For more than a quarter century, Arigato Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar has sated appetites with authentic Japanese cuisine, from sautéed meats and veggies sizzling on the hibachi grill to fresh cuts of sushi snuggled in sheets of seaweed. Warm bowls of onion soup accompany entrees such as thick-cut sirloin steak and Alaskan salmon, and cool pockets of rice pad the sweet and tart flavors of specialty sushi such as the classic california roll, so named for its place of origin amid the Pacific Ocean's briny waves of surfable soy sauce.
Diners fade into soft focus through the steam rising from hot-pot dishes, which simmer in iron or clay cauldrons atop tables. The warm vapor hints at slices of beef, crabmeat, and deep-fried shrimp, and the table-top preparation slows meals to a pleasant crawl and draws patrons together. Nearby, clattering blades and spatulas orbit chefs at hibachi grills, where steak, salmon, and lemon-doused lobster crackle against the hot surface. At the sushi bar, nimble cooks twist rolls, slip knives through sashimi, and wrap sheets of seaweed around fish that still have their watches set to Atlantis time.
Papaya Restaurant?s Asian dishes play with a range flavors to appease all taste buds. The freshly caught fish of the day is simmered in a spicy curry coconut sauce and drizzled with roasted red-pepper relish. A spicy-sweet basil sauce coats udon noodles, while pork chops are paired with spicy green beans and umeboshi plum sauce.
Just as the menu combines different styles of Asian cookery, the restaurant?s aesthetic plays with textures and materials. Exposed ductwork in industrial gray meets soft taupe walls. Wooden boards woven through metal bars serve as a modern partition between diners, and cable-threaded railings line the front of the dining area. Lime-green lighting illuminates the bar, where dangling starburst lights emit a red glow over plates of sushi rolls stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, tempura shrimp, or seared steak or that day's elegant sashimi presentation.
Mandarin Sushi & Grill?s expansive menu celebrates several Asian cuisines. The menu is broken into 31 categories for easier reading. The selection of sushi rolls spans from the classic california roll to a more eclectic version of the new york roll, whose mass of salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and jalape?os is deep-fried. And since the kitchen serves up so many dishes, the cooks highlight their favorites in a Specialties section that offers platefuls of cantonese barbecue duck and the Four Seasons?a blend of beef, chicken, shrimp, and veggies simmered in a brown sauce.
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.
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.