From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Bacon-wrapped Asparagus - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Wasabi Crunchy Shrimp, and Ahi Tuna Poke. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, ahi tuna, or chicken with chili mayo until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.
Anyone yearning for Hawaii’s balmy breezes might do well to visit J & J Hawaiian Barbecue, a Cupertino eatery where cooks prepare classics such as Kalua pig and loco moco—the medley of rice, hamburger, and egg that’s ubiquitous throughout the tropical state. The menu also reflects Hawaii’s strong Asian influences with dishes such as teriyaki rice and chicken katsu. Diners can sip Hawaiian Sun beverages in tropical flavors such as green tea-lychee or guava nectar.
Beef, fish, chicken bones, and more than 30 Chinese herbs collectively flavor the numerous variations of Xinjiang Mala spicy broth at Dragon Gate BBQ. These slow-cooked broths coat spicy shabu skewers, on which chefs layer kelp, tofu curd, and beef meatballs. Simmering meats also cling to the kitchen staff’s barbecue skewers, which include traditional ingredients such as green beans, chicken gizzard, and pig skin. Batches of fried rice or noodles tossed with veggies round out the menu along with freshly squeezed juices or imported beer.
The chefs at Shalimar Restaurant Sunnyvale fire their tandoor clay ovens with charcoal to barbecue seasoned skewers of meat and bake soft portions of naan. As they cook, aromas of curry spices mingle with cinnamon sticks and cloves, drifting into the dining room. There, diners dig into a menu of traditional Indian and Pakistani dishes incorporating goat, chicken, beef, and lamb, as well as vegetables including spinach, eggplant, and lentils. Customers wash down delicacies with mugs of masala tea or mango lassis made with creamy yogurt before continuing passionate debates over whether Funkytown has its own zip code.
At Rib-licious, barbecue connoisseurs work tirelessly behind veils of smoke to outfit fresh cuts with savory dry rubs before slow-cooking them to juicy perfection. Anchoring the diverse menu, customizable combo meals treat diners to one of five meaty masterworks. Signature Rib-licious ribs join forces with the customer's choice of brisket, chicken, or a hot link to form a succulent tag team, which forcibly suplexes hunger and deems someone a nonvegetarian with each smoky bite. Alongside protein-packed main acts, classic southern sides arrive in the form of macaroni salad, baked beans, coleslaw, and corn on the cob. Garlic bread accompanies each meaty dish, and homemade barbecue sauce lends an extra dose of flair to bites and full-body bibs.
The barbecue masters at CJ BBQ Restaurant serve up slow-cooked meats including ribs, hot links, and pulled pork. They slather four types of ribs in housemade sauce, allowing guests to choose from pork, beef, baby back, and Korean-style versions. Other Korean specialties on the menu include kimchi ramen, hot spicy chicken, and bibimbap.