Studio Gallo blu is a three-pronged artistic haven, complete with a café, studio, and gallery. The studio inspires guests with Tuscan-style decor, complete with brick and coral walls adorned with lushly rendered paintings of rolling hills and framed landscapes by painter Kate Franklin. Franklin—who also instructs students during Chianti and Canvas classes—isn't the only artist with work hanging in the gallery. The city's cache of talented local-artists' work cycles through the space, showcasing their skills—the artists occasionally even pop by during classes for adults and children. The space is also available for private art lessons as well as a wide variety of events, including children's tea parties, fashion-themed bashes, and BYOB studio time that occasionally results in Pollock-inspired dress-shirt stains.
At Genghis Grill, cooks stir-fry more than 70 fresh ingredients to make healthy, flavorful bowls loaded with proteins and vegetables. Diners can mix and match ingredients to create customized feasts, or choose signature dishes such as the Thai Chicken bowl with chicken, veggies, and udon noodles in red curry peanut sauce. Nutrition-focused heart-healthy bowls, developed with the help of a dietitian, feature flavor combinations such as Sichuan-style bamboo beef or ginger-citrus shrimp.
The menu at Lucky China features many familiar dishes, from egg foo young to sweet and sour chicken. The chef's specialties section highlights favorites such as orange beef cooked with mandarin orange peel, golden crispy shrimp, and the Four Seasons—beef, shrimp, chicken, and pork with a vegetable medley. One corner of the menu departs from tradition, however, offering "lite," low-calorie fare that has been steamed instead of fried. The Triple Delight, for example, mixes chicken, beef, and shrimp with white rice and no salt.
At The Rice House, owner Kenny Truong fuses Asian cuisine with Midwestern tastes concocting dishes such as crispy philly cheesesteak wontons and St. Louis-style fried rice. Pots of specialty gumbo simmer with turkey and collard greens, and thick slices of texas toast hold together St. Paul sandwiches such as the Angry Bird with chicken, jalapeños, pickles, and onions topped with melting muenster cheese. Patrons can also find quintessential Chinese-American staples such as lo mein, egg foo young, or sweet-and-sour pork.
The cooks at Maru Sushi & Grill prepare pan-Asian feasts such as Springfield-style cashew chicken, drawing from the cuisine of Japan, China, Thailand, and beyond. Diners clasp sushi rolls loaded with crab, lobster, and mango, which, according to News-Leader.com, are served on a "cast-iron plate that sits atop flames." The sushi and sashimi at Maru is present with beautiful combinations of texture and design. Patrons wash down meals with a selection of drinks that includes Japanese beers, sake, and soju.
Panda Palace fuses artful noshes with foreign favorites in a menu of authentic Chinese fare, focusing on delicacies drafted from Sichuan and Shanghai. Adventurous eaters can pack for trans-Pacific swims by filling swim trunks with steaming pork egg rolls ($1 each), and then floating around while hustling up some fresh shrimp-fried rice midjourney ($5.39/small, $7.20/large). Regular takeouters can gnaw on time-tested tasties, such as the beef with broccoli ($7.50), and more ambitious eaters can hang fang on a half-serving of peking duck ($15.99).