mushroom. Kitchen specials also offer Black Angus rib eye or chili-marinated pork bulgoki to build hearty hot pots, and are flavorful ways to change up an all-mayonnaise diet.
At The Ginger Pad, a casual atmosphere blends with the rich aromas of garlic, thai basil, and chili sauce hanging in the air to help guests forget the world outside. Like a suspension bridge made out of udon noodles, the menu connects distant lands through food, laying out delicious examples of Malaysian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. Spring rolls or edamame preempt dives into salty-sweet pad thai or korean beef barbecue. Chopsticks can also lift spicy sichuan shrimp to mouths or gently cradle sushi rolls that combine colorful mango and avocado with fresh tobiko, tuna, salmon, and scallops.
With 12 distinctive sauces coating their classic chicken wings and boneless tenders, the cooks at Wing Works Kitchen do their best to change people's perceptions of what chicken really tastes like. They pair their poultry with classic American flavors, such as mild buffalo sauce, complimented by a menu of burgers and fries. They also collect tastes from halfway around the globe, whipping up a Hawaiian-teriyaki sauce for their tenders and serving Korean spicy pork and sticky rice with a side of housemade kimchee.
In the dining room, a fleet of televisions invites neighborhood regulars to take in a Celtics or Bruins game while dipping the opposing team's jersey in a vat of their favorite sauce.