Bistro Chi presents an upscale take on Chinese cooking, engrossing diners with a page-turning menu of authentic recipes. Dabble in the selection of rice and noodle dishes, including vegetarian fried rice or Singapore street–style vermicelli ($9 each), which fends off quarrelsome forks with a well-placed dis. The beige-and-white modern dining room is offset with the sweet-and-sour spare ribs, splattered with a spectrum of peppers, onions, and pineapples ($12).
At Quincy Dynasty, chefs prepare classic Chinese-American dishes using fresh, natural ingredients. Bright-green scallions and crisp cilantro balance fragrant star anise and black pepper in offerings such as sesame chicken and moo goo gai pan. Specialty plates include chicken steak in black pepper sauce, sauteed orange-flavored beef, and shrimp with ginger and scallion. Diners enjoy these creations in a spacious room trimmed in dark wood and adorned with tasteful touches such as bamboo plants and a statue of two dragons fighting over a pair of chopsticks.
A banner printed with tiny white fish flutters above Ma Soba's sushi bar, where chefs in pert white hats tuck ribbons of fish atop rice and seaweed. In the kitchen, stovetops sizzle with Chinese, Korean, Thai, and other Asian dishes, such as bulgogi, tempura-battered seafood and vegetables, and entrees spiced with chili-and-ginger general tso's sauce. Wine and water goblets moor maroon tablecloths in the softly lit dining room, where potted orchids and bromeliads complement a Japanese screen painted with branches and cherry blossoms. Ma Soba also packs entrees into tidy containers for carryout and delivery orders to offices, homes, and tree houses.
Peony Chinese Restaurant prides itself not only on its authentic Chinese feasts of shredded pork, spicy eggplant, and chicken in savory sauce, but its commitment to health. Chefs whip up meals with fresh veggies and light oils, cooking at high heat to lock in flavor while preserving nutrients, vitamins, and superpowers, and they even cook MSG-free meals on request. Guests savor house specialties of shredded roast duck with scallions or fillet of sole with fried tofu, or they sink their teeth into lunches of twice-cooked pork and spicy kung pao chicken. Soothing, salmon-colored walls surround a 50-seat dining area bedecked with dark-hardwood booths and framed portraits of the gorgeous peony flower that gives the restaurant its name.
The intermingling aromas of ginger, coconut, lemongrass, chilies, and basil is pretty typical of most Asian eateries. But Grasshopper Restaurant isn’t like most Asian eateries. Rather than stick with one regional specialty, it borrows recipes and flavors from Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisines. The chefs also distinguish their menu by avoiding any meat, opting for stir-fried seitan and tofu as protein-packed alternatives. However, the Zagat-rated restaurant mostly relies on fragrant herbs, piquant seasonings, and fresh vegetables to concoct its animal-friendly, plant-hostile versions of classic dishes such as beef lo mein, barbecued pork, and steak with spicy black bean sauce.