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.
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.
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.
Mizu’s sushi bar is supplemented by a full kitchen, and together create a menu with more than 80 pan-Asian items. From the sushi bar, patrons can begin with appetizers of tuna tartar before ordering one of 22 specialty rolls, such as the Stop Light with tuna, avocado, mango, and a small camera on the side that records anyone who speeds through eating it too fast. The Mexican roll is a spicy blend of tempura shrimp, tuna, jalapenos, chili sauce, and eel sauce in a green soybean wrap. At lunch and dinner, guests can create their own combination meals with nigiri, maki, or sashimi.
In the kitchen, chefs prepare plates of dumplings and veggie tempura to whet appetites for Japanese-style entrees such as teriyaki and udon noodle dishes. Donburi rice bowls are filled with deep-fried chicken or pork, and the traditional nabemono, or hot pot, is filled with a combination of potato noodles, veggies, thinly sliced beef, tofu, and an egg. Asian flavors reappear on the dessert menu, which includes banana tempura with honey and green tea or red bean ice cream.
As if in competition with Sakura’s playful lemongrass-green hues, the sushi artists twist colorful maki rolls and concoct house-made soy sauce and eel sauce. Whenever possible, they fly in fish in fresh-packed ice and avoid freezing ingredients including seafood, chicken, and beef dipped in golden tempura batter or thick teriyaki. After slathering a california roll with ginger and wasabi, patrons take on the server's challenge of using chopsticks to eat green-tea ice cream or pick up a tear-stained letter from a fork.
At Sakura Sushi House, fresh morsels of fish, eel, and octopi nestle into handcrafted rolls, a hibachi grill sears steak, and teriyaki sauce infuses chicken and tofu with savory flavor. Patrons perch at the granite-topped sushi bar and browse a menu brimming with four pages of specialty sushi rolls, or lounge in maroon booths, filling squirt guns from bowls of udon noodles. In the kitchen, chefs season meats ranging from filet mignon to lobster and augment shrimp tempura with teriyaki. After chopsticks ferry the final pieces of maki to tongues, punch their timecards, and head home, diners sip hot or cold sake to finish the evening with a final gustatory flourish.