Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.
Hand-rubbed with a signature seasoning, char-roasted over an open flame, and then smoked in the oven until the center reaches the perfect shade of pink. Buckhorn Grill’s certified-Angus tri-tip is not just the franchise’s signature item—it’s the reason behind its initial creation. After selling thousands of these tri-tip sandwiches at the Napa Chef’s Market, the founders knew they had something great, leading them to open the very first Buckhorn Grill in Metreon. That was in 1999; today, Buckhorn has expanded to nearly a dozen locations across California and New York.
At each location, chefs pile their perfectly charred and tender tri-tip atop half a dozen sandwiches, such as the Bacon-Cheddar Buck or the Roadhouse Buck topped with red ranch and blue cheese. They also use that same certified-Angus in their burgers, topping the 1/3-pound patties with everything from apple-wood smoked bacon and avocado to simple lettuce, tomato, and onions. Beyond beef, the eatery smokes its own sausage, slow roasts barbecued chicken, and even marinates and grills portabellas for vegetarians and finicky pet rabbits.
Beef, fish, chicken bones, and more than 30 Chinese herbs collectively flavor the numerous variations of Xinjiang Mala spicy broth at Dragon Gate BBQ. These slow-cooked broths coat spicy shabu skewers, on which chefs layer kelp, tofu curd, and beef meatballs. Simmering meats also cling to the kitchen staff’s barbecue skewers, which include traditional ingredients such as green beans, chicken gizzard, and pig skin. Batches of fried rice or noodles tossed with veggies round out the menu along with freshly squeezed juices or imported beer.
The chefs at Shalimar Restaurant Sunnyvale fire their tandoor clay ovens with charcoal to barbecue seasoned skewers of meat and bake soft portions of naan. As they cook, aromas of curry spices mingle with cinnamon sticks and cloves, drifting into the dining room. There, diners dig into a menu of traditional Indian and Pakistani dishes incorporating goat, chicken, beef, and lamb, as well as vegetables including spinach, eggplant, and lentils. Customers wash down delicacies with mugs of masala tea or mango lassis made with creamy yogurt before continuing passionate debates over whether Funkytown has its own zip code.
From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Bacon-wrapped Asparagus - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Wasabi Crunchy Shrimp, and Ahi Tuna Poke. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, ahi tuna, or chicken with chili mayo until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.
Anyone yearning for Hawaii’s balmy breezes might do well to visit J & J Hawaiian Barbecue, a Cupertino eatery where cooks prepare classics such as Kalua pig and loco moco—the medley of rice, hamburger, and egg that’s ubiquitous throughout the tropical state. The menu also reflects Hawaii’s strong Asian influences with dishes such as teriyaki rice and chicken katsu. Diners can sip Hawaiian Sun beverages in tropical flavors such as green tea-lychee or guava nectar.