At The Ginger Pad, a casual atmosphere blends with the rich aromas of garlic, thai basil, and chili sauce hanging in the air to help guests forget the world outside. Like a suspension bridge made out of udon noodles, the menu connects distant lands through food, laying out delicious examples of Malaysian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. Spring rolls or edamame preempt dives into salty-sweet pad thai or korean beef barbecue. Chopsticks can also lift spicy sichuan shrimp to mouths or gently cradle sushi rolls that combine colorful mango and avocado with fresh tobiko, tuna, salmon, and scallops.
The chef twirls and spins his carving fork and spatula in a percussive rhythm atop the grill. He continues the show, slicing and seasoning meats and vegetables as part of a choreographed spectacle for guests lined around the perimeter of a hibachi grill. In addition to freshly seared dishes, the chefs also man a sushi bar, where they work with ingredients such as fresh salmon and deep-fried sweet potato. They prepare plenty of vegetarian items as well as a selection of Chinese dishes. Every dish is available for delivery within a 5-mile radius, which Kyoto's staff demarcates by drawing a large chalk circle around the restaurant.
Bamboo Fine Asian Cuisine isn't a Chinese restaurant or a Japanese restaurant?it's both, and it's got the menu(s) to prove it. Chinese dishes range from Hunan spicy beef and crispy pad thai to a daily lunch buffet, complete with baskets of dim sum treats. The Japanese dishes, meanwhile, hail from designated sushi chefs, who hand-craft nigiri and specialty maki such as the shrimp-tempura-stuffed dragon roll. For special occasions, or during flood warnings, diners can order their sushi served in a wooden boat?a fun alternative to a typical platter.
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.
Guests can order from the traditional Szechuan menu at Little Q Hot Pot, but the real thrill of this cozy Arlington eatery is the dish that shares its name. Akin to fondue, the Chinese hot pot bubbles at the center of the table within an arm’s reach of guests ready to cook their own food or stage an all-shrimp revival of Macbeth. When ready, diners simply spear the protein of their choice—such as USDA prime rib, scallops, chicken, or even quail egg—and dip it in the piping hot chicken, seafood, veggie, or curry beef broth until its cooked to their liking. Vegetarians can partake as well by enjoying a bounty of fresh vegetables, including oyster mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and Chinese broccoli, alongside four kinds of noodles. Those not interested in DIY dining can opt for expected Chinese restaurant favorites, such as kung pao beef and sesame chicken or split several hearty orders of pan fried pork or steamed lamb dumplings.
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.