Aikia Steakhouse's staff goes beyond providing food: the chefs make elegant presentation a core part of the dining experience. From arranging sushi rolls artfully on plates to sizzling hibachi entrees on teppanyaki tables right in front of customers, the team takes the doldrums out of dining without the use of motorcycles. Their menu catalogs 20 hibachi dinners, including filet mignon, 28 maki and hand rolls, and several lunch specials. The decor is as upscale as the culinary presentation, with rows of plants set against wood accents and shoji screens marking private tatami rooms.
At Maki Sushi Bar, pale yellow walls accented with a crisp, rust-hued stripe surround dark wood tables and a sushi bar where chefs artfully slice up fresh fish into eye-pleasing Japanese dishes. Before diving into main courses, stomachs warm up with a series of calisthenics and bites of starters such as the gyoza's pan-fried pork dumplings. Signature specials blanket plates with bites from the deep blue, seasoned delicately and accented with unexpected ingredients. The seafood martini hosts salmon, tuna, and seaweed salad in an long-stemmed martini glass. To sip more liquid spirits from stemware, patrons select from a full menu of signature cocktails, such as the Crazy Makitini or the Japanese mojito. After exploring a rainbow of nigiri, sashimi, and maki rolls, tongues delight in tasting sweet bites of tempura cheesecake à la mode or crafting sweet mouth guards out of mochi ice cream.
All Seasons Table Restaurant serves up pan-Asian cuisine that integrates influences from Japanese, Thai, and Malay traditions. The chef crafts gourmet versions of familiar Chinese-American fare, from spicy General Gau's chicken to mongolian sesame shrimp. Diners can sample filets of meat and fish hot from the grill and coated in the Asian-style sauce of their choice. The kitchen also works wonders with lamb and duck—including a marinated half peking duck, which is roasted until tender and served with a feast of pancakes, vegetables, and hoisin sauce.
Japanese, Thai, and Korean cuisines equally influence the chefs at U-Me Restaurant and Lounge, helping them devise a menu of pan-Asian cuisine. The chefs capture the elegant simplicity of Japanese sushi by rolling more than 40 individual maki, filling them with everything from grilled lobster and cucumber to fried sweet potato and imported oxygen molecules. Pineapple and basil lend a distinctive fragrance to the thai curries, and korean short ribs emerge with a piquant glaze of chili paste.
The dining areas’ clean white walls, warm wooden tones, and marble sushi bar mimic the menu’s restrained elegance. However, the restaurant adheres to its trans-Pacific roots by featuring framed Eastern artwork along the walls and Asian artifacts above the sushi bar.
Though it overlooks Gloucester Harbor, where fishermen haul in the restaurant's supply of fresh fish and lobster, the dining room of Latitude 43 feels like it's underwater. The hull of a 36-foot Coast Guard rescue boat hangs overhead, a 16-foot iron-and-glass octopus sculpture wrought by a local iron artist dangles above the sushi bar, and a harbor mural painted by local artists enlivens the walls. The aromas of coastal cuisine waft through the oceanic interior, signaling the arrival of dishes such as grilled local swordfish, more than 17 sushi rolls, and a host of non-seafood entrees that can be prepared in gluten-free or vegetarians versions. Latitude 43 has won 'Best Sushi' by Northshore Magazine three years running, and their menu includes dishes such as Jeff's clam chowder ($4/$6), grilled swordfish with a red-wine-mushroom glaze ($24), and a signature sushi roll with tempura tuna, wasabi, goat cheese, and enoki mushrooms wrapped with a daikon radish ($18).
Because a strong ecosystem produces healthy fish, Latitude 43's restaurateurs do their part to ensure earth's well-being with their green facility. Recycled materials compose the tiles in the kitchen and around the sushi bar, and the deck's sunshades heat the dishwasher's hot water while shading guests from the sun’s deadly laser beams. An oceanfront patio hosts feasts in the summertime, while a fireplace made from locally sourced granite keeps diners cozy in the winter.
Yoki Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar bolsters a full-scale Japanese kitchen with sushi chefs who wrap wild and freshly caught fish into a menu of innovative and eclectic specialty rolls. Servers deliver delectable greetings to taste buds with appetizers such as edamame ($5.50) and nama harumaki, a medley of salmon, shrimp, and crab rolled in the same rice paper on which Japanese poet chefs once drafted edible sonnets ($8.50). For the main course, diners can nibble on traditional cooked dishes such as yakisoba noodles ($14.95) or craft a custom lineup of with à la carte rolls of raw squid ($4.25), yellowtail tempura maki ($7.95), or sweet-potato-filled Idaho maki ($4.95). New England sports teams share their names with specialty combinations, such as the Patriots maki ($15.95), slices of white tuna and cucumber covered with rainbow tobiko and the three types of fish Tom Brady shouts during every snap count. Yoki's sushi chefs aid health-conscious guests by making any sushi or makimono rolls in brown rice for no additional charge.
The skilled chefs at Blue Fuji deftly meld organic vegetables and fresh wild-caught seafood in specialty sushi and authentic Japanese and Chinese entrees. Blue Fuji's menu bursts with an appetizing array of specialty maki rolls, including fruity Hawaii maki ($10.95/5 pieces) and Red Sox maki ($13.95/8 pieces), which tucks shrimp tempura, potato tempura, and digital photos of Fenway into a tuna-topped seaweed blanket. Savor piquant chicken or beef teriyaki for a traditional treat ($19.95), or indulge in eclectic entrees, such as una-ju ($18.95), broiled eel glazed with sugary soy sauce, to silence an unruly sweet tooth. Amiable servers unite diners and entrees in Blue Fuji's spacious dining room, which glows invitingly with golden walls, flickering candles, and customer-service-trained sunbeams.