Hikari Japanese Steakhouse's thespian chefs grill Japanese-inflected steakhouse fare in breathtaking tableside performances as rice artisans craft fresh maki and nigiri from an open-air sushi bar. Cuts of steak, shrimp, and lobster dance on sizzling grills situated in the middle of each dining table, where chefs chop, flip, and ignite each luscious morsel in a more theatrical culinary display than Hamlet's famous TV-dinner scene. The full bar decants cocktails, beers, and an exotic sake and plum wine fusion to patrons 21 and older, whereas children 10 and younger can sup on kids’-menu items tailored to simpler palates.
Featured on NBC Action News, Korean Restaurant Sobahn crafts authentic Korean cuisine that recalls the ancestral homeland of the owner-and-manager. The menu, updated regularly to reflect Korea's changing culinary trends, boasts savory options ranging from meats and seafood to stews. Within a hot stone bowl of dolsot bibimbap, rice nestles snugly betwixt hearty beef and vegetables, and the entire creation rests under a jaunty fried egg given to the restaurant at a baseball stadium's fan appreciation day ($12.99). Tear into thinly sliced beef bulgogi ($12.99) or the jaeyuk bokkeum's pork soaked in a spicy marinade ($12.99). Every entree can accompany a collection of banchan, a set of about five complimentary side dishes that enhance the flavor of the table's meals. While the banchan has been known to shift daily, like a greased sunrise, past dishes include zucchini, seasoned seaweed, tempura fish cakes, and spicy kimchi, which is made fresh daily.
After moving to Kansas City from Tokyo in the early 90s, Saeko Tsunashima wanted to create a restaurant similar to her favorites in Japan. She combined her original recipes, many of which were inspired by her mother, and enlisted culinary expertise from bona fide sushi chefs to create the menu at Sushi Gin Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar. Along the way, she developed considerable sushi skills, and regularly unveils her flashy knifesmanship at the sushi bar. To keep the gustatory experience fresh, she consistently creates new menu items, many of which pay homage to cities or natural phenomena, such as the New Orleans roll, the tornado roll, or the That One Time it Rained Halibut roll.
Tucked inside the lobby of the Overland Park Marriott Hotel, Nikko Japanese Steakhouse's chefs gracefully twirl their gleaming steel utensils and flip vegetables through the air while cooking filet mignon, teriyaki salmon, and scallops at each tabletop griddle. Traditional teppanyaki cooking is the foundation of the menu, which features seared morsels of steak and fresh seafood cooked before your very eyes instead of inside a magician's hat. Away from the sizzling action, the sleek sushi bar houses deft chefs slicing fresh sashimi and rolling ingredients into flavorful combinations, such as the spider roll's soft-shell crab, smelt roe, and avocado. Behind a second bar, the servers replace sushi with shakers of freshly squeezed fruit-juice cocktails and hot and cold pours of sake. Nikko Japanese Steakhouse also recently completed a renovation.
At Edokko, the fanfare of teppanyaki shows has been exchanged for the peace of a secluded bamboo forest—an ambiance bolstered by the stalks that grow near the entrance. As guests pass between the greenery and the clear surface of a koi pond, they enter into a gold-and-red dining room, where polished stones form mosaics of grappling sumo wrestlers on the walls. At the sushi bar, 18 seats line a granite countertop, allowing diners prime views of chefs as the chefs prepare maki rolls, nigiri, and sashimi.
It seems that a tabletop performance would only serve to disrupt the serenity of the restaurant, says a review in the Pitch, because "the food puts on its own show." Guests receive overtures in the form of detailed picture menus that stoke appetites more safely than jumper cables connected to bellybuttons. The traditional Japanese dishes range from teriyaki meats to noodle soups, and visitors can still order hibachi plates, but without the flashy routine. Specialty rolls such as the crab-and-mango roll or the rainbow-caviar roll collect fresh seafood in expertly wrapped rice and seaweed, and tempura desserts encase cheesecake, bananas, and ice cream in a crispy shell.
When it comes to Japanese cuisine, the cooks at Happy Banzai fall into two camps: sushi and hibachi. Along with maki mainstays, such as the classic Philadelphia roll, Happy Banzai's sushi chefs conjure up their own specialties, from the Mexican roll's jalapeno-topped spicy tuna to the troublemaker roll—an avocado-topped, white tuna stuffed version of the California roll. Hibachi-wise, chefs build epic feasts adorned with appetite-stoking soup, salad, and rice dishes and anchored by mains such as beef teriyaki and grilled white fish with garlic butter, the ultimate defense against lactose-intolerant vampires. To create lush flavor profiles, Happy Banzai's bartenders serve white and red wine, an extensive selection of spirits, and nine types of sake—each of which finds its way into some of the steakhouse's 10-plus cocktails, including a margarita made with sake and triple sec.