Stepping inside Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse, an eatery located on Brice Road, patrons might hear an audible sizzle as hibachi chefs sear filet mignon, lobster, and other meats and seafood on open grills. Diners can pair each savory bite with mushroom soup, grilled shrimp, and other sides.
Modern chandeliers burst with angular panels, evoking massive, glowing ice crystals. Walls of stacked stone and slatted wood form a backdrop for crisp white tablecloths and coal-black chairs. To complement the sleek, contemporary décor, Restaurant Tora's tables populate with artistically presented Japanese dishes such as yakisoba, fresh sashimi, and more than 25 specialty sushi rolls. Korean-style stone pots sizzle beside hibachi-grilled seafood and thick steaks accompanied by teriyaki and wasabi-yuzu sauces. After polishing off dessert, diners can charm their dates' palates with a bottle of American wine or tousle their dates' hair with a charm of American goldfinches.
A whirlwind of utensils hovers over a sizzling grill under the ministrations of a deft hibachi chef, sending morsels of seared meat to diners seated around a crimson-hued circle of polished wood. Guests can request orders of teriyaki chicken, hibachi steak, or shrimp and watch the multitasking chef cook each meal to order while entertaining fellow diners and writing a grocery list to shop for after their shift. Vibrant, rustic murals and dioramas decorate the dining room, and lantern-style light fixtures cast a warm glow on tables and working fountain by the restaurant's entrance.
The expert teppanyaki chefs at Ichiban use their iron griddles as the primary tools in building a menu that sizzles with steaks, seafood, and noodle dishes, and a sushi bar that unfurls with makimono. Although the sushi wears its Japanese pride on its seaweed sleeve, both steakhouses also boast a streak of avant-garde international influence, with such offerings as the seared salmon roll––salmon skin and cucumber topped with seared salmon and salsa ($13). The Crazy roll's deliciousness makes diners believe that their tongues are flavor magnets with morsels of shrimp tempura, avocado, flying-fish roe, and spicy mayo ($7). Hibachi dinner entrees—such as the filet mignon and scallops ($22.95)—arrive with an entourage of sides that include two pieces of shrimp tempura, vegetables, and steamed rice (substitute fried rice for $1.65).
• For $8, you get $16 worth of lunch fare and drinks, served 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. • For $12, you get $24 worth of dinner fare and drinks, served 5 p.m.–10 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday, 5 p.m.–11p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 4 p.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday.
Genji’s menu of traditional hibachi-style grill cuisine fires up the senses with a memorable dining experience that focuses on a sizzling grill and skilled chef dazzling diners with knife wielding dexterity. Stop in for lunch or dinner, grab a drink, listen to the fragrant aromas, and savor a helping of Genji sesame chicken ($15.99, dinner menu only), calamari ($5.99), or a N.Y. steak and scallops dinner ($19.99, dinner menu only). All dinners include a Japanese Shoyu soup, Genji salad, shrimp appetizer, vegetables, steamed rice, and tableside entertainment. Gaze at the grill in wonder, or simply watch the culinary flames flicker your pocket-sized scrying pool.