A vibrant Asian eatery, Aka Japanese Restaurant serves up fresh cuisine via tableside Teppanyaki grilling, sushi rolls, and more. The family-friendly establishment provides a lunch menu with plentiful bento-box options ($8.95–$12.95), each of which includes miso soup, rice, salad, four California rolls, two crab rangoons, and your choice of an entree such as Japanese-style steak, chicken, shrimp tempura, vegetable tempura, or sashimi. The hibachi dinner menu boasts entrees prepared in front of diners at the Teppanyaki grill, such as the chicken teriyaki served with vegetables, rice, and soup or salad ($12.95), and the sushi bar keep meals deliciously raw with various sushi and rolls, such as the fish lover's volcano roll—whose California roll foundation is topped with baked scallop, shrimp, and salmon ($8.95)—or the spicy-crab-filled black-dragon roll, a fire-breathing wrap of cucumber, boiled shrimp, eel, avocado, and special sauces ($13).
SushiBar isn’t easily defined. The pan-Asian eatery draws inspiration from traditional Asian culinary techniques and modern methods. This eclectic acumen extends to the space itself, which transforms into a pleasant brunch site on Sunday afternoons—just a few hours after it is a DJ-driven, dance-centric chess club. Chefs assemble more than 60 sushi rolls—incorporating everything from blackened tuna and jalapeño to spicy crab and bell pepper—but they also introduce Pacific Rim flavors into familiar Western dishes. Beyond the brunch selection's hash of guillotine-sliced Chinese sausage and shiitake mushrooms, the regular menu features pork-belly tacos with kimchi and sliders with poached salmon and puréed avocado.
Shogun Restaurant Japanese Steak House's culinary artists tightly wrap sushi rolls at a glass-front sushi bar and flip and fry meat, fish, and veggies at tableside hibachi grills. A fleet of specialty rolls includes the Sky Diver roll with soft-shell crab and eel and the Shaggy Dog roll, layered with shrimp tempura and crab. Shogun’s chefs can also roll single-fish classics such as tuna, salmon, and yellowtail—the fish least likely to clash with a yellow plate or an outfit made of Post-it notes.
Kitchen magicians spin knives like batons and conjure up sizzling meals tableside, bringing to life a classic Japanese menu. In dramatic bursts of flame, the teppanyaki griddle covers cuts of sirloin, bite-size scallops, and fresh vegetables with fiery kisses that seal in juices and burn away the painful memories from surf 'n' turf breakups. For sushi fanatics, the sushi bar offers more than 20 elegant rolls.
Geometric paneling and wood inlay over shining fabric invoke a traditional Japanese atmosphere for diners, who gather around broad tables where griddles create a shining, interactive centerpiece for cooking and scallop shuffleboard.
Taisho is so serious about hibachi and teppanyaki that they have an entire room devoted to it: in the Hibachi Room, chefs sear meats and veggies on specialized tabletop grills, flipping them theatrically onto a cushion of rice, in turn located on guests' plates. Their performances are not limited to the Hibachi Room though, as they can also pull tableside grills up to the main dining room's semi-private circular booths. In either space, they let guests choose to have their teppanyaki plates bulked up with a diverse selection of meats and seafood, including teriyaki chicken, sirloin, gulf shrimp, or scallops.
The chef's specialty entrees include sashimi-grade tuna steak with an apple-olive sauce and macadamia chicken sweetened with pineapple, combining more flavors than Manhattan combines people of different walks of life who all hate hailing cabs. Beyond the flames shooting up from the grills, the ambience on Friday and Saturday evenings is set by a rotating lineup of musicians that create soothing background sounds.
The specialty sushi here includes some unexpected ingredients: there’s a plum-paste maki roll, and a crispy veggie roll with ginger, pickled radish, and sweet gourd. If the cheeky entree names (Spicy Old Lady, Udon It This Time) don’t bring on a smile, a glass of sake infused with peach, apple, or lychee will probably do the trick.