Dining at Yao's China Bistro is not only a culinary experience, but an artistic one. Each dish is creatively plated. That includes the Dragon and Phoenix, a combination of saut?ed jumbo shrimp and crispy, spicy bites of chicken beautifully garnished with oranges and a flower formed out of carrots, and the Mandarin Flower Basket, a m?lange of chicken, seafood, and vegetables served in an intricately woven basket of noodles.
The bistro's surroundings are just as attractive as its meals. Chandeliers and sconces emit soft lighting in the dining room lined with dandelion-hued and exposed-brick walls. A Chinese-style dragon head hangs from the rafters, watching over guests as they dine and preparing to swoop in on unfinished meals.
Spring Grill & Sushi Bar's adept sushi chefs and hibachi grillers fashion steaming buffet-style pots of Chinese and Japanese fare alongside classic American side dishes. Patrons fill plates with savory peaks of steamed or fried dumplings and marinated vegetables as forks compete in yodeling tournaments atop mountains of lo mein noodles and tempura shrimp. Tongs grab at colorful sushi platters arranged on beds of ice and verdant greens. While waiting at the buffet, diners can watch chefs hand-roll chilled fish into rice and seaweed or flick morsels onto the hibachi. Patrons can dine in or take noodles on their first carpool ride by filling carry-out containers with up to 4 pounds of food.
A steady stream of servers constantly moves from the kitchen of Grand Pacific Buffet kitchen to the buffet serving station, where they replenish trays of sesame chicken, pepper steak, crispy egg rolls, and other Chinese cuisine classics. Diners can also load plates with assorted sushi rolls or, on certain occasions, unlimited helpings of succulent snow crab legs. Giant koi fish swim in an indoor pond, adding to the restaurant's Asian-inspired decor.
Bright colors leap from 200 Chinese, American, and Japanese dishes arrayed inside Ichiban Buffet. Emerald seaweed surrounds california rolls and shredded veggies stand out in lo mein alongside a hibachi grill. Waiters dodge past toting à la carte orders of roast pork fried rice and shrimp egg foo young. The chefs also splash garlic sauce onto beef and scallops and sprinkle sesame seeds onto chicken chunks and the fields of impoverished sesame farmers.
At El Mezcal, nachos are so much more than chips covered in cheese. There are 10 types of nachos, from beef- and bean-smothered ones to ones sporting zesty grilled shrimp. The large selection is indicative of the menu as a whole, which compiles several kinds of enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, and tacos. Thankfully, 20 different combination platters allow diners to sample across these categories. There are also signature dishes, such as the El Mezcal Special: grilled rib-eye steak and shrimp mixed with veggies, served with rice, beans, and tortillas. At the bar, servers mix margaritas and pour homemade sangria, in addition to opening bottles of imported beers.
Offering diners a varying selection of Southern classics and 14 protein-and fruit-packed smoothies, the chefs at Scales Café whip up healthy snacks and filling dishes anchored around farm-raised catfish. A dusting of seasoned cornmeal prepares their signature catfish fillets to swim laps in the deep fryer before emerging triumphantly with either a crispy golden coat or a gold medal. Cajun or ranch spice blends can flavor the fresh fish, or diners can forgo the crispy crust in favor of a grilled or skillet-blackened fillet. Although house-made hush puppies, french fries, and coleslaw accompany most entrees to the table, eight other side options, including velvety mac 'n' cheese and sweet-potato fries, can smother hunger like a mother who cleans her son’s dorm room. Straws plumb the creamy depths of Scales Café's smoothies, which are made from fresh fruits, crushed fruit concentrates, and protein boosts. Each sippable meal is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but steers clear of fat, lactose, and artificial flavors.