Samurai Sam’s aims to help its customers eat smarter by offering fast-food meals made from healthy Japanese recipes, a novel concept that resulted in the eatery being lauded by Entrepreneur magazine as a top Asian-fast-food franchise. At more than 40 locations in 17 states, cooks top bowls of steamed rice or yakisoba noodles with wok-cooked vegetables, lean meats such as chicken and salmon, and their signature Samurai Sam’s teriyaki sauce. The kitchen staff also craft salads from crisp lettuce, cucumbers, and other fresh vegetables tossed with light dressings, chicken breast, and wonton strips or crunchy noodles. Egg rolls and crab puffs, which are grilled instead of fried, help round out the health-friendly menu.
In 1971, Jimmy Nishiyama introduced the city of Las Vegas to Japanese hibachi cuisine. Three decades later, and the friends have stayed very much in touch. During that time, Geisha House, Nishiyama's brainchild, has grown to fill three locations and eight menu pages. Colorful specialty sushi rolls, such as the baked Japanese Lasagna—cream cheese and mayo atop a crabmeat and avocado roll—make fitting partners for grilled lobster, filet mignon, or scallops in hibachi dinners. Nearly 30 varieties of sake trip merrily across the palate, while the Geisha martini blends sake with plum wine and a treasure trove of James Bond jokes.
Smoke rises up from Bee Gee Kitchen's handmade charcoal-fueled grill as it sizzles with the bamboo-skewered meats, seafood, and vegetables of Japanese yakitori-inspired dishes. Chefs adorn the skewers in their own signature sweet and spicy sauces and also specialize in a variety of hibachi, udon-noodle, and teriyaki dishes. Waiters carry steaming dishes out into the cheerful dining room, where bright green walls and sunlight beam down upon rows of tabletops. Outside, cars line up before a drive-thru window, picking up freshly prepared dishes to enjoy at home or while taking repeated laps around their favorite roundabout.
Xtreme Sushi rolls Japanese cuisine into tightly wrapped dishes bursting with flavor at the seams of their sticky-rice prisons. Pull a chair up to the sushi bar to gawk at experienced chefs as they skillfully prepare lush sushi rolls such as Yoshi's dynamite roll ($14.95), the tiger roll ($10.95), and the grilled salmon and cali roll ($16.95). The comfy booths and modern décor of the more-private dining room tables allow families and friends to relish in Japanese fare with palatable plates such as the tender, 16-ounce signature prime rib-eye steak on the bone ($26.90) and the succulent, juicy Kobe burger ($9.95). The restaurant also contains a fully stocked bar where customers can sip on a premium sake or one of Xtreme's specialty drinks while the HD widescreen televisions play a relevant professional sporting match, such as basketball or competitive grandmothering.
The practiced chefs at Red Sushi assemble sushi, sashimi, and nigiri platters alongside savory Asian entrees in a crimson-lit, contemporary dining room. Diners can nab 1 of 11 specialty rolls betwixt nimble chopsticks or out-of-work Oreo halves, such as the Red Tiger roll, which caps shrimp tempura with spicy tuna and avocado ($16). The Dynamite roll bedecks a standard california roll with sizzling supplements of scallops and fiery dynamite sauce ($10). Soak tongues in sweet miso accompanied by black cod ($22), or joust with brussels sprouts to determine how to divvy up an Asian-style game hen ($19). Wine by the glass, as well as Japanese sake and beer selections, stifle thirst symptoms, whereas signature cocktails like the Red Zen Tini—a tart blend of vodka, pomegranate, and sweet-and-sour citrus ($9)—rouse taste buds.