Dragon Palace Chinese Bistro’s Chef Cheng Sin Yung is completely dedicated to authenticity. He commissioned the construction of his bistro in Taiwan and then shipped the eatery to the states piece by piece, instead of taking the easy way out and floating it across the waters via iceberg. To craft meals that live up to his high standards of authenticity, he spent time in Hong Kong, meticulously honing time-honored Chinese recipes and techniques.
Throughout the lavish dining room, decked in rich maroons and golds, artwork from contemporary Chinese visionaries whispers of the ancient culture, and so does the food. Instead of bombarding patrons with a buffet of Chinese food, he painstakingly curates a menu of dishes including five-spice duck and royal steak kew. The menu forays into the unusual with dishes such as seafood bird nest and minced pork with chinese eggplant, but also includes some familiar dishes, such as lo mein and general tso’s chicken.
Asian River douses appetites with an extensive spread of Asian-American fusion cuisine, which includes chef's specialties and an all-you-can-eat sushi bar. For more adventurous diners, the restaurant whips up authentic Chinese recipes, such as the seafood pancake–a dish that incorporates shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, and lobster into one colorful presentation.
Restaurateur Ele Tran channels her native Vietnam into a pan-Asian menu of chicken and seafood integrated with coconut and lemongrass. Fire Street Food also offers prime-beef burgers, artfully wrapped sushi, and a wide spectrum of tofu dishes to feed vegetarians and the actors who play them in made-for-TV movies.
Koi Asian Cafe stirs up classic Chinese entrees and ample dinner specials ($7) served in a cozy, plum-themed dining room. Chopsticks, fingers, or forks shaped like chopsticks can inaugurate meals by unpacking appetizers of six pork pan-fried dumplings ($5). The sweet-and-sour-chicken special confounds its rice and egg- or spring-roll cohorts with fair-weather flavors, and meat or tofu morsels skip through a forest of stir-fried broccoli. The big of thirst can cull from a roster of beer and wine to quell palate fires started by the thai-curry-coconut entree ($14), which douses bites of chicken, beef, and shrimp in a tropical spicy sauce. During lunch hours, a parade of $5 specials pair main courses with rice and an egg roll or spring roll. As they nosh on Asian eats, guests can follow football games and kid-family programs on the café's four TVs, or debate politics with talking heads of lettuce at the salad-and-fruit bar.