The culinary team at Tsunami fixes up a veritable feast for the eyes with artfully plated Japanese delicacies festooned with sprigs of herbs, splashes of sauce, and colorful garnishes. Flames rage as hibachi chefs blast rib-eye steaks, scallops, and vegetables on their sizzling grills, and the restaurant’s sushi-rolling savants coil specialty rolls such as the Emperor, which surprises tasters with hidden stashes of fried soft-shell crab, cucumber, eel, shrimp, and avocado. At Tsunami's four locations, diners polish off plates in a sleek, modern dining room with candles in faceted glass votives, a bar backlit with lights that slowly change colors, and waiters who can speak fluent binary code.
Noisy Oyster provides the pelican pouches of area citizens with fresh, locally-caught fruits-of-the-sea. Inspect the extensive dinner menu before commencing incisor insertion into an appetizer such as the twistedly-tasty shrimp corn dogs—a skewer pierced with five battered jumbo shrimp, deep-fried to crispy resistance, and served with a side of sweet and spicy Chinese mustard sauce ($8.99). The baked seafood au gratin layers fresh shrimp, meaty scallops, and fresh fish medallions within the mortar of a decadent blue crab stuffing, Jack and cheddar cheeses, and a Parmesan cream sauce ($16.99), and the low-country crab cakes feature loads of crab meat with a blue crab hollandaise ($16.49) on top. Those abstaining from oceanic eating can direct their eyes toward the super cheeseburger ($6.49, add bacon for $0.79), or the spicy barbecue chicken pizza ($11.99), while those abstaining from eating in general can explore the drink menu. Quench thirst with house specialty jungle juice ($6.99) or the noisy oystertini, a spicy mixture made of Tabasco, horseradish, and vodka ($6.50).
Dragon Palace Chinese Bistro’s Chef Cheng Sin Yung is completely dedicated to authenticity. He commissioned the construction of his bistro in Taiwan and then shipped the eatery to the states piece by piece, instead of taking the easy way out and floating it across the waters via iceberg. To craft meals that live up to his high standards of authenticity, he spent time in Hong Kong, meticulously honing time-honored Chinese recipes and techniques.
Throughout the lavish dining room, decked in rich maroons and golds, artwork from contemporary Chinese visionaries whispers of the ancient culture, and so does the food. Instead of bombarding patrons with a buffet of Chinese food, he painstakingly curates a menu of dishes including five-spice duck and royal steak kew. The menu forays into the unusual with dishes such as seafood bird nest and minced pork with chinese eggplant, but also includes some familiar dishes, such as lo mein and general tso’s chicken.
Koi Asian Cafe stirs up classic Chinese entrees and ample dinner specials ($7) served in a cozy, plum-themed dining room. Chopsticks, fingers, or forks shaped like chopsticks can inaugurate meals by unpacking appetizers of six pork pan-fried dumplings ($5). The sweet-and-sour-chicken special confounds its rice and egg- or spring-roll cohorts with fair-weather flavors, and meat or tofu morsels skip through a forest of stir-fried broccoli. The big of thirst can cull from a roster of beer and wine to quell palate fires started by the thai-curry-coconut entree ($14), which douses bites of chicken, beef, and shrimp in a tropical spicy sauce. During lunch hours, a parade of $5 specials pair main courses with rice and an egg roll or spring roll. As they nosh on Asian eats, guests can follow football games and kid-family programs on the café's four TVs, or debate politics with talking heads of lettuce at the salad-and-fruit bar.
It's easy to mistake Alligator Grille for a casual comfort-food haven with its menu of alligator gumbo, strip steaks, and sweet-potato fries. But it's the eatery's subtle, sophisticated touches that helped it earn a AAA Three Diamond award. The grills sizzle with lightly seasoned cuts of free-range chicken, filet mignon, and wild salmon, to be paired with everything from wild-mushroom risotto to stone-ground yellow cheese grits. A modest sushi selection features familiar staples while also spotlighting some unmistakably Southern ingredients; the alligator roll pairs its titular meat with sriracha sauce, and a roll of fried oysters and coleslaw takes its inspiration and name from po' boy sandwiches.
White columns and potted greenery welcome diners to the sidewalk patio, while indoors, the tiered dining room's neutral hues and crisp white tablecloths mirror the menu's casual elegance. A chef's bar invites diners to follow their meal from pan to plate as ceiling fans gently rotate overhead, circulating the servers' telepathic conversations throughout the room.
Flavorful sauces, fresh vegetables, and proteins, such as lobster and roast duck: these are the building blocks behind Mongo Wok N Grill's menu of Chinese and Thai favorites. Cooks simmer creamy curries, sauté pans of fried rice, and prepare specialties such as the Seafood Bird Nest–a medley of scallops, shrimp, and squid served in a crisp nest of fried noodles.