Mambo Grill's chefs craft dishes of carne asada, burritos, red beans, and rice from scratch daily using fresh meats and veggies, punching them up with authentic imported seasonings and, when necessary, a burly gentlemen named Bugsy. They eschew the traditional spiciness of Mexican food for the full-bodied zest of Central American and Caribbean cuisine, ensuring each dish's taste and color is faithful to that of its country of origin.
The aromas of freshly-cut raw seafood fill the 100-seat dining room at Daiwa Sushi. That, of course, is because the eatery's sushi chefs craft more than 30 traditional maki rolls and 22 sashimi selections. They don't just follow conventional recipes, however—they also express their creativity in 22 eclectic house rolls, many of which feature fish and veggies that have been seared, fried, or marinated in spices. As sushi chefs do their thing, the cooks in the kitchen emit their own melange of tempting scents as they prepare traditional Japanese dishes that range from udon noodles tossed with chicken and tempura shrimp to fish cakes and crab. The dining room hibachi grills, meanwhile, send up plumes of fragrant steam and smoke around simmering morsels of steak, shrimp, and scallops, allowing whoever steals the last piece to vanish unnoticed into the night. To help diners wash down their bites, Daiwa also serves domestic and imported Japanese beers, and curates a compact, yet diverse list of sakes.
In order to fully relish the Nana Sushi dining experience, one must first sit back and admire the artistic presentation of his or her roll, then quickly resolve to devour it. Behind the sushi bar, chefs add colorful swirls of sauces to plates of freshly rolled maki, such as the spicy mango lobster roll, which is wrapped in pink soy paper before being surrounded by a ring of liquid hearts. The menu includes more than 20 of these specialty rolls, each with an appearance as special as a fireworks show viewed from outer space. In the kitchen, chefs sear scallops, shrimp, and teriyaki-glazed salmon across a blazing grill as well as sauté chicken and pineapple with mounds of fried rice.
Prasit "Ken" Khachenrum's culinary journey spans more than 11,000 miles. In his native Thailand, the young chef began mastering the dishes of his home soil at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bangkok. Later, after landing a position with Commodore Cruise Lines, the globetrotting Khachenrum continued plying his skills while sailing beneath the Caribbean sun. Upon deciding to settle in Washington, DC, Chef Ken worked through the city's restaurant scene on his way to becoming sushi chef at Yosaku Japanese Restaurant, opening his first restaurant in Yorktown in 2002, and finally, opening Thaijindesu. Thaijindesu—translated from the Japanese word "romanji," meaning "Thai people"—invites guests into an elegant spiral of Thai and Japanese flavors. Chef Ken places bowls of steaming noodles and curries beside fresh rolls of sushi, uniting regional nuances on a single menu rather than uniting two menus with Velcro.
Yukai Buffet's chefs fill their sushi and seafood buffet with 40 kinds of sushi, sashimi, and rolls stuffed with tempura shrimp and spicy mayo. The circular buffet, which basks beneath neon blue light, curves around more than 100 hot entrees and salads. For dessert, eaters can frequent the buffet's self-serve frozen yogurt machine or toss chocolate pennies into its chocolate fountain.
With more than 200 Asian classics to choose from, you'll need to take your time perusing Sushi & Wok's menu. The eatery's chefs craft more than 15 specialty rolls, including the sumo roll, a wasabi mayo-topped blend of salmon, avocado, and cream cheese. Hibachi chefs, meanwhile, dazzle diners by flinging shrimp and searing succulent cuts of filet mignon and swordfish right in the dining room. The rest of Sushi & Wok's culinary team works in the kitchen itself, crafting Chinese and Thai favorites like shrimp with lobster sauce or chicken stirred into fiery panang curries. Your feast will take place in an equally massive dining area complete with exposed brick walls, cozy red booths, and long family-style tables.