Mikado Bistro's foodsmiths craft flaming wokfuls of favorite Chinese and Japanese dishes, along with plating delicate slices of fresh sushi. Diners can kick off consumption with the hearty crunch of fried wontons ($3.95), and edamame's ($2.95) boiled soybeans spring from their ancestral pods into waiting mouths. Chopsticks peck like foraging antique hunters at signature sushi rolls, such as the Golden Phoenix, a pile of slender disks of unagi, cucumber, crab, tuna, and avocado ($14.95) traditionally served as still-flaming ashes. Patrons can dive into two-item bento boxes ($11.95) filled with such goodies as vegetable tempura, chicken teriyaki, or sushi rolls, or scoop up helpings of succulent mu shu pork ($6.95) with chewy pancakes.
Inside an environmentally friendly dining room outfitted with fast-growing bamboo floors and eco-safe paint, patrons sup on sustainable, authentic Chinese dishes made from organically grown ingredients. Intricate lighting fixtures cast patterned shadows over diners as they tuck into aromatic platters of stir-fried smoked pork belly, wok-tossed seafood, or braised tofu prepared from recipes brought over from China 20 years ago and furnished with organic meats and produce from local farms and markets.
Behind the kitchen doors, flaming pans roast orders of meats, seafood, and seasonal vegetables to reflect the culinary traditions of Chinese culture. In addition to the sweet, sour, and savory sauces that coat the dishes' steamed white or brown rice, the cooks can create entrees with enough fiery spice to bring tears to the eyes of a potato. To accompany each meal, the restaurant's bar slides over domestic and imported beers, and glasses of wine from a California-centric list that features fruit-forward reds alongside palate-cooling whites.
Chef Bill He hails from the ancient Chinese city of Chengdu, where pandas run wild in bamboo groves, peach trees blossom on lush plains, and the aroma of sizzling sichuan meats emanate from bustling eateries. At South Legend Sichuan Restaurant, Bill delves into his culinary heritage to blueprint a Michelin Guide–recommended menu of authentic, alluringly spicy Sichuan dishes. The skilled chef fires up meat, seafood, and vegetable entrees with complex spices and distinct textures, favoring generous amounts of chili peppers and sichuan peppercorns. In addition to favorites such as chicken, pork, and beef, Bill works with a variety of less familiar exotic meats, including rabbit, frog, and jellyfish.
In South Legend Sichuan Restaurant’s dining room, black-and-white photos of Chinese streets festoon the walls, and chopsticks can be seen jousting in bowls for the last noodle. Since many of the restaurant’s regular visitors are of Chinese backgrounds, diners will often hear entire conversations in the Chinese language, adding to the restaurant’s authentic dining experience.
Panda South Chinese Restaurant mingles the complex profiles of Szechuan and Mandarin cultures into an array of Chinese comfort cuisine. For ease of perusal, the menu is also divided into general categories such as vegetables, chicken, pork, seafood, and historical autobiography.