Kumeo Komazaki, known to friends as "Koma", relocated to New York City from Japan 30 years ago, bringing with him the culinary skills he learned as a chef for Japan's Imperial Palace Hotel. While working as a chef in New York, Komazaki happened to read the address on a box of beef shipped from Wichita, then seized the opportunity to establish his own restaurant there. At the Wichita location and its sister restaurants in St. Louis and Omaha, chefs entertain diners as they prepare steaks, seafood, and chicken at teppanyaki tables, flipping sizzling victuals through the air and searing meat to perfection. Sushi chefs roll and slice fresh seafood into bite-size pieces, which can be brought to mouths with chopsticks or hunger-induced telekinesis.
The talented hibachi and sushi chefs at Saké Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar freshly flip, cut, and roll all of the meals they serve. Elegant blue lighting washes over a capacious menu that caters to variable tastes with more than 30 dexterously crafted sushi rolls, such as the spicy-crunchy-tuna roll, yellowtail-scallion roll, and the large dining-room-carpet roll. In-table hibachi grills set the stage for fast-handed chefs to perform theatrical flips and flourishes as they prepare grilled, aerodynamic meals featuring chicken, shrimp, or steak, all accompanied by a festive trio of soup, salad, and fried rice.
As hungering eyes look upon dexterous feats of cooking, elegantly modern décor beckons forth diners' appetites with clean lines, glossy surfaces, and ancient Edo-period hedge-maze maps.
A chef stands over a flaming tableside teppanyaki grill, twirling his cooking instruments in the air and catching them in each hand. As his audience whistles and cheers, he sears juicy morsels of filet mignon, chicken, and seafood alongside colorful slices of mixed vegetables. Chefs are equally busy behind the sushi counter, artfully arranging more than 100 different types of rolls with fresh tuna, spicy salmon, and crispy shrimp tempura. At the bar, expert mixologists shake premium liquors and juices into cocktails, garnishing them with duos of plump olives and curls of lemon rind. At nightfall as the moon filters in through the skylight windows, the contemporary dining room comes alive with glimmering televisions, lively music, and friends debating the existence of wood nymphs over drinks.
Din Din's speedy chefs work woks like greased lightning in pursuit of fresh, fast Asian fare. Like a dim-sum dumpling, the restaurant's scaled-back menu rolls together a bite-size list of carryout mainstays ready and willing to be dunked in teriyaki. Four combo items anchor the offerings, ranging from a simple platter with fried rice and egg rolls ($4.99) to a beefed-up course mixing the aforementioned yummies with surf or turf and a clutch of chicken wings ($7.99). Family-size portions fill broods with Din Din's chow, with a special platter of chicken wings, fried shrimp, egg rolls, crab rangoon, and a quart of vegetable fried rice ($9.99) giving clans the energy needed to take the gold at family game night or navigate forests during all-night orienteering treks. Side items are not chained to the combos, allowing patrons to set free individual helpings of wings, rangoon, and rolls with the hope that they will lovingly return. In addition, Din Din whips up a tasty, speedy lunch with four noontime combos of pepper steak, curry chicken, and more ($5.99 each).
When Dave Wan and his wife opened Koi-Fusion, they had a vision of a specific kind of restaurant—one that would use only the freshest ingredients and craft all of its sauces from scratch. It seems they weren’t too specific, though, as the menu they settled on evinces wide-ranging influences from Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Asian dishes at Koi-Fusion do have some common traits. They generally involve sliced, tender meats stewed in sauce and paired with slivers of crisp veggies. Noodles of varying shapes and sizes can be found on plates of pad thai, in steamy bowls of pho, and trying to pass as swirly straws in cups of bubble tea.
Like the teleportal between Beijing and Tokyo, Nippon Grill & Sushi's menu unites the culinary worlds of China and Japan, tempting taste buds with satisfying dinners of juicy, artfully prepared meats and veggies. Fresh hibachi plates combine veggies with proteins such as scallops ($8.50) or chicken ($6.50), and spicy beef rice bowls ($6) deliver piquant flavor to lunchtime feasts. Nippon's chefs also slice up sushi, neatly delivering tasteful layers of tuna and scallions in the spicy tuna roll ($6.50) or bolstering smoked salmon with cream cheese, avocado, and whispered compliments in a Philly Smoke roll ($6.50).