After manning grills for 15 years as the executive chef at Plaza III steak house, Salvi Salama took the reigns at Mogador Restaurant. Since then, he has helped to design and prepare a menu that fuses contemporary American and traditional Mediterranean influences. Each dish features local produce, naturally raised meats, and sustainable seafood whenever possible, lending vibrant and fresh flavors to entrees such as lamb tagine or pesto-crusted halibut with tomato harissa sauce.
Split into a dining room and a lounge area, the restaurant keeps diners entertained by hosting live music and belly dancing throughout the week. The performances fill the earth-toned space, which incorporates rich, gleaming woods, intricate wrought-iron dividers, and cushioned banquettes.
Sunshine Fine Thai Cuisine's pan-flipping masters churn out menus of authentic Southeast Asian fare with market-fresh produce, high-quality meat and seafood, and 100% vegetable oil. Fiery native chilies ripple beneath a seemingly peaceful pool of sweet coconut-milk curry, waiting to pounce on tongues and bites of mango fried rice with cashew nuts. The menu ranks many dishes' spiciness levels on a scale of one to three chili peppers, but chefs will happily customize any entree for patrons with low heat tolerances or those who regularly slurp bowls of lava. Smoking-hot plates of crispy chicken basil excite tongues with a special chili brown sauce, whereas the rama garden's mixed vegetables coddle taste buds with a gentle peanut sauce. Sunshine Fine Thai Cuisine plays host to midday dalliances and nights on the town, and its armada of drivers delivers piping-hot panang to those comfortable at home or up to their ankles in fresh concrete.
Knives click as the chefs at New Tokyo Japanese Steak House slice through rolls at the sushi station or cut filets into bite-sized morsels at the hibachi grill. These sounds signal dinner is almost ready, and that dinner will showcase Japanese culinary traditions—there are more than 30 specialty rolls available. The chefs handling these knives wrap fresh fish in rice and seaweed and sear steak and seafood atop a hot grill. They also serve teriyaki and noodle dishes that bring flavors of the old country to tongues more respectfully than licking a monk's head for good luck.
Each day the chefs at every Pollo Campero location marinate whole, fresh chickens for 12 hours in citrus and spices, infusing every bit of the meat with Latin American flavors to prepare grilled chicken. Every piece of golden, crispy fried chicken is seasoned and prepared by hand, and whether fried or grilled, the chefs always start cooking with the whole chicken. Their technique is based on the founders' family recipe, which was passed down from generation to generation. In addition to following the traditional recipe, they also add a modern twist to their menu with yuca fries, empanadas, sweet plantains, and caramel flan that can tweet. Servers deliver dishes with real plates and silverware to tables along with beverages from a selection ranging from horchata and tamarindo, a tangy fruit drink, to soda and tea.
The robust aromas of Dominican specialties float through the air inside Terra Luna Cafe's kitchen. Chefs stuff traditional quipes, or cracked-wheat fritters, with ground beef, and sprinkle plates of mofongo—smashed, fried plantains—with shrimp and crispy pork. A handful of dishes from Europe—including Italian meals such as chicken cacciatore—round out the globe-trotting menu.
On Wednesdays through Sundays, spice-laden scents from these plates mingle with the fiery melodies of musical guests in the dining room. Live bands unwind notes from Spanish classical guitars on Thursday nights, and DJs keep the restaurant's brick archways up over the weekend with an unending stream of salsa, merengue, and popular dance music.
At WICHIT, patrons can draw up blueprints for their own sandwiches or choose from signature house specialties. Served on a choice of eight types of bread, custom sandwiches include meats such as seasoned pulled pork and new york sirloin strip and are covered in fresh veggies such as dill pickles, caramelized onions, and avocado. On the other hand, unique hot and cold house specialties brim with venerated offerings, from the sushi-inspired spicy tuna-maki sandwich to the oven-fresh Stonemill with sirloin strip steak and roasted garlic aioli.