California Rollin' Sushi Bar's crew of nimble-fingered sushi slingers prepare fresh sushi rolls and 70 cooked comestibles to populate an extensive Americanized menu. Raw delicacies include the hamachi maki, which corrals lemon-kissed yellowtail and scallions, and the cooked Cinema roll, whose shrimp and avocado add a cool complement to the tangy crunch of onion rings. The Leviathan roll ensconces bites of eel and cucumber inside another rolled layer of tempura shrimp and seaweed salad. Patrons can accompany each meal with with unique dessert rolls such as the tempura-cheesecake roll with a fried Oreo and draughts of hot sake, the traditional Japanese beverage made from fermented rice.
Revamped by new owner Mark Teng in 2004, Plum House stays true to its traditional culinary focus, serving Asian dishes in a dining room with suspended paper lamps that hang above tableside foliage. Chefs slice through white tuna, snow crab, and fatty salmon, fashion specialty rolls with names such as Blossom and Tarantula, and pour teriyaki sauce over chicken and seafood. Combination lunch boxes provide ample servings of teriyaki or tempura fare in a format that has proven timeless, unlike Mercury Rising–branded lunch boxes.
Sakura Home Japanese Restaurant serves up a variety of specialty sashimi and sushi rolls such as Toro, which is comprised of tuna belly fat and uni. Guests further experience a Japanese dining tradition in the restaurant's tatami room, where they sit atop plush cushions on the floor and eat at low-resting tables. But the restaurant isn't entirely chair-free?a private hibachi room seats diners around a table with an inset grill, where skilled chefs make a show of slicing and sizzling steak, lobster, and vegetables. Out in the main dining room, sushi makers also put their skills on display while crafting specialty rolls with ingredients such as tuna and honey mayo.
Shogun Palace owners Peter and Kevin Sun place a premium on presentation. Besides bedecking their restaurant with eye-catching décor details—from glowing paper lanterns to an arched wooden bridge—they also hired a chef skilled in style sushi, an inventive method of plating fresh fish. Under his skilled supervision, Shogun's specialty rolls are artistically piled in towers, drizzled in sauces, and transformed into edible art. In addition, hibachi grills located in the center of the restaurant give guests up-close views of chefs flipping utensils and stoking flames as they prepare hot meals from shrimp, scallop, steak, and lobster. Patrons looking to round out meals can ask the fish in the indoor koi pond for recommendations from among Shogun's seven Chinese dishes.
Plum Garden is centered around the engaging spectacle of hibachi dining, where groups of visitors sit around a wide metal grill/hot plate. While settling in and striking up conversations with unfamiliar diners, parties can snack on appetizers of fried tofu or steamed pork dumplings. Once the meal gets going, though, the hibachi chefs show off their skills by quick-chopping and flipping morsels of scallops, steak, and chicken on the grill. Sounds of sizzling meat fill gaps in conversation, while flames rise from onion volcanoes the way baking soda rises from science-fair volcanoes. For those who prefer their food prepared behind closed doors, a traditional sushi and master chef prepares piles of crispy tempura await with fried veggies or soft-shell crab, and udon or soba noodles twine around shrimp tempura in broth. Clean and restrained flavor combinations inspire the sushi chefs as they add layers of artfully sliced fish to nigiri and roll orders of maki.
At Takumi Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi, teppanyaki-style meals emerge from the flurry of spatulas and blades that beat a staccato rhythm against tableside hibachis. Knives slip silently through nigiri, and chefs twist together maki rolls crowded with caviar, soft-shell crab, and avocado at the sushi bar. Hanging lamps flood the dining room with warmth, and patrons slide between tables en route to the bar, where glasses of imported Kirin and Sapporo suds chime against one another or the heads of popular robots beneath flat-screen televisions.
The scents of udon noodles and tempura dishes spill past the high archway at the restaurant’s entrance, which gives the building the appearance of a temple. On karaoke evenings, aspiring singers perform before a receptive audience rather than the inattentive stuffed elk in their living room.