“Laissez les bon temps rouler” is a favorite saying at Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen; translated from French, it means, “let the good times roll.” With a blend of Cajun cuisine, cold drinks, and live music, the restaurant recreates the rollicking atmosphere of New Orleans' French Quarter. In the kitchen, chefs orchestrate multiple Gulf Coast flavors in classic louisiana catfish po'boys and blackened-shrimp platters, or let simple, properly prepared oysters and broiled crawfish stand on their own. Servers draw frothy mugs of beer from local breweries CIB and Keg Creek or mix specialty cocktails and frozen daiquiris. The lively atmosphere has drawn musicians such as two-time Grammy nominee Gerald Clayton and Mr. Tambourine Man.
Though it sits squarely in St. Louis, Broadway Oyster Bar might as well inhabit New Orleans. Even from the outside, the 150-year-old building exudes the revelry of the French Quarter, as an art-deco neon sign emblazoned with music notes joins colorful string lanterns to form an illuminated invitation for patrons to come in and live a little. Of course, inside is where the Cajun atmosphere is most apparent, especially in whiffs of dishes named the favorite Cajun/creole cuisine of the Sauce Magazine readers’ poll every year since 2003. Chef Brad Hagen's acclaimed recipes include marinated alligator with homemade tartar sauce, shucked oysters topped with spinach cream sauce, and fresh-baked Gambino's bread filled with traditional po' boy fixings, such as fried catfish and shrimp. Feasts unfold in a cozy dining room or an open-air patio enclosed and heated in winter. There, local and national musicians grace the stage seven nights a week to play funk and blues tunes, just like Mom used to.
The chefs at Asia Express know their way around the wok as well as the soup pot, serving up stir-fried Chinese specialties and simmered Vietnamese soups. Fried rice accompanies dishes such as sesame chicken and spicy kung pao chicken, while bean sprouts, basil, and lime garnish steaming bowls of pho.
Q's Chinese Restaurant sates hungering lunch and dinner diners with its seafood, chicken, pork, beef, and vegetarian offerings. Evening eaters can consult the expansive dinner menu to kick off any edible festivities, starting with orders of crab rangoon ($2.29) or pot stickers ($3.99) and moving on to more lucrative plate real estate with curry-cream shrimp ($12.99), Szechuan chicken ($8.99), and black bean 'n' beef ($9.99). Herbivores and those with smaller appetites can please palates and stomach-bound crowds with Q's wide array of vegetarian and lighter fare––slimmer servings cooked with no oil and adorned with steamed rice and soup—such as the steamed shrimp ($12.99) or the snow pea 'n' mushroom ($9.99). Noontime noshers can opt for Q's condensed lunch menu, which consists of 20 options, all of which come with a side of steamed or fried rice and a choice of soup and appetizer.
The chefs at Lucky Sushi House reach beyond the borders of their eatery's name by serving a menu that not only features sushi, but also Japanese teriyaki dishes and Chinese staples such as orange chicken. Behind the sushi bar, chefs stack morsels of eel nigiri and roll combinations of crab, avocado, and tuna into cozy cocoons of rice. While admiring the decorative fans on the walls or peering into the restaurant's aquarium to check for messages in bottles, patrons can also crunch into squid-tempura rolls, split a plate of pot stickers, and swig Harbin Lager imported from China.