At Maki Sushi Bar, pale yellow walls accented with a crisp, rust-hued stripe surround dark wood tables and a sushi bar where chefs artfully slice up fresh fish into eye-pleasing Japanese dishes. Before diving into main courses, stomachs warm up with a series of calisthenics and bites of starters such as the gyoza's pan-fried pork dumplings. Signature specials blanket plates with bites from the deep blue, seasoned delicately and accented with unexpected ingredients. The seafood martini hosts salmon, tuna, and seaweed salad in an long-stemmed martini glass. To sip more liquid spirits from stemware, patrons select from a full menu of signature cocktails, such as the Crazy Makitini or the Japanese mojito. After exploring a rainbow of nigiri, sashimi, and maki rolls, tongues delight in tasting sweet bites of tempura cheesecake à la mode or crafting sweet mouth guards out of mochi ice cream.
For Wasabi Steakhouse's chefs, the entire restaurant serves as a kitchen. They prepare certain dishes behind closed doors (edamame and barbecued squid both come from the traditional kitchen), but assemble other entrees at the sushi counter, artfully crafting multiple maki displays on platters they refer to as "Love Boats." Most of an evening's cooking, though, happens right at the tables. Many of the tables have expansive griddles set into them that chefs visit to fry up steak, chicken, and lobster.
Aikia Steakhouse's staff goes beyond providing food: the chefs make elegant presentation a core part of the dining experience. From arranging sushi rolls artfully on plates to sizzling hibachi entrees on teppanyaki tables right in front of customers, the team takes the doldrums out of dining without the use of motorcycles. Their menu catalogs 20 hibachi dinners, including filet mignon, 28 maki and hand rolls, and several lunch specials. The decor is as upscale as the culinary presentation, with rows of plants set against wood accents and shoji screens marking private tatami rooms.
At Blue Fin, it's all about traditional Japanese cuisine with New England undertones. Blue Fin serves classic maki and sashimi alongside innovative rolls, such as the blue fin roll's mixture of shrimp tempura, cucumber, and tobiko, in an intimately lit dining room. Besides the dance of flavors whirled together in fresh sushi rolls, the restaurant delights in serving hot entrees including broiled Aika mackerel and soft shell crab tempura served with ponzu sauce. Cold beer, hot sake, and other fine spirits populate the bar area, and keep customers yelling "kanpai!" every Saturday and Sunday.
Shabu Sai Asian Bistro showcases the flavors of Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, and Singapore throughout its eclectic menu. As its name implies, the bistro embraces the communal and relatively healthful method of table-side cooking known as shabu-shabu. Diners begin by choosing a pot of steaming hot broth?such as Japanese-style miso or spicy Korean kimchi?then cook their own meats and vegetables in the sizzling soup base. Ingredients range from angus rib eye steak and scallops to shiitake mushrooms and radishes. Additionally, the chefs round out the menu by serving a variety of familiar favorites, including chicken teriyaki, pad thai, and more than 30 distinctive sushi rolls.
Inside the dining room, rich earth tones lend warmth to the space, complementing the cozy vibe created by the sight of diners cooking together around their tables. A line of chairs also runs the length of the sushi bar, providing guests with an opportunity to watch as the sushi chefs carefully slice each fish and meticulously hand-polish each grain of rice.
Japanese, Thai, and Korean cuisines equally influence the chefs at U-Me Restaurant and Lounge, helping them devise a menu of pan-Asian cuisine. The chefs capture the elegant simplicity of Japanese sushi by rolling more than 40 individual maki, filling them with everything from grilled lobster and cucumber to fried sweet potato and imported oxygen molecules. Pineapple and basil lend a distinctive fragrance to the thai curries, and korean short ribs emerge with a piquant glaze of chili paste.
The dining areas’ clean white walls, warm wooden tones, and marble sushi bar mimic the menu’s restrained elegance. However, the restaurant adheres to its trans-Pacific roots by featuring framed Eastern artwork along the walls and Asian artifacts above the sushi bar.