The small College Hill takeout restaurant is an offshoot of Haruki East, a popular Japanese eatery in Providence. Haruki Express, a 2008 Best of Rhode Island Editors' Pick in Rhode Island Monthly, serves fresh made-to-order meals that are an alternative to the fast food of yesteryear. Scanning the extensive menu, maki lovers can choose the fresh spicy tekka ($5.50) or the cooked salmon skin ($3.95), and meat-eating tax attorneys can try out the beef gyu don ($5.95), thinly sliced beef and onion sautéed with soy sauce and served over rice. This deal is not good for delivery, but it can be used to taunt illusionist David Blaine with delicious sushi via remote-controlled helicopter as he dangles hungrily in a Plexiglas cube.
A piece of food soars through the air, landing squarely in the open mouth of a patron. The other 19 guests at the table cheer. Then an egg pops up high above their heads. During its descent, a man standing before the seated crowd pulls open his breast pocket, and the egg lands snugly inside. Without pause, the chef continues chopping, flipping, and grilling in swashbuckling style.
This show repeats at Yokohama Japanese Steakhouse’s five large hibachi tables—each crowned with an enormous grill—every day of the week. The restaurant also serves up less theatrical but no less authentic teriyaki, tempura, udon, and wok-stirred fare, as well as traditional and contemporary sushi rolls. In the dining room, the gurgling of water in an indoor pond mingles with the murmur of Sirius satellite radio and the purring of stomachs curled up for postprandial naps.
There’s nothing old-fashioned about Asia Grill & Sushi’s dining room, with its curved bar area bathed in neon light and its ceiling speckled with orbicular chandeliers. Flat-screen TVs dominate patches of wall, allowing diners to catch up on the latest news or watch local sports. Fittingly, the restaurant’s specialty rolls are also quite modern and sports-themed. One of many team-named options on the roster, the Patriots roll is filled with lobster, cucumber, and avocado before being covered with two types of tuna, tobiko, sweet sauce, and spicy mayo. Meals also emerge from steamy woks, including sirloin steak that’s glazed with a flaming black-pepper wine sauce. Other entrees include crispy tender peking duck and lobster cooked with black-bean or tamarind sauce.
Since 1976, the sleek interior of Oki Japanese Steak House has hosted customers digging into plates freighted with sushi, hibachi-seared steak, and seafood. At teppanyaki tables, chefs build walls of fire around succulent meats while using gleaming knives to divide and recombine piles of fried rice and fresh vegetables. Nearby, sushi chefs focus on assembling immaculate rolls stuffed with tender slices of eel, salmon, and tuna.
Inside emBargo, a martini and tapas bar located in downtown Hyannis, servers arrive at lamplit tables with trays of hot and cold small plates, oysters on half shells, and seafood sliders. Each order of tapas resembles a work of art: applewood bacon and arugula add color to a plate of pan-seared scallops, and delicate drizzles of pomegranate molasses sauce spell out the word "Art!" on the grilled lamb so there's no mistaking what you're seeing. After dining on marinated artichokes wrapped in Serrano ham, diners can sip one of 20 signature martinis while listening to live entertainment, including jazz on Saturday nights and after-hours karaoke on Wednesdays.
Asia Palace introduces its guests to no shortage of options. The South Weymouth establishment's food selection features nearly 20 categories—making the menu read like a who's who of Chinese cuisine. There's the health-food section, which boasts a variety of steamed dishes, and the house specials section, which simmers with spicy creations. The house-special Dragon and Phoenix fuses two dishes into one with sizzling chunks of shrimp and chicken. The menu also includes entrees designed to share. The Pu Pu platter, for instance, lets diners sample seven distinct foods before taking leftovers home to the hungry minivan.