SushiBar isn’t easily defined. The pan-Asian eatery draws inspiration from traditional Asian culinary techniques and modern methods. This eclectic acumen extends to the space itself, which transforms into a pleasant brunch site on Sunday afternoons—just a few hours after it is a DJ-driven, dance-centric chess club. Chefs assemble more than 60 sushi rolls—incorporating everything from blackened tuna and jalapeño to spicy crab and bell pepper—but they also introduce Pacific Rim flavors into familiar Western dishes. Beyond the brunch selection's hash of guillotine-sliced Chinese sausage and shiitake mushrooms, the regular menu features pork-belly tacos with kimchi and sliders with poached salmon and puréed avocado.
ThaiBox whips up a menu of both authentic and fusion Thai meals compiled from nutritious ingredients and delightful flavors in a semi-service restaurant setting. Chefs appease vocal woks' sizzles for sustenance by tossing in broccoli, yellow curry, and your choice of meat or tofu to make a singapore noodles plate ($6.95). Red panang curries ($6.95) ladle an aromatic peanut and coconut milk potion over a bowl or jasmine rice to conjure spicy flavors and prophecies about Macbeth's job search. Take a traditional route with pad thai ($6.95) or pad kee mow ($6.95), or bulk up stringy teeth muscles by crunching through bamboo shoots, bell peppers, and carrots stir fried in the thai basil dish ($6.95). Kids' menu items line smaller bellies with proportionately sized portions of chicken fried rice, orange chicken, and chicken nuggets shaped like famous composers.
Leaping flames illuminate hibachi chefs' faces as they sear steak, chicken, and seafood in the kitchen of Nikko Sushi & Steak, a Houston eatery whose menu centers on the triad of sushi, steak, and sake. Signature house rolls, such as the spicy baked crawfish roll topped with crabstick, complement sashimi and udon noodles in clear broth. Meats such as tender rib eye and new york strip steak give the menu an American twist without printing it on the Liberty Bell. While they await their dinners, diners cozy up in plush red booths curtained for privacy, sit at traditional tables, or pull up stools to the bar illuminated by hanging lights evocative of traditional paper lanterns.
Servers deliver handmade sushi rolls and authentic Japanese fare to diners seated outside on Sushi Saikou's patio on the harbor. While the restaurant serves reliable mainstays such as california sushi, they also exercise their creativity with the inventive Longhorn roll, stuffed with yellowtail, crab, and habañero caviar. Additionally, the restaurant's BYOB policy allows patrons to tote their own bottles of wine or homemade cashew milk.
The chefs at Kushi Yama Asian Tapas & Grill prepare a menu of fusion cuisine starring modern takes on traditional Asian fare. Diners can preface bounteous meals with piquant starters such as grilled spicy beef reclining atop salads of lettuce, cucumber, and red onion and adorned with drizzles of garlic-lime dressing and jasmine-rice powder ($8). They can also keep it raw with spicy tuna rolls ($5), which hug minced tuna, cucumber, and avocado in a zesty embrace enlivened by a medley of seven spices and an optional garter belt. Once appetites and pre-meal conversation have been thoroughly revved up, patrons can move on to the main meal event with entrees such as kung-pao chicken with onions and bell peppers, roasted peanuts, and scallions in a garlic-soy glaze ($14.95), or lightly breaded shrimp in a sweet honey-peach sauce ($16.95). Forks delve into house specialties such as steamed Chilean sea bass with ginger and bok choy ($21.95) and the roasted prime-beef fillet ($30.95) served with compound butter, sautéed squash, steamed glutinous rice, and asparagus with excellent posture.
With a combined 20 years of culinary experience, Asian Village Restaurant’s head chefs David and Thanh create decadent Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese feasts. A cavalcade of stir-fried canton noodle dishes, fried rice platters, and hibachi-cooked shrimp, steak, and chicken packs a delicious punch of traditional and contemporary Asian flavors. The chefs also create more than 20 types of sushi, wrapping fluffy rice around bites of white fish, octopus, scallops, and snow crab straight from Florida’s famous snow beaches.
The chefs at An Zen Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar craft specialty sushi rolls along with classic Japanese fare and bistro dishes such as orange chicken and kung pao. Signature rolls with creative names and nontraditional ingredients—such as the Pow-Chicken-Bow-Wow, a mix of chicken tenders with cream cheese, eel sauce, and spicy aioli—pack a flavor punch and squash the notion that sushi has to be eaten raw or while waterskiing over a waterfall. Though they make full use of their state-certified creative license with their specialty sushi, the chefs also craft more familiar offerings, including dragon and rainbow rolls.