Gathered around a table-sized grill, guests ooh and ahh as shrimp and steak somersault through the air, eggs crack open mid-fall, and veggies sizzle in a ring of shooting flames. The agent behind these daredevil feats? Nagoya Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar's expert hibachi grill masters, who deftly prepare meals before wondering eyes with dramatic flair and a craftily wielded spatula. No less visually dazzling for its lack of movement, sushi rolls from the nearby bar spiral outwards in riots of color, from the deep red of tuna to the bright white of fresh rice. Nagoya snagged the title of Best Sushi from Mississippi magazine in 2013 and 2010.
A flame-spewing hibachi grill and a glowing blue sushi bar send Japanese fusion cuisine onto the chopsticks of hungry patrons. Award-winning sushi chef Ethan wei Huang melds a variety of culinary influences into his artfully plated dishes, which are crafted with fresh filets flown in from Hawaii. For an original twist, Huang bundles his special rolls in rice paper, soy paper, and white seaweed, which becomes unfashionable in undersea gardens after Labor Day. French-style steaks and lamb chops put a continental spin on the menu, and a martini bar boasts more than 10 specialty cocktails. Wasabi Sushi & Bar also offers an outdoor patio-courtyard where diners breathe in fresh air between bites.
The chefs at Red Samurai Hibachi Express specialize in genuine Japanese and hibachi-style cooking techniques that showcase a high level of culinary skill and speed. They sear onions, tender scallops, and savory cuts of steak fresh to order, and then serve the still-sizzling morsels directly to plates. Diners can also opt for yakisoba noodles flavored with soy sauce and ginger or sushi rolls laden with snow crab or crawfish. Meals are available for both dine in and take out.
Honing in on the diverse flavors and epicurean culture of Asia, Pan Asia’s menu spans the culinary gamut, offering Thai, Japanese, and Southeast Asian specialties. Chefs artfully sear tuna steak, fashion maki rolls with fresh fish, and braise tender lamb in a green curry sauce. Dessert also bears the hallmarks of Asian influence, as diners dig into thai lime tarts, banana spring rolls, and coconut-flavored crème brûlée. These colorfully plated dishes pop against the surface of Pan Asia’s dark wood tables, which sit below high ceilings and adjacent to the full-service Gong Bar. Outside, patio seating supplies diners with fresh air and views of the sun’s ticklish underbelly.
Hokkaido's veteran kitchen staff rolls, chops, and flips fresh fish and other flavorful ingredients onto diners’ plates while interacting with onlookers sitting at the restaurant's hibachi. On the salmon sushi platter, the rich colors and aromas of salad and miso soup distract nearby grizzlies from five pieces of sushi and a full roll stuffed with the platter’s namesake fish ($11). Chefs also wrap snow crab ($4.50) and crayfish ($4.95) into rice blankets by hand, and tuck eel and cucumber into an avocado-topped dragon roll ($9.95). Hibachi chefs interact with both lunch and dinner crowds by flipping food morsels through the air onto diners' plates, or amuse onlookers by building flame-spouting volcanoes and realistic facsimiles of the J. Edgar Hoover building from sizzling cuisine. After the performance, patrons partake of the resulting chicken ($14.95), vegetable ($9.25), and steak ($18.95) meals, and curb cravings for sweets with vanilla, green-tea, or red-bean ice cream ($3).
The chefs at Little Willie's BBQ slather sandwiches in barbecue sauce, slice fresh meats by the pound, and bake house-made desserts. Diners clasp fingers around the smoked hamburger with bacon ($5.74) or lick lips in anticipation of a plate of pulled pork, served with two of the eatery's eight sides, including deviled eggs and cole slaw ($2.99–$8.50). Hamburger patties ($3.99/lb.) are just as fun to eat as to shape into wearable trinkets. A small order of chicken spaghetti ($15.99) quells poultry cravings, and a saccharine helping of house-made cheesecake ($2.99) delights palates and imbues forks with a self-confident sense of purpose. Groupon purchasers can also choose to spruce up holiday tables with fried or smoked turkey ($49.99 for small, $59.99 for large), or opt for a feast for 10–12, including a small turkey, cornbread dressing, two sides, gravy, and one pie ($169.99).