In the dramatically lit, contemporarily furnished dining room of Enso, chefs and servers decorate tabletops with dependable midwestern meals emanating worldly wisdom. The creative dinner menu reveals a strong steakhouse influence, with a signature New York strip steak giving romantic advice to fluffs of Yukon gold mashed potatoes, applewood bacon, and smoky blue-cheese butter ($28.75). Sushi rolls employ scarves of rice to wrap up chilled interiors, with American-inspired options including the house smoked pull-pork roll filled with hand-cut fries, crispy onion, and thai chili mayo ($8 during lunch; $10.75 during dinner). Like family members dressed as early Neanderthals, lunchtime sandwiches such as the four-cheese grilled cheese ($8) and the slow-braised-beef panini ($12) make for an eclectic take on more familiar items.
Top’s Asian Buffet serves up a tasty spread of Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian, and American cuisine seven days week for both lunch and dinner. Those out for all-you-can-eat lunch ($2.25–$6.75), dinner ($3.25–11.25), or Sunday ($11.25) buffets, priced depending on age, will find a serious selection of soups, salads, fruits, sushi, steaks, Mongolian grilled barbecue, Chinese and Japanese appetizers and entrees, plus a dessert bar with ice cream.
At Shogun Japanese and Chinese Bistro, cooks amass an army of fresh ingredients to fire up on a griddle at diners’ tables. Here, shrimp, calamari, and sirloin morph into hibachi-style dinners as they sizzle in the heat and tumble through the air with the help of the chef’s spatula. Fresh fish and rice converge to form sushi such as the crispy roll #24, whose salmon and yellowtail flaunt a sauce as sweet and spicy as a valentine from a jalapeño pepper. The Chinese section of the menu brims with house specialties such as beef with stir-fried string beans and family-style meals of shrimp kow and almond chicken.
While having a split personality is not the healthiest thing for a person, it works well for a restaurant, as evidenced by Shanghai Ichiban, where a lively Japanese steakhouse and intimate/quiet/elegant Chinese dining room happily coexist under one roof. Diners settle around hibachi tables on the restaurant’s Japanese side, where paintings of crashing waves mimic the cacophonous sounds of knives and spatulas as chefs go to work. Around the hibachi grill, chefs flaunt their showmanship and precise cooking skills by juggling their cooking utensils and maneuvering morsels of filet mignon, scallops, or chicken atop the wide, flat grill. In the quieter Chinese dining room, servers present entrees of sesame chicken or spicy chung king pork on white tablecloths. While Chinese cuisine is dominant on this side, the chefs practice their pan-Asian flair as well, serving up Korean dishes, Vietnamese pho, and cool morsels of fresh sushi.
The sushi savants at Tokyo Grill concoct rolled delicacies alongside traditional Japanese dishes in an open, intimate setting. The expansive menu presents both à la carte options and combination platters. Ease into meals with the Beginner Sushi combinations ($7.86–$14.86), which feature a choice of soup or salad, two to three varieties of sushi, and chopsticks with training wheels. Tuna, salmon, and yellowtail refract through taste-prisms in the Rainbow maki ($10), a colorful California roll. Or cast a net in fish-free territories to yield seven maki options such as the kimchee maki ($4), in which fresh spicy vegetables and scallions come ensconced in a sesame seed roll. The Tokyo Special—one of many non-cylindrical meals available—finds culinary harmony in teriyaki-basted salmon, shrimp, and avocado with green mussel ($18.86). At the meal’s end, the tempura ice cream defies convention by revealing a crunchy fried outer shell and a CD-R of death-metal renditions of showtunes ($3.85).
Sushi Kuni's decor is a fitting preamble to its cuisine. Blond woods complement pillars that take inspiration from shoji screens, eloquently easing diners into a Pacific mindset. Once there, they find plenty of surprises. Along with the requisite sushi, sashimi, and Japanese entrees implied by the surroundings, a full menu of authentic Korean dishes shows off the skill of the restaurant's chefs. Beef dumplings in bone soup can share table space with stir-fried squid and veggies. Then there's the emphasis on healthful culinary traditions. Whole-grain, organic, gluten-free, and vegetarian options cater to guests with dietary restrictions as well as those eager to venture into unexplored culinary territory.
Most diners won't need to travel far beyond the expansive sushi menu. Grilled yakitori skewers and teriyaki-glazed chicken appear alongside more than 50 rolls filled with everything from red snapper and mozzarella to lobster tempura and avocado. And for the traditionalist, a variety of fresh sashimi arrives to tables on a carved wooden bridge, which serves as both a symbolic crossing between chef and diner as well as a practical crossing for tiny people who have to cross tiny rivers.