The scrape of knives being sharpened, flames shooting from the teppanyaki grill?these are but two signs that another meal has begun at Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse. Here, chefs toss teriyaki salmon filets and 22-ounce rib eye steaks with housemade sauces and seasonings, all before diners' eyes. The feasts come complete with Japanese onion soup, salad, shrimp, and grilled veggies.
While hibachi chefs man their grills, sushi chefs artfully assemble 20 specialty and deep-fried rolls. The latter category features a roll named for the restaurant itself?the Hibachi?jam-packed with filet mignon and cream cheese. Raw specialties, meanwhile, include the Halloween roll, a mixture of spicy and white tuna topped with black tobiko, a tastier alternative to melted-down candy corn. Complemented by more than 10 cocktails, feasts unfold inside Hibachi's five eateries in Independence, Fairview Park, Mentor, Highland Heights, and Erie.
Restaurateurs Nick and Giovanna Kustala split the duties of designing the menu at Vault Steak House, with Nick crafting the cuisine and Giovanna cultivating a list of wines to pair with the food. The main attraction is the 28-day dry-aged steaks, ranging from cuts of chateaubriand to 28-ounce delmonico steaks and 24-ounce porterhouses. Diners can add sauces and toppings to steaks as well, including blue cheese, béarnaise, and gorgonzola fondue. Elsewhere on the menu, the eatery's versatility is reflected in dishes such as white truffle and portobello ravioli and farm-raised, crab-crusted snapper with spicy mayo.
Knife tricks and bursts of flame enliven hibachi meals at Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, where chefs clad in bright red hats juggle steak and seafood over tableside grills. A sushi bar supplies an extensive list of flameless fare, and tempura and teriyaki dishes arrive at tables awash in their signature sauces. Groups of up to eight can withdraw to private dining chambers to practice human pyramids atop soft tatami mats.
At Austin's Wood Fire Grill, hand-carved hunks of filet mignon and swordfish sizzle over wood-fueled flames, soaking up a smoky aroma. The restaurant’s refusal to use gas or the pages of paperback romance novels reflects a commitment to traditional, down-home cooking. This commitment also surfaces in their made-from-scratch breads, pan gravy sauce, and cognac cream sauce.
The flames dance atop the hibachi grill, reaching higher than the chef?s head. It is an impressive sight, to say the least, and one guests get to experience up close as chefs chop and flip chicken, steak, and shrimp right at the table. The hibachi master's creative efforts are rivaled only by the eatery?s sushi chefs, who tuck tuna, chili tobiko, and radish sprouts inside rolls shaped like caterpillars, turtles, and DNA strands.
The staple of Sushi Rock’s menu is its selection of roughly 50 sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls, which collect multiple Japanese flavors into one neat package. The Sushi Rock roll alone packs a punch of shrimp tempura, crabstick, salmon, tuna, asparagus, and masago. A slate of USDA Prime steaks and fresh seafood entrees such as sesame-seared tuna complement the sushi-bar creations. Each meticulously plated dish arrives in Sushi Rock's ultra-modern dining space, where backlit bottles glisten against a cityscape mural in the bar area, and color blocks of red and black pop in the dimly lit dining areas. Together, Sushi Rock’s choice food and hip vibe earned it a No. 1 ranking on CityVoter's Best Sushi list in 2010.