Countless fiber-optic cables comprise a titanic custom chandelier in Vango Lounge & Sky Bar’s main dining room, casting a glow over tufted-velvet walls and plates of Japanese continental cuisine. During a typical meal, yellowtail and grilled vegetables may top small plates of crostini, and wasabi mashed potatoes sidle up to larger entrees such as braised-beef short ribs in sweet teriyaki sauce. As chefs compose eel and avocado rolls or slice delicate pieces of salmon sushi, bartenders mix specialty cocktails, such as the Sundance with Absolut Raspberri and Godiva white-chocolate liqueur. Luxe decorations—including wall nooks that display sleek bottles of vodka and a wall that holds 200 inlaid fresh roses every night—dapple the 8,000-square-foot lounge. Upstairs on the roof deck, revelers can admire the surrounding skyline from a seat at the bar, boogie on the dance floor to nightly DJs, or secretly read comic books under the covers of king-size lounge beds.
Tamari takes its name from the Argentinean Huarpe people’s word meaning “to do everything with passion,” and the staff heeds it as a call to action. Executive Chef Roger Li expresses this joie de vivre through a bold menu of Latin, Asian, and European cuisine, uniting cultures through food like a model of the 1933 World's Fair made from fondant. Lobster-tempura maki tempts mouths alongside shrimp tacos garnished with yuzu-margarita foam and scottish salmon paired with chimichurri and ginger polenta. While dining, guests take part in a rich, interactive experience, sipping exotic açai mimosas and watching chefs prepare shareable tapas or custom-made menus in an open-pit kitchen. Altogether, the combination of unexpected flavor from the kitchen and unhindered elegance from the dining room has earned Tamari a great deal of respect. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, for instance, named it on its Best Dining: Top Dishes list, and CBS Pittsburgh ranked it at the top of its list of Best Outdoor Dining options.
Traditional Japanese culture dictates that the hearth of the house is the heart of the house?a common space where family and friends broke bread together. The robata restaurant takes that concept further, typically by making a fiery grill the centerpiece of the dining room. Mr. and Mrs. Shindo, the owners of Robata of Tokyo, aim to capture a familial, welcoming atmosphere, where you can sample a wide range of Japanese cuisine spanning sushi, tempura, and hibachi grilling.
Cooking is theatre at Robata: take a seat at the sushi bar to watch the chef prepare both traditional and unique sushi rolls. The Halloween roll features salmon, avocado, and masago. You can also watch as chefs at the hibachi grill slice and dice meat and veggies and serve it directly to patrons. A full bar is on hand, too, serving sake and beer.
The scrape of knives being sharpened, flames shooting from the teppanyaki grill?these are but two signs that another meal has begun at Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse. Here, chefs toss teriyaki salmon filets and 22-ounce rib eye steaks with housemade sauces and seasonings, all before diners' eyes. The feasts come complete with Japanese onion soup, salad, shrimp, and grilled veggies.
While hibachi chefs man their grills, sushi chefs artfully assemble 20 specialty and deep-fried rolls. The latter category features a roll named for the restaurant itself?the Hibachi?jam-packed with filet mignon and cream cheese. Raw specialties, meanwhile, include the Halloween roll, a mixture of spicy and white tuna topped with black tobiko, a tastier alternative to melted-down candy corn. Complemented by more than 10 cocktails, feasts unfold inside Hibachi's five eateries in Independence, Fairview Park, Mentor, Highland Heights, and Erie.
The ingredients used in Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine are vastly different, as are the methods of preparation. At Zhuang's Garden, they come together in surprising ways. Eight crackling hibachi-grill tables and a sushi bar represent Japan, and Chinese décor and the aromas of lo mein hint at the traditions of that nation. Glasses of wine clink together above plates of Thai food at the BYOB eatery, where the dishes include curry that is the brilliant yellow of turmeric or a banana salesman’s business card.
The chefs of Four Seasons Asian Bistro pull culinary inspiration from countries across Asia, from the spicy curries of Thailand to the tangy teriyaki dishes of Japan. They fold fresh seafood into a variety of creative sushi rolls, garnishing them with innovative toppings such as honey wasabi and mango sauce. At table-side hibachi grills, the chefs dramatically sizzle up plump morsels of steak, lobster, and scallops before audiences of captivated diners. Their guests perch on soft red chairs and banquettes in the elegant dining room, sipping on passion fruit martinis and lychee sangria.