Chefs at King and I inject spice into dinnertime by preparing authentic Thai cuisine with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and artful presentation. Each of the menu’s stir-fry, noodle, and curry entrees may be customized with a choice of chicken, beef, seafood, or tofu before being tossed with such tempting morsels as snow peas, ginger, or bamboo shoots and seasoned to taste with spices ranging from mild to thai hot. Seeped in soft lighting from sparse lamps and a small fish tank, the dining room gives off an air of understated elegance by balancing rich red walls with crisp white tablecloths and a thankful absence of tap-dancing balloon artists.
Insides Pad Thai, mint green and soft yellow walls surround linen-topped tables populated with traditional Thai dishes. A grandiose mural of a seaside vista blankets one wall, and sheer curtains block out the sun and its inane chattering. It's within this airy, relaxed atmosphere that servers shuttle out savories from an easy-to-navigate menu that has separate sections for stir-fries, curries, noodles, and vegetarian items.
A single cucumber roll. That's how Hana Sushi Fusion executive chef and owner Di Wang started his career in sushi nearly two decades ago. At the time, Di had only been in the United States for a year, but he soon found himself fully engrossed in sushi and its culture. While living on the West Coast, Di surrounded himself with some of the industry's best chefs, mimicking their techniques, expanding on their presentation, and carefully observing their steadiness of hand during late-night games of Operation.
A coast-to-coast move landed Di in the Low Country, where he finally decided to plunge into restaurant ownership and opened the doors to Hana Sushi Fusion. There, Di and his staff put a modern twist on traditional rolls, sashimi, and sushi, pairing them with a varied selection of wine, sake, and imported beers. The restaurant itself emits contemporary vibes, complete with the intimacy of semiprivate dining rooms.
Some people perceive boundaries merely as lines to be crossed, or conventions to be broken. It's a good bet that a few of these people work in the kitchen at Aroy Jung Asian Fusion, a restaurant that throws tradition out the window to craft dishes that incorporate Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and even Indian influences. But geography isn't the only limitation that Aroy Jung proudly defies. The restaurant's menu contains entire sections of vegan and gluten-free options, further proving the chefs' ability to think outside the box. In an appropriately incongruous fashion, the dining room is decorated with handmade Turkish lamps that cast romantic light on couples sitting down for dinner.
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.
Flavorful sauces, fresh vegetables, and proteins, such as lobster and roast duck: these are the building blocks behind Mongo Wok N Grill's menu of Chinese and Thai favorites. Cooks simmer creamy curries, sauté pans of fried rice, and prepare specialties such as the Seafood Bird Nest–a medley of scallops, shrimp, and squid served in a crisp nest of fried noodles.