The chefs at Makiman Sushi believe in keeping their gills and their grills separate, serving both raw-fish fusion sushi and Korean stone-pot bi bim bop. Like the Warren G. Harding White House during Prohibition, the eatery is BYOB and patrons pour their favorite beverages while delving into orders of tuna nachos, a dish of fried wontons topped with raw tuna and a spicy sauce. Guests can kick back at a table or perch at a recently remodeled sushi bar to admire the sushi chefs' handiwork.
Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar's hibachi chefs pull double duty, acting as entertainers in addition to grillmasters. They captivate large groups of diners with whirling knifework, dynamic spatula twirls, and the occasional spout of flame at tableside hibachi grills, flipping hot portions of lobster and chicken directly onto waiting plates. Behind the bamboo-finished bar, the sushi chefs move more slowly as they carefully seal colorful combinations of veggies, seafood, and vinegar-anointed rice within sheets of delicate seaweed. Like a poltergeist beauty pageant, not all of the talent is visible to the eye—the culinary team makes some of the restaurant's most exotic dishes, such as kobe beef sliders and wasabi-crusted filet mignon, behind the closed doors of the kitchen.
At Kampachi Hibachi Steak House & Sushi Bar, visual flair is just as important as flavor. Behind a traditional hibachi grill, chefs theatrically chop, dice, and cook succulent morsels of premium ingredients—such as scallops, sirloin steak, and lobster—right in front of diners. Once they finish showcasing their cooking tricks or all-shrimp productions of Hamlet, they'll scoop up rice and flip meats onto plates just a few feet away.
While some of the chefs put on a show for visitors, others put all their artistry into plating beautiful sushi rolls. Servers, meanwhile, help customers choose special sakes and cocktails to pair with their fresh-from-the-grill or totally raw fare.
With outposts in Moorestown, Voorhees, and Collingswood, Akira is one of New Jersey's go-to spots for sushi, noodles, and grilled hibachi meals. Chefs behind the sushi bar expertly assemble rice, fresh fish, and vegetables into maki rolls and hand rolls, while their counterparts behind the hibachi grill put on a performance for diners by searing meats and seafood. The hibachi side of the restaurant gets lively with conversation and jumping flames, making it a festive venue for group dinners and pyromancer parties.
Yokohama Japanese Restaurant's owner, Cindy Chan-Sze, shares ownership with her son, who infuses the largely traditional fare with creative new recipes. The eatery's cooks craft selections from a multifaceted menu that includes fire scallops, filet mignon, and salmon cooked atop a flaming hibachi. In the middle of the restaurant's dining room sits a full sushi bar, where chefs roll fresh-caught fish and supple sticky rice into maki, sushi, and sashimi beneath the glow of traditional Asian lanterns. Guests can watch the skilled knife work from the sleek, leather chairs that surround each dining table or by scaling the modern screens that climb up each wall for a better view.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Raw: Sushi & Sake Lounge owner and Philadelphia restaurateur Tony Rim picked up his work ethic from his father, who has owned a deli for more than 30 years, remaining doggedly dedicated to overseeing operations himself. Rim follows suit at each of his own eateries, and Raw is no exception. Inside a mood-lit dining area, dark-hued benches and sleek, circular tables host guests who chat near a 15-foot glass bar. Outside, an expansive patio enclosed by brick walls offers plentiful tables for planting glasses of exotic sake, digging into house-designed sushi rolls, or arm-wrestling fresh lobster.