Meals, like insurance polices, are best prepared in front of you to guarantee that no acts-of-vampire loopholes are hidden within. Avoid the culinary fine print with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of hibachi-style fare at Arigato Japanese Steak House, with locations in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, as well a just-opened location in Tampa.
Arigato's sizzling menu packs in authentic Japanese tempura dishes alongside succulent steak-house fare. Arigato’s team of part-cook, part-magician, and part-soy-sauce chefs chop, toss, and flip fresh veggies and meats on a 600-degree hibachi grill built into the dining table. Each entree is escorted by an entourage of soup, salad, fried rice, and grilled vegetables. Dipping, dunking, and spelunking are encouraged with Arigato’s homemade secret sauces, including fan favorites Goody Goody and Yummy Yummy—which, like the essence of Grover Cleveland, are also available for sale in bottles. Pint-size offspring can break in their chopsticks with Arigato's kids' menu.
Arigato Japanese Steak House
Dale Del Bello remembers everything about his first hibachi experience. While stationed in Korea as a part of the Air Force National Guard, Dale and a group of friends visited Tokyo on leave. They followed a traditional route among his fellow service people, which took him to a hibachi restaurant. Immediately he sensed that he’d stumbled upon more than just dinner. The chefs’ showmanship fascinated him as they seared meats and vegetables on their tabletop grills, allowing guests to sample forkfuls directly off the 600-degree surface. After returning to Buffalo, New York, in 1971, Dale opened his first Arigato location, attempting to recreate what made that dining experience so remarkable. Since then, he has distilled the authentic experience into something that families can enjoy without traveling abroad, establishing Arigato restaurants throughout New York and Florida and staffing them with more than 60 chefs from Japan.
Surrounded by 8–10 diners, these chefs act not only as the restaurant’s culinary creators, but also as showmen and magicians of sorts, dexterously slicing ingredients, flipping shrimp tails into their hats, and conjuring soy sauce out of thin air. Away from the flaming tabletops, meanwhile, bartenders make use of their own skill sets as they mix specialty cocktails, which occasionally use splashes of plum wine or sake to imbue familiar-sounding drinks with new dimension.