A savory haven of fresh Asian-inspired fare for more than two decades, Jasmine Asian Cuisine tasks its experienced chefs with preparing an eclectic menu of cooked-to-order dishes crafted with organic veggies, choice cuts of meat, and oils bursting with antioxidants. Pu pu platters sate dithering diners with pintsize portions of delectable meats, seafood, wontons, and egg rolls ($5.95). An epic selection of chef's specialties, including the pepper mignon seasoned with peppercorns and topped with onions ($10.25), quell grumbling tummies before they bellow like Pavarotti after stubbing his big toe.
Carved straight-backed chairs and hanging crimson lanterns cultivate a traditional Chinese vibe inside Golden Shanghai's spacious dining room. Nearby, a wall with strings of firecrackers and golden Buddha statues creates an exotic backdrop for family dinners or faked vacation photos. In keeping with the traditional décor theme, chefs plate MSG-free Chinese classics such as crispy duck and spicy Hunan beef as well as more adventurous specialties from a separate authentic-Chinese menu.
Elsewhere, however, the kitchen defies standard categories, bringing together the disparate cuisines of Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam for eclectic feasts. Tender morsels of Thai satay chicken share table space with Japanese sushi and udon, and chefs also stir up bowls of Vietnamese noodle soup. As they chomp their way through the tastes of the East, visitors can toast another year of not renewing their passport with glasses of tropical cocktails or frosty, thirst-quenching beers.
China Star maintains a speedy team of delivery drivers to fill homes with the warm aromas and comforting flavors of classic Chinese cuisine, whether it's tangles of egg noodles wound around juicy shrimp or seared pieces of pork buried in grains of fried rice. Chunks of chicken, beef, or tofu acquire stylish glazes of General Tso’s sauce, sesame sauce, or curried lime sauce, and Thai influences shine through in plates of pad thai, bowls of green and pineapple red curry, and the chefs' secret love of kickboxing.
Amid rough-hewn stone walls and exposed wooden rafters, Belvedere fills plates with traditional Polish entrees. Each pierogi’s pillowy pocket hides meat or cheese, and gouda stuffs a homemade polish sausage. Roasted duck is served on a mound of sweet red cabbage, and veal schnitzel arrives slathered in hunter’s sauce, which actual hunters cover themselves in to hide from their prey. Lunchtime covers tables with sandwiches that include bacon-wrapped chicken, sliced meatballs, and kielbasa with sauerkraut.
Easily identifiable by its stone façade and neon red sign, P.F. Chang’s China bistro is a thriving oasis of Americanized Chinese food that’s geared toward those who appreciate familiarity. This Lower Downtown spot is the ideal spot for those with tastes that lean toward crab wontons, egg rolls and huge plates of fried rice, lo mein and beef with broccoli. The signature lettuce wraps, tucked with wok-seared chicken and vegetables, live up to the hype, and the trio of dipping sauces – hot mustard, chile paste and a concoction of chile oil, white vinegar and soy sauce – up the flavor quotient. A large cocktail syllabus, along with housemade, non-alcoholic sodas, beer, wine and a selection of hot teas, round out the experience.
Golden Phoenix's owner brings a Thai background to the eatery's cuisine, but the cooking staff ably represents Thailand, China, and Japan with an eclectic menu of pan-Asian staples. Diners can clasp fresh sushi rolls or lap up spicy coconut curries, complemented by a broad selection of wines and sake.