A hibachi meal at Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse begins with the chef joining guests at tables with inset grills. Standing feet from diners, the chef socializes with them while slicing and dicing chicken, lobster, steak, salmon, and veggies. Food sizzles atop the grill before being tossed onto plates and into diners? mouths and hand puppets' mouths. Another up-close dining experience occurs when customers sit at the sushi bar and watch as chefs create rolls with fillings like sliced tuna, cream cheese, and dollops of eel sauce. The eatery?s expansive menu also includes a variety of dishes made in the kitchen, from tempura and gyoza appetizers to chicken slathered in teriyaki sauce or tucked into piles of fried rice.
Wasabi Sushi Restaurant whips up an expansive menu of sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, and other authentic Japanese fare. In specialty rolls such as the italian maki, a skilled chef conducts a harmonious orchestra of tempura, shrimp, crab, avocado, Placido Domingo, and cream cheese ($12.95). Meanwhile, the seafood yakisoba ($12.95) swims with stir-fried veggies, noodles, and four different types of seafood, and the beef teriyaki ($7.50/lunch, $12.95/dinner) comes nestled in a bed of rice and served with miso soup.
Shabu Shabu House utilizes the Japanese variation of the hot pot, known as shabu-shabu, as patrons cook selections from the menu of meat, seafood, and vegetables right at their tables. Diners first choose their protein from a lengthy list of options, including beef ($14.99 for regular), chicken ($12.99 for regular), Kobe beef ($17.99 for regular), and shrimp ($14.99 for regular). Shabu Shabu House's staff assists as the meat then simmers in a hot tub of broth with an assortment of veggie and noodle friends, ensuring that shitake mushrooms aren't diving into the shallow end of the pot. Forgo cauldron cooking and instead nosh on five pieces of salmon sashimi ($12) or two pieces of octopus nigiri ($5). A slate of specialty rolls awaits capture via chopstick, such as the Alaskan with spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado, and eel sauce topping ($11), or the Volcano ($13) with salmon, asparagus, and lemon sprinkled with crunchy tuna, scallions, and edible seismograph printouts.
A venerable textbook of sushi history, the engaging Chef Joe brings more than 20 years of Japanese culinary experience to the Mt. Fuji cutting boards. Each sushi-making class begins with the arts-and-crafts basics of fish-related construction using nori, rice, and rubber cement to build delicious rolls ready-made for consumption. Chef Joe will also clue you in on the best places to buy ingredients for three sushi mainstays: the classic california roll, spicy-tuna hand rolls, and salmon nigiri. The BYOB policy lets you alternate your detailed maki handiwork with sips of your favorite wine or beer (Mt. Fuji supplies the glasses, along with additional alcohol, which may be purchased on-site). Once you've finished exercising your chopsticks, show off your ability to shatter glass with a well-chosen Mariah Carey ballad at the restaurant-sponsored karaoke party after class.
The outside of Itto Sushi exists in Utah, but the interior is something straight out of Japan. A few well-placed decorative items?including Japanese paintings?add to the atmosphere, but the true journey across the Pacific comes through the food. The chefs prepare traditional Japanese cuisine, from sushi to bento boxes with the likes of salmon, chicken, and veggie tempura. More than a dozen specialty sushi rolls anchor the menu, including salmon crunch with panko shrimp, cucumber, and jalapeno pepper. To complement the food, waiters pour imported beer and sake, served both hot and anti-hot, also known as cold.
Japanese, Korean, and French culinary traditions collide in Yuki Arashi's kitchen, forming Asian-inspired tapas strewn with local and organic ingredients. The hot and cold small plates are perfect for sharing or alternately pressing to a sprained ankle, and they range from classic gyoza to modern arrangements of truffled albacore with microgreens and garlic crisps. At the sushi bar, chefs slice catches flown in fresh from Japan and the West Coast for sashimi and nigiri, as well as for rolling into specialty maki rolls such as the inside-out Millipede with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna tartare, avocado, and tobiko.
In the sleek dining room, bulbous vases of flowers sit above high-backed banquettes, their colorful blooms echoing the honey- and plum-hued flecks in the large variegated stone wall. Seats at the sushi bar invite patrons to gaze at the chefs' artful hard work, and an intimate tatami room enables guests to forgo chairs and dine in the traditional Japanese style.:m]]