Taisho is so serious about hibachi and teppanyaki that they have an entire room devoted to it: in the Hibachi Room, chefs sear meats and veggies on specialized tabletop grills, flipping them theatrically onto a cushion of rice, in turn located on guests' plates. Their performances are not limited to the Hibachi Room though, as they can also pull tableside grills up to the main dining room's semi-private circular booths. In either space, they let guests choose to have their teppanyaki plates bulked up with a diverse selection of meats and seafood, including teriyaki chicken, sirloin, gulf shrimp, or scallops.
The chef's specialty entrees include sashimi-grade tuna steak with an apple-olive sauce and macadamia chicken sweetened with pineapple, combining more flavors than Manhattan combines people of different walks of life who all hate hailing cabs. Beyond the flames shooting up from the grills, the ambience on Friday and Saturday evenings is set by a rotating lineup of musicians that create soothing background sounds.
Kitchen magicians spin knives like batons and conjure up sizzling meals tableside, bringing to life a classic Japanese menu. In dramatic bursts of flame, the teppanyaki griddle covers cuts of sirloin, bite-size scallops, and fresh vegetables with fiery kisses that seal in juices and burn away the painful memories from surf 'n' turf breakups. For sushi fanatics, the sushi bar offers more than 20 elegant rolls.
Geometric paneling and wood inlay over shining fabric invoke a traditional Japanese atmosphere for diners, who gather around broad tables where griddles create a shining, interactive centerpiece for cooking and scallop shuffleboard.
Toku Sushi's chefs fill rolls with fresh seafood and prepare grilled Japanese delicacies, mixing creative twists with classic ingredients on a lengthy dinner menu. Entertain tongues tired of carving poetry into salt licks with specialty rolls such as the Saint Patrick, a merger of salmon, tuna, avocado, and masago ($10). The R&B roll layers shrimp tempura and avocado with salmon and spicy tuna, topped off with a coating of spicy mayo ($12). Traditional maki and temaki rolls teem with eclectic seafood, such as unagi and scallops, and the Spider roll pairs up soft-shell crab and sprouts as bunkmates ($5–$8). After noshing on ten-zaru soba and using its cold buckwheat noodles to tie bows around shrimp tempura ($12), diners can nod heads to beats emanating from a live DJ’s sound system from Thursday to Saturday, or tap feet to the medleys of a live jazz band on Wednesday nights. Call ahead to make dinner reservations.
Through the power of seaweed, sushi compartmentalizes your food into neat, bite-sized spare tires that rejuvenate deflated stomachs. Have sortabreakfast for dinner with a futomaki roll filled with egg, shittake, dried cod, and gourd ($6), or embrace the raw, unmitigated encounter between humankind and fishkind with a ko-haku roll of Texas blue crab, avocado, tuna, and jalapeño ($15). Or keep your seameat affair superficial with a decadent salmon-skin roll with radish sprouts, pickled burdock, and cucumber ($6). Sushi Raku also serves a variety of heat-applied cuisine, sporting with flair northern Japanese robata grill fare. Nab skewers loaded with weighty delectables such as Kobe beef and yuzu pepper ($13.50) or rib eye and wasabi ($7) and enjoy them blackened over a simmering hearth.
At Zushi Japanese Cuisine, experienced executive sushi chef Christopher Nemoto draws from traditional Japanese culinary traditions and augments them with modern flourishes. The result is a menu of inventive fresh sushi and Japanese classics. In the Houston Press’s list of top 10 sushi restaurants, the writer hailed both the restaurant's fresh fish and its "impeccably seasoned rice." Patrons can sample both in the eatery's delectable specialty rolls, including the Slammin Sammy—a mélange of imitation crab, cucumber, and cream cheese topped with smoked salmon and a citrus chili paste; or the Surf and Turf—finely sliced and grilled rib-eye steak with carrot, jalapeño, avocado, and sweet lobster. And as diners sup on the delicate pinks and oranges of tuna and salmon or the mottled grays of the countertop roll, they'll do so amid the chic ambiance of a sushi bar complete with booths, patio seating, and a cocktail bar equipped with flat-screen televisions.