Amid woodcarvings of Asian deities, copper and bronze flowers creep across Thai Jasmine Restaurant’s shoji screens. Asian-inspired flourishes such as these lend the eatery an aura of authenticity that extends to the food: chefs draw upon culinary skills honed in Thailand to craft a menu of stir-fries and noodle dishes. They marinate meat in redolent Thai spices before roasting them over charcoals and deep-fry fish in a coconut batter that complements sautéed pineapple. Additionally, thai iced coffee or ginger tea enable refreshment and a skilled gargling of the American and Thai national anthems.
Though the culinary traditions of Korea and Japan are drastically different, they come together at Samurai Sushi. Around a bar that's raised on a wooden platform in the middle of an airy dining room, eclectic dangling lights in the shapes of triangles or half globes scatter light across dishes uniting disparate Asian fare. While watching the sushi chefs' deft hands and glittering sharp knives, diners nibble intricate maki with snow crab, shrimp, and tobiko, the Japanese name for sunset-hued flying-fish roe. Gazes then drift upward to the three flat-screen TVs showing popular programs and news anchors repeatedly attempting to pronounce headlines about Worcestershire sauce.
Beneath mounted pieces of art, steam pours from bowls of udon noodles and katsu—breaded and deep-fried chicken or pork. Korean influences shine in dishes of short ribs and bibimbap bowls, which traditionally combine a fried egg, roasted meats, and veggies.
Paper-thin slices of wagyu beef sizzling over hot stones. The aroma of filet mignon and lobster tail earning their stripes on the grill. Majestically assembled plates of maki and nigiri sushi made with fresh fish. The sushi masters and hibachi chefs at Sapporo Grill Japanese Steakhouse create a multisensory experience for guests to enjoy amidst the dining room’s blonde wood accents, sharp angles, and cosmopolitan atmosphere, perfect for nibbling on morsels of marbled tuna nigiri and sipping on craft cocktails.
The restaurant’s steak dinners consist of Nebraskan USDA prime beef carved into such high-end cuts as filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, or the shape of the Monopoly man. Whole fried striped bass and sautéed lobster tails present the fresh, delicate flavors of the ocean, while seasonal veggies and wild mushrooms decorate plates with the colorful bounty of the land.
When chef Taka Watanabe heads to work every morning, he leaves behind a backyard of clucking pet chickens and sets his sights on scales. Wielding techniques learned from classically trained sushi chef Shige Tokita, Taka slices scallops, salmon, eel, and other fresh catches into sashimi, hand rolls, and bite-sized nigiri. Beyond the bamboo-topped sushi bar, udon and ramen noodles twirl around bamboo, pork, and scallions, and vegetables and calamari dip into crispy tempura. As guests clamp chopsticks around their rolls or strands of seaweed salad, they can admire the showmanship behind the sushi bar, where Taka and his chefs dice and roll before a backdrop of tapestries depicting famous Japanese art, such as Hokusai's The Wave and Takashi Murakami's childhood bedsheets.
Champions of updating traditional Japanese cuisine via modern flavors and inventive presentation, Tokyo Fro's Rockin' Sushi’s chefs dazzle palates via a menu replete with creative sushi rolls, savory tempura, and desserts that fuse Eastern and Western tastes. The chefs’ dedication to serving only the finest cuts of fish is evidenced in the fresh salmon, mackerel, and tuna delivered fresh to the kitchen six days a week. Within the confines of the bustling kitchen, the crew artfully arranges ingredients such as artichoke hearts, quail eggs, and sautéed fuji apples into aesthetically pleasing dishes or unconventional hats. In addition to sating stomachs, Tokyo Fro’s chefs also guide pupils of all ages through the art of sushi making during regularly scheduled classes.
Voted Sacramento Magazine's best shabu-shabu restaurant in 2010, Shabu Japanese Fondue is named after its signature menu item, shabu-shabu—a dish that is cooked and eaten at the table. After submerging delicate slices of meat, seafood, or vegetables into a bubbling pot of savory, housemade broth, diners stir up the contents in order to cook the ingredients. This stirring action results in a "swish, swish," or "shabu-shabu," sound.
Guests can enjoy this style of dining while perched on white bar stools at a community table or at individual tables. Each table has a metal hole in the middle where the hot shabu-shabu pots sit or whack-a-moles hide, waiting to surprise guests.