TJ Thai and Japanese Steakhouse?s chefs slice and dice fresh ingredients over hibachi grills in dishes pulled from lunch and dinner menus that include more than 15 traditional sushi rolls. Grill masters craft flame-kissed shrimp, new york strip steak, and mahi-mahi dishes as diners look on, supporting main courses with an entourage of veggies and fried rice. Chefs bundle up compact sushi rolls, including spicy crab jalape?o and vegetable tempura, and pack Japanese lunch with california rolls, fried dumplings, and the ghosts of juice boxes past.
Savory scents beckon diners to the 14 hibachi tables inside Osaka Japanese Steakhouse. Like gymnasts tired of the same old floor routine, morsels of steak, chicken, or seafood tumble atop sizzling teppan grills as personal chefs prepare each meal. Alternatively, tables in the traditional dining room fill with fine pan-Asian fare, from pad thai and General Tso?s chicken to a wide selection of sushi. Osaka also boasts a full bar, a carry-out menu, and a private party room, and caters to families by offering kids their own exclusive bill of fare.
After sharpening his culinary skills in his native Japan at Monsel Ton Ton Restaurant in Tokyo and the five-star Westin Osaka, Chef Yamamoto Lee relocated to Milwaukee, where he now brings nearly 30 years of culinary experience to the kitchen at Midori Fusion. The eatery, which was featured as the Restaurant of the Month by Key Milwaukee, satiates cravings for Japanese cuisine with an extensive menu of appetizers—such as fried bean curd and tempura squid—and traditional entrees, including beef short ribs, tempura shrimp, and salmon teriyaki. Chef Lee also creates more than 70 classic and unique sushi and sashimi options, from a spicy tuna roll to the no-carb roll wrapped in crabmeat and Dr. Atkins' diploma.
• For $20, you get $40 worth of Asian fare and drinks during dinner. • For $10, you get $20 worth of Asian fare and drinks during lunch. The skilled chefs at Meiji Cuisine, which serves Chinese and Japanese dishes, sear entrees over hibachi grills, roll fresh sushi, and craft Chinese specialties. Prepare for midnight Battleship games against an old sea captain with the War Bar dinner combination, a maritime medley of shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, and squid ($17.95). Hibachi entrees serve up Japanese-style grilled eats with a choice of vegetables and meats, including chicken ($16) and swordfish ($21). During lunch, sample maki sushi combos ($9 for two rolls, $11 for three) that include the eel cucumber roll, smoked eel wrapped in a blanket of eel sauce and lounging on a bed of sticky rice. Or feast on a plate of Chinese-style sweet-and-sour shrimp ($12.75), which leaves diners sweet on their lunch and sour on their afternoon return to work.
Pacific Bistro leads diners through a whirlwind tour of Asia with a menu loaded with hibachi, sushi, and traditional Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese, and Chinese dishes. Begin Eastward adventures by pairing a crab rangoon ($7) starter or edamame ($4) with a libation from the full bar and a field trip permission slip signed by the president. Once tummies are prepped, diners can choose their own adventure with a la carte sushi ($4–$8 for two pieces) or hand the reins to a licensed knife wielder for a carefully diced teriyaki chicken hibachi dinner ($18). Or furnish tables with sumptuous entrees such as pad thai noodles ($12 for chicken, pork, or beef; $14 for shrimp), crispy duck ($25), and mango curry ($14 for chicken, pork, or beef; $16 for shrimp). Meanwhile, diapered diners can use highchairs as a launching pad for launching shrimp tempura ($8) grenades and tossing fried rice ($6–$7) confetti at newlywed birds.
Fresh Madison Market’s myriad departments pack carts with fresh-baked goodies, organic produce, and high-quality meats and seafood. The store prides itself on its large selection of organic produce—it partners with area farmers whenever possible to carry local harvests. Load up on prepared meals at the sushi bar, or head to the meat and seafood counter, which packages ready-to-cook items such as stuffed chicken breast and shish kebob with easy directions for cooking at home. Giant cupcakes made at the in-house bakery provide tasty ammo for slingshots. Fresh Madison Market’s walk-in cooler deheats a plethora of low-temp libations, including Wisconsin craft beers.