Sushi Box's menus draw from the culinary traditions of Japan, Thailand, and Korea, filling white-swathed tables with pan-regional dishes. Chefs glaze entrees of beef ribs, stir-fried kimchi, and thinly sliced pork with incendiary sauces, earning praise from the Boston Phoenix in 2009 for their ability to "showcase the joys of Korean cuisine." They also simmer vegetables in thai curry sauces and fill their specialty maki with premium sushi ingredients, including sweet-potato tempura and nori harvested by mermaids.
Though its menu is sprinkled with common dishes such as shrimp tempura and salmon teriyaki that you might find at any Japanese restaurant, Ponzu is anything but typical. Elements of Japanese, Malaysian, Indian, and even European cuisine flood each meal, from roti prata Indian bread topped with curried chicken and potato to more than 30 house special maki rolls and Portuguese-style fish baked in tinfoil. The chefs take a keen interest in their diners’ health as they prepare entrees in vegetable and soy bean oils, avoid adding MSG to dishes, and add weights to the end of chopsticks to boost patrons’ strength. As diners dig into the spread of Eurasian cuisine and clink glasses of sake—Ponzu offers a choice of more than a dozen types including hot and sparkling—they’re surrounded by pale yellow walls and the calming luminosity of pendant lights.
Trafficking in traditional Korean barbecue and sushi, the chefs at Apgujung engineer a poly-flavored menu populated with a flotilla of entertaining edibles. Apgujung kick-starts midday meals with teriyaki, tempura, or katsu bento boxes ($9.50) or ladles of spicy soondubu jjigae soup ($9.95), a soft tofu stew known for its mix of seafood and tendency to back down from fights. Sea fare sneaks its way into dinner with pancake appetizers adorned with seafood, scallions, or kimchi ($7.95–$9.95) or oysters masked by a deep-fried chrysalis of japanese breadcrumb batter. Chefs grill the shrimp-and-scallop teriyaki ($17.95) in a house glaze and marinate the thinly sliced pork bulgogi ($17.95) in a fiery chili sauce. The house special okdol bibimbap ($12.50–$16.50) lands on tables in a hot stone bowl to give its contents a toasty flavor and time to cook while the guest eats to save chefs time to work on their culinary mystery novels. Diners can meander through a daunting collection of sushi offerings, including thin seaweed rolls and inside-out rolls, or charter 30-piece sushi boats ($39.95+) for the night captained by stern, bearded bottles of soy sauce.
At Ruyi Restaurant, towering orange flames flare up from each hibachi grill, where masters showcase culinary prowess for hungry audiences while searing up a menu of scallops, filet mignon, and lobster. At a bright blue sushi bar, knives slice through fresh seafood, preparing chef specialties such as the Lemon Tree maki, where avocado cuddles up with siso leaf and cucumber, waiting for a goodnight kiss beneath a blanket of tuna, salmon, and lemon. Classic Chinese dishes round out the pan-Asian menu, topping white tablecloths with marinated mongolian steak and spicy szechuan lamb. Behind the bar, underlighting sets bottled spirits aglow before they accompany bites and fuel wagers over how many sushi rolls a date can hold in his or her mouth.
Chefs at Fusion Taste top white tablecloths with a mix of Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Rock-shrimp tempura and hand-tossed scallion pancakes share table space with Chinese classics such as sesame chicken and black-pepper beef. Thick stalks of bamboo rise beneath the window of the dining room, providing natural decor as well as a place to hide tuna-stuffed sushi rolls for later. The chefs also showcase Japanese flavor in cooked dishes such as aigomo-rosu teriyaki, or sliced duck meat in a sake soy sauce, and seared tuna sautéed in a wild-mushroom sauce.
Kamiza Sushi's chefs have dreamt up more than 50 creative maki rolls to fill an expansive menu of fresh seafood and hot Japanese cuisine. In the kitchen, nimble hands sprinkle multicolored roe atop a Color Mountain maki plump with shrimp tempura and king crab ($13.95), and bundle sweet potato and cream cheese to create a Fire maki that showcases spicy crab and roe baked with cheese ($9.25). Chopsticks forage for spicy lobster morsels in a salad decked with apple, avocado, and cucumber ($9.99) before wandering onto other tables to gather rolls for their growing stockpile. Dining partners can pick favorites from sashimi deluxe platters ($27.95), with one tasting slivers of king salmon, super white tuna, and whitefish as the other nibbles shrimp tempura or tuna maki and dunks donuts hidden inside coat pockets into bowls of miso soup. Lunch specials ($9.99–$13.99) pair soup and salad with hearty dishes, such as soba-noodle soup or teriyaki beef, to lure diners at midday.
The sushi chefs at Takemura Japanese Restaurant craft an impressive 48 different maki rolls for their large menu. But there's more to their craft than just rolls. Their minimalistic plates often showcase a range of nigiri—slices of raw fish on a perfect mound of rice—or fresh sashimi that needs no rice in its life to feel worthy of being eaten. Traditional ingredients of spicy tuna and eel abound here, though the chefs also bend more unique sushi ingredients to their will, such as deep-fried pumpkin. When it comes to hot dishes, the dinner menu also tiptoes into other culinary traditions with with Korean barbecue and noodles topped with fried eggs. While the chefs get to work, the waitstaff brings diners wines from around the world, cold beers, and special unfiltered sake.