Steam drifts from the hot kitchen, where the family moves swiftly amid pots that clamor metallically for attention. It is 1942 in the Sichuan province of China, and the cooks are working together in the new restaurant, Chow’s, to perfect the recipes and earn money for their family. Today, three generations later and on the other side of the world, Chow’s Asian Bistro fills with the spicy bouquet of scents that still hint at those same recipes, which have taken on influences from other culinary traditions over time. Chicken, beef, shrimp, and tofu steep in coconut-curry or kung pao sauce and twist among garlic-festooned sprays of broccoli. Additionally, pad thai, lo mein, and chow fun dishes call chopsticks into action like an orchestra conductor whose luggage is missing.
The chefs at Umami Sushi and Asian Restaurant mix fresh ingredients into flavorful blends of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine. Dining duos chopstick-duel in order to decide who gets to pick from the eatery's selection of appetizers such as the shrimp tempura ($6.95) and tofu nuggets ($3.95) or sushi options such as the yellow tail roll with green onions ($6.95). Meat-seeking mouths nosh on entrees such as the Happy Family ($13.95), with marinated and stir-fried beef, chicken, pork, and shrimp sizzled alongside mixed vegetables. Bamboo shoots, red bell peppers, basil, and a choice of protein or tofu simmer with coconut milk in the red or green curry ($11.95), cooked to please eaters of spicy food, mild food, and suns alike. The restaurant's hardwood floors, tall green potted plants, and Asian-style figurines invite diners to relax and breathe in freshly oxygenated air.
Set in an 80-year-old adobe home in Taos’s historic district, Eske’s Brew Pub soothes parched patrons with a lineup of handcrafted beers, and a menu laden with traditional pub fare favorites. Sate carnal cravings with a lean ground-beef burger topped with cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles on a whole-wheat bun ($6.75). Or add New Mexico green chilis to the meaty meal ($7.25), igniting flavorful mouth arson solely for the purpose of quenching it with a fruity and refreshing Apricot Ale. The 10,000 Foot Stout blends tall tastes of caramel, chocolate, and roasted barley, evening out the girth of the Fatty burrito ($8.75)––a heap of beans, homemade mashed potatoes, feta, and cheddar ensconced in a wheat tortilla, and lavished with house-made green-chili turkey stew. Patrons looking to shave seconds off of their meal time can also opt to combine fare and fermentation into one super supper by sampling the grilled bratwurst-and-sauerkraut sandwich ($6.25), sinking teeth into a brewksi-soaked sausage served with braised sauerkraut, stone-ground mustard, mashed potatoes, and a french roll that's been given a stern talking to.
The chefs at Izumi Sushi & Grill Restaurant craft hot and uncooked entrees with the goal of introducing new diners to the comforting flavors of traditional Japanese cuisine. Papery lanterns create a warm, intimate atmosphere as they cast golden light on panko-breaded pork or red-snapper katsu and bowls of stir-fried yakisoba noodles tangled around vegetables and chicken. A wooden fish hangs from the wall behind the sushi bar as chefs assemble elaborate rolls including the Firecracker, a crunchy combination of crabmeat and shrimp tempura topped with spicy tuna and house sauce. The decor adds to the peaceful experience, with blossoming cherry trees painted on the walls, a rustic wooden booth and sushi bar, and plates made out of old Pure Moods CDs.
This family-owned eatery serves a bountiful lunch and dinner menu of authentic Vietnamese soups, noodle dishes, and more. Appetizing adventures begin with tofu spring rolls ($3.25 for two) and steaming bowls of pho dac biet—a beef and noodle soup consisting of slow-cooked beef broth topped with fresh rice noodles, tender meats, and savory spices ($6.75 for a small). Satisfy hungry hordes with grilled pork sandwiches served on toasted baguettes ($3.75), or beef up orders with Café Trang's signature grilled meats, which are marinated in 15 seasonings for three days and then served on fluffy beds of jasmine rice. Herbivores can feast on spicy tofu with lemongrass over vermicelli noodles ($7.25), one of many vegetarian-friendly items on Café Trang's menu that does not contain meat, or vegetables that play meat on TV.
Pacific Paradise merges the flavors of the Far East and the Pacific Islands into an extensive and far-reaching lunch and dinner menu. Placate palates with the spicy Thai eggplant ($6.95 for lunch, $8.50 for dinner), tenderly sliced Mongolian beef ($8.50 for lunch, $11.95 for dinner), vegetable tempura ($7.95 for lunch, $9.95 for dinner), or Pacific Paradise's signature seafood-rice pizza ($15.50), a smattering of the sea stir-fried with jasmine rice, egg, and pineapple, all baked and served with soup and a salad. The Malaysian sautéed scallops ($8.95 for lunch, $13.95 for dinner), finished off with mushrooms and coated in a curry coconut sauce, will have taste buds rising up and high-fiving each other in victory, while the Hawaiian golden crisp chicken ($8.50 for lunch, $10.95 for dinner) evokes nostalgic memories of the decade you spent whittling wooden teddy bears on a desert island. Spicy options also abound at Pacific Paradise, with heat-bringing dishes such as the marinated Tibetan lamb kabob ($12.95), the Mongolian beef roll with asparagus ($12.95), and the kung pao tofu ($10.50), which consists of crispy, deep-fried tofu in a spice-laden kung pao sauce. A full sushi menu is available, as is a monsoon’s worth of wine and beer options.