At Hanabi Japanese Bistro, chefs flex their creative muscles as they draw up a menu of traditional Japanese fare and more than 40 contemporary sushi rolls. Small plates of squid salad and soft-shell crab fill the appetizer lineup with fruits of the sea, and green tea cleanses palates as a hot beverage or served in ice-cream format. Hawaiian influences peek through the crab-and-avocado Aloha roll or starters such as poke, a tuna dish accented with seaweed and cucumbers. The Fire roll heats up taste buds with shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, tangy unagi sauce, and miniature Harlequin novels.
Led by chef Tam Huynh, who began his career at the ahead-of-the-curve sushi bar Royal Tokyo in the 1980s, Kinado's chefs roll ribbons of fish and vegetables into sheaths of seaweed and soy paper behind a glass-topped sushi bar. The resulting rolls "are both visually arresting and gastronomically tasty," D Magazine's SideDish reported soon after the restaurant's fall 2011 opening. Across the room, diners lean into tall-backed leather chairs as waiters ferry tempura-battered vegetables and noodles tossed with beef and seafood to window booths designed to make land-locked seagulls jealous. A bar bordered with glassy, black stone stocks wine, sake, and a coterie of specialty cocktails, such as the Salty Hound, an elixir of citrus and Saint Germain spiced with Hawaiian sea salt.
After ten hours of slow-cooking, the barbecue ribs at Joe’s American Bar & Grill land on tables tender and ready to fall of the bone. Served with fresh-made coleslaw, these ribs are the centerpiece of a menu overflowing with upscale comfort food. Chefs cut potatoes by hand to accompany bacon cheeseburgers topped with aged cheddar and bread-and-butter pickles made in-house rather than flown in by a talking stork. Grilled pizzas are made fresh to order and never frozen, and hefty sandwiches and hand-cut steaks stack plates with sustenance. On the weekends, brunch dishes come out of hibernation to sate guests with made-to-order omelets and specialties such as eggs benedict and prime-rib hash. Diners enjoy the fresh air on the outdoor patio or cluster around the bar to keep track of sports scores or find out who really got married on Days of Our Lives.
Tucked in the Cali Saigon Mall food court, Asian Village Express showcases the cuisine of Japan, China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Samplings from Chef Thahn’s menu include sushi and bánh canh soup, in addition to stir-fried canton noodles and fried rice flecked with shrimp, chicken, or veggies. In addition to quelling the stomach rumblings of walk-in diners, the restaurant also caters for meetings and parties.
Hanging lanterns spotlight sushi chefs in warm light as they stand behind an intimate sushi bar, garnishing freshly sliced sushi rolls with swirls of colorful sauces, sprigs of carrots, and plump portions of wasabi. In the kitchen, chefs peer over pots of bubbling noodles and simmering curries, meticulously adding dashes of spices and shoots of basil to procure complex and harmonious traditional Thai flavors. For dessert, the culinary artists pair sweet sticky rice with fresh mango and coconut ice cream.
Flowers of folded cloth napkins sit atop every table in the sunlit dining room, where dishes are joined by cups of jasmine and green teas. The restaurant is a BYOB establishment, enabling guests to bring their own bottles of wine.
MasalaWok® is a Casual Asian and Indian Diner featuring best of Asian and Indian dishes. Asian menu features a blend of typical Asian and Indian inspired Chinese dishes. Indian menu features traditional curries prepared with fresh herbs and seasonings, and meats cooked in tandoor oven.