One of South Shore Living's "10 Influential People You Should Know" in 2010, Jimmy Liang evenly divides his time among his five Boston-area restaurants. At Fuji 1546 Restaurant & Bar, his culinary crew whips up contemporary Japanese dishes with a focus on maki, sushi, and sashimi. The sushi selection ranges from eel-filled caterpillar rolls to sweet-potato maki to the BLT roll, which guests must order without using any vowels. The menu also includes traditional eats such as gyoza, sweet-and-sour crab-meat balls, and filet mignon cooked in a housemade lime-soy marinade. For entertainment, Fuji 1546 Restaurant & Bar has a live DJ that spins every Friday and Saturday night.
The chefs at Kagawa Sushi Bar & Restaurant have been rolling maki and frying tempura since the eatery opened in 2002. Many of the ingredients for their raw creations come directly from the Boston Fish Pier, including the fresh mackerel and lobster found in some of their specialty maki rolls. The chefs' menu is complemented by a bar fully stocked with sakes, wines, and shot glasses filled to the brim with chasers of soy sauce.
Typhoon Asian Bistro's culinary team fuses classic Asian and contemporary Japanese flavors into carefully plated entrees festooned with sauces, flowers, and towering ingredients. The team rolls up fresh sushi, creating such dishes as the signature Black Pearl, where torched nigiris, sashimi, and exotic salsa set sail on a decorative boat. They also plate steak, seafood, and lamb dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Japan atop palm leaves or nestled into cocktail glasses for drinking contests between hungry sailors. The menu rotates with the seasonality of ingredients to build cuisines around a global wine selection. The drink menu also hosts imported Asian beers and sakes.
Inside Typhoon Asian Bistro's contemporary setting, warm lighting spills from wrought-iron lanterns streaked in red and hovering above Japanese wood and an exhibition sushi bar. Water cascades from 35-foot waterfalls, broken up by pillar candles and urban kayakers. In the warmer months, an outdoor patio hosts meals beneath shade-bearing umbrellas surrounded by a fence laden with flowers.
High-backed booths, flickering candles, and minimalist red and black accents lend a sleek style to Osushi's intimate setting tucked inside the Westin Hotel. Chefs slice fresh fish to rest atop or inside sushi rice waiting to be plucked up by chopsticks. Their specialty makimono rolls draw from world cuisines with spicy aioli to add a dash of heat or prosciutto to lend an aria from the chef's favorite opera. Diners wash down bites of sashimi or tempura with selections from an extensive sake list, which includes specialty drinks made with seasonal fruit.
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.
The review in Boston.com said of Basho’s sushi: “The restaurant gives the audience what it wants. Sushi and sashimi, ever and always, take top billing. Here, they deserve it.” The signature Basho roll’s thinly sliced asparagus, mushrooms, pickles, cucumbers, lettuce, and fried snow crab peek out from a cylinder of cucumber and soy paper. The Torch Toro roll wakes up taste buds with layers of torched toro—the fatty cut of the fish—and jalapeño. Ingredients for the rolls are flown in daily from around the world.