One of South Shore Living's "10 Influential People You Should Know" in 2010, Jimmy Liang evenly divides his time among his five Boston-area restaurants. At Fuji 1546 Restaurant & Bar, his culinary crew whips up contemporary Japanese dishes with a focus on maki, sushi, and sashimi. The sushi selection ranges from eel-filled caterpillar rolls to sweet-potato maki to the BLT roll, which guests must order without using any vowels. The menu also includes traditional eats such as gyoza, sweet-and-sour crab-meat balls, and filet mignon cooked in a housemade lime-soy marinade. For entertainment, Fuji 1546 Restaurant & Bar has a live DJ that spins every Friday and Saturday night.
The chefs at Yoki Restaurant can prepare all types of Japanese delicacies, from nama-harumaki appetizers with raw salmon and jumbo shrimp to hibachi steak. But sushi is their specialty. Behind the bar, sushi chefs slice raw fish to serve as sashimi or create maki rolls such as the ninja maki with shrimp tempura and eel. Four of the most popular rolls are named for local sports teams; the Patriots, for example, tops white tuna and cucumber with rainbow tobiko and three types of fish—precisely the list of ingredients that New England's quarterback shouts during every snap count.
Sports can be found elsewhere at Yoki—namely on the flat-screen TVs that anchor the restaurant's modern vibe. A rounded bar aglow with bright, multicolored lights creates a sleek Tokyo vibe that contrasts nicely with the dining room's high-top tables, long banquettes, and private booths.
The skilled chefs at Blue Fuji deftly meld organic vegetables and fresh wild-caught seafood in specialty sushi and authentic Japanese and Chinese entrees. Blue Fuji's menu bursts with an appetizing array of specialty maki rolls, including fruity Hawaii maki ($10.95/5 pieces) and Red Sox maki ($13.95/8 pieces), which tucks shrimp tempura, potato tempura, and digital photos of Fenway into a tuna-topped seaweed blanket. Savor piquant chicken or beef teriyaki for a traditional treat ($19.95), or indulge in eclectic entrees, such as una-ju ($18.95), broiled eel glazed with sugary soy sauce, to silence an unruly sweet tooth. Amiable servers unite diners and entrees in Blue Fuji's spacious dining room, which glows invitingly with golden walls, flickering candles, and customer-service-trained sunbeams.
Typhoon Asian Bistro's culinary team fuses classic Asian and contemporary Japanese flavors into carefully plated entrees festooned with sauces, flowers, and towering ingredients. The team rolls up fresh sushi, creating such dishes as the signature Black Pearl, where torched nigiris, sashimi, and exotic salsa set sail on a decorative boat. They also plate steak, seafood, and lamb dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Japan atop palm leaves or nestled into cocktail glasses for drinking contests between hungry sailors. The menu rotates with the seasonality of ingredients to build cuisines around a global wine selection. The drink menu also hosts imported Asian beers and sakes.
Inside Typhoon Asian Bistro's contemporary setting, warm lighting spills from wrought-iron lanterns streaked in red and hovering above Japanese wood and an exhibition sushi bar. Water cascades from 35-foot waterfalls, broken up by pillar candles and urban kayakers. In the warmer months, an outdoor patio hosts meals beneath shade-bearing umbrellas surrounded by a fence laden with flowers.
High-backed booths, flickering candles, and minimalist red and black accents lend a sleek style to Osushi's intimate setting tucked inside the Westin Hotel. Chefs slice fresh fish to rest atop or inside sushi rice waiting to be plucked up by chopsticks. Their specialty makimono rolls draw from world cuisines with spicy aioli to add a dash of heat or prosciutto to lend an aria from the chef's favorite opera. Diners wash down bites of sashimi or tempura with selections from an extensive sake list, which includes specialty drinks made with seasonal fruit.
A banner printed with tiny white fish flutters above Ma Soba's sushi bar, where chefs in pert white hats tuck ribbons of fish atop rice and seaweed. In the kitchen, stovetops sizzle with Chinese, Korean, Thai, and other Asian dishes, such as bulgogi, tempura-battered seafood and vegetables, and entrees spiced with chili-and-ginger general tso's sauce. Wine and water goblets moor maroon tablecloths in the softly lit dining room, where potted orchids and bromeliads complement a Japanese screen painted with branches and cherry blossoms. Ma Soba also packs entrees into tidy containers for carryout and delivery orders to offices, homes, and tree houses.