Blue Ginger’s chefs have no shortage of sources when they need inspiration for their next dish. Rather than limit their scope to a single region or country, they scan recipe books from across Asia and pick out their favorites as starting points. Some of the recipes they dig up date back centuries, but they’re more interested in looking toward the future than dwelling on the past.
It’s certainly a bright future they envision—one in which the best elements of various Asian cuisines have joined forces in the same dishes. There are even some influences from outside Asia that make it into the mix, as the duck fajitas and pan-roasted chilean sea bass will attest. This inclusive spirit isn’t just limited to the food. An extensive drink menu features imported beers, martinis blended with sake, and cocktails stirred with miniature world flags.
The old saying goes that if you can't stand the heat, you should stay out of the kitchen. That rule is a little harder to follow at Shi Chi Japanese Steakhouse since the chefs bring the kitchen right to you, cooking on special hibachi grills set into the tables. But here the heat isn't simply utilitarian, as the sizzling tables provide the night's entertainment as well. The flames lick pieces of filet mignon, shrimp, and lobster as chefs toss them into the air and onto patrons? plates. In addition to the grilled fare, each hibachi dinner includes soup, salad, rice, vegetables, green tea, and a choice of vanilla ice cream or pineapple sorbet. And, to keep the fun and conversation flowing, the restaurant also serves a variety of domestic and imported beers and sake served hot, cold, and or frozen on-a-stick.
Genji’s menu of traditional hibachi-style grill cuisine fires up the senses with a memorable dining experience that focuses on a sizzling grill and skilled chef dazzling diners with knife wielding dexterity. Stop in for lunch or dinner, grab a drink, listen to the fragrant aromas, and savor a helping of Genji sesame chicken ($15.99, dinner menu only), calamari ($5.99), or a N.Y. steak and scallops dinner ($19.99, dinner menu only). All dinners include a Japanese Shoyu soup, Genji salad, shrimp appetizer, vegetables, steamed rice, and tableside entertainment. Gaze at the grill in wonder, or simply watch the culinary flames flicker your pocket-sized scrying pool.
An article on ThisWeek details the journey Benson Yu took from spending a dozen years working in sushi restaurants to striking out on his own. For Ronin Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar, Yu personally engineered more than 40 specialty maki rolls, including the Lollipop roll: yellowtail, salmon, crab, and avocado, wrapped in thin cucumber. As the owner and head chef, he curates the massive menu of both sushi and Asian-fusion cuisine, featuring classics such as general-tso's chicken, and original compositions, such as tropical fried rice tossed with spicy curry. The article on ThisWeek details how Ronin—which means "maverick samurai" in Japanese—features a dining room spanning 1,800 square feet, where diners sip on hot and cold sake and imported beer while practicing chop-stick skills or using forks like they’re chopsticks.
Sushi.Com's adept chefs craft a menu of traditional raw and cooked Japanese fare, replete with fresh ingredients. Seafood mavens artfully decorate square and oval ceramic plates with maki rolls such as crunchy tuna, spicy salmon, and shrimp tempura ($4+). A la carte sushi or sashimi plates carry duos of smoked salmon, tofu, or barbecued eel ($3.75+) to tables, where they perform flavorful duets for taste buds. Meanwhile, sips of wine or sake accompany bowls of udon or soba noodles ($10.95), or a steaming dish of beef teriyaki ($15.95), highlighting flavors, washing down bites, and inspiring conversations about renaming a first born child "Pinot Grigio".
The expert teppanyaki chefs at Ichiban use their iron griddles as the primary tools in building a menu that sizzles with steaks, seafood, and noodle dishes, and a sushi bar that unfurls with makimono. Although the sushi wears its Japanese pride on its seaweed sleeve, both steakhouses also boast a streak of avant-garde international influence, with such offerings as the seared salmon roll––salmon skin and cucumber topped with seared salmon and salsa ($13). The Crazy roll's deliciousness makes diners believe that their tongues are flavor magnets with morsels of shrimp tempura, avocado, flying-fish roe, and spicy mayo ($7). Hibachi dinner entrees—such as the filet mignon and scallops ($22.95)—arrive with an entourage of sides that include two pieces of shrimp tempura, vegetables, and steamed rice (substitute fried rice for $1.65).