Thai Lagoon’s extensive menu puts traditional and modern Thai dishes, such as pad thai ($10.95) and sautéed shrimp in curry ($13.95), alongside Chinese favorites such as Kung Pao chicken ($9.95) and Szechwan chicken ($9.95). Diners can customize entrees with their choice of chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp and can request vegetarian alternatives. Dive into the aquatic flavors of the pad woon sen talay, a stir-fried seafood selection doused with chu see curry sauce, snow peas, and green peas sautéed in oyster sauce ($13.95). Or sup on chicken paradise, which transports its eater to earthly paradise with cashews, pineapple, onions, mushrooms, and scallions ($13.50).
Jasmine's culinary crew wrangles traditional Eastern ingredients and fresh cuts of seafood to masterfully craft decadent sushi and authentic Japanese and Thai cuisine. A master sushi chef draws on 25 years of experience to create a hodgepodge of sushi delights, such as mixed maki rolls ($12.95 for 18 pieces) or a Chirashi-sushi feast ($19), which tucks celebrated sea treats into a bed of rice after humming a lullaby about Herman Melville’s goldfish muse. Bowls of udon or soba noodles ($9.95 each) arrive festooned with golden pieces of tempura to engulf tongue buds with flash-fried glory, and more than 25 Japanese dinner entrees—such as tender hibachi steak ($16.95) and chicken teriyaki ($12.95)—subdue appetites with a headlock of sustenance. Thai spices infuse a lineup of 50 traditional entrees, such as red-curry chicken or pork ($12.99), which surround succulent proteins in a pentagon of flavors including coconut milk, bamboo shoots, green beans, and lime and basil leaves.
Bold, earthy paintings line the canary-yellow walls of Lemongrass, but they have to contend with the vibrant spreads of sushi and pad thai that top the plates at the pan-Asian bistro. Sushi, sashimi, and nigiri options run the gamut from barbecue eel and asparagus to a specialty Manhattan roll glazed with shrimp caviar. A lighter lunch menu presents smaller portions of the dinner entrees, along with handheld options such as chicken bacon and shrimp-tempura wraps. An extensive wine menu complements the dinner and lunch menus, and the tempting dessert menu catalogs fried plantains and mango sorbet served in a mango rind.
The menu at Kar-ma Asian Bistro boasts a bounty of fresh fare infused primarily with the tastes of Thailand. Start with an order of crisp chicken lettuce wraps ($8) or two classic summer rolls ($5), or show your dinner mates you care by slipping handmade bracelets into the tasty treats atop the friendship platter (two spring rolls, two egg rolls, crispy noodles, and crab Rangoon, $10). The bistro's creative as well as classic varieties of fried rice ($6–$11), curries ($7–$11), and noodle dishes serve up flavor combinations to please even the pickiest palates. Kar-ma specialties such as the seafood basil (seafood stir-fried with garlic, jalapeños, mushrooms, onion, cilantro, and bell peppers and tossed in a Thai-basil sauce, $8–$13) and the yum neua nahm tok (sliced-beef-steak salad with lemongrass, onion, Thai chili, cilantro, and spices, $9–$14) will excite adventurous surfers and turfers.
Blue Ginger’s chefs have no shortage of sources when they need inspiration for their next dish. Rather than limit their scope to a single region or country, they scan recipe books from across Asia and pick out their favorites as starting points. Some of the recipes they dig up date back centuries, but they’re more interested in looking toward the future than dwelling on the past.
It’s certainly a bright future they envision—one in which the best elements of various Asian cuisines have joined forces in the same dishes. There are even some influences from outside Asia that make it into the mix, as the duck fajitas and pan-roasted chilean sea bass will attest. This inclusive spirit isn’t just limited to the food. An extensive drink menu features imported beers, martinis blended with sake, and cocktails stirred with miniature world flags.