From the elegant and elephant-arted confines of their new Southaven restaurant, Bangkok Alley’s Thara and Dottie Burana keep the fresh fish swimming into their lunch and dinner dishes, where they morph into schools of sushi and Thai concoctions both creative and traditional. Starters such as the shrimp hompa—which envelops its shrimp with golden-fried panko and sweet-and-sour sauce ($6)—irrigate parched mouth-deserts to create an inviting climate for the seafood keow han, a mélange of shrimp, scallops, and the fish of the day served in green curry with basil sauce ($20). Otherwise, silence the howls of were-stomachs with heartier fare such as a grilled strip steak and panang sauce served with grilled asparagus and squash ($20), or a panang curry underscored with a coconut base and garnished with chopped Kaffir lime leaf (up to $14 with choice of protein).
iSushi Asian Cuisine's chefs prepare a menu of Asian cuisine and inventive sushi rolls. Blue crab salad, deep-fried honey chicken, and shredded Mongolian beef are a few specialties; diners can also opt for crunchy shrimp tempura and apple sushi rolls or soft shell crab rolls seasoned with Old Bay.
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.
At Shogun Japanese Steak Seafood & Sushi, culinary artisans slice and serve fresh, satisfying rolls and morsels of seafood. As patrons pass the restaurant's welcoming Japanese water fountains, they work up appetites for 6–10 pieces of the crunchy shrimp roll, topped with a crown of crunchies and eel sauce ($6.50), or the Mexican roll ($10), which celebrates Mexico's rich sushi-making heritage with fried snapper and a spicy mayo sauce. In addition to slinging tightly wrapped cylinders, Shogun also delicately plates nigiri—two pieces per order—such as flying-fish roe ($3.50) or red clam ($5). As diners savor the magnificent mouthbursts of crabmeat-packed California rolls ($4.50) or flash-fried oyster tempura rolls ($7), they can watch sushi wranglers deftly prepare rolls before their very eyes or fix their gazes on the bar's TV for regular airings of sports or competitive napping tournaments.
Pho Vietnam Restaurant offers a menu full of authentic Vietnamese cuisine that blends traditional flavors such as earthy basil, sour tamarind, and moderately spicy jalapeño. Open up the appetite with a sautéed quail and garlic-butter combination known as chim cut ($6) and encounter various flavors of pho, Vietnam’s oft-lauded and generously garnished beef and rice-noodle soup ($6.95 regular, $7.95 large, $8.95 extra large). Those who eschew broth can toss back some noodly chow mein or low mein ($12.95–$13.95) and a helping of the battered crispy squid that makes up muc chien don ($14.95). Coat spice-specked throats with a fruity bubble tea ($4), or finish off the night with drinks at a bar guarded by a Buddha statue and a sticky-rice-flinging monkey.
Situated beneath an arrangement of glowing peach blossoms, couples clink glasses of house sake and white wine together, seated at dark tables that dot the low-lit dining room. Then again, everything inside Haru is done with the utmost attention to detail, which goes far beyond just the atmosphere. When it comes to sushi, each roll is made with deference to a multisensory experience: the feel of the weighty rolls, the colorful presentation, and the balance of flavors. Reaching back into traditional Japanese cuisine with hibachi dinners, yet creating brand new sushi ideas with an ever-changing chef's menu, a meal here can be a surprise at every visit.