Monday, February 20, 2012

Fujiyama Japanese Steakhouse

I was in the mood for hibachi the other day, so Chris and I hit up Fujiyama for a good time. Located on Venture Drive, Fujiyama is bit further out of the way, so I was hoping it'd be less busy. When we walked inside the restaurant, there were these tacky signs that said to make sure to close the outside doors before opening the inside. I understand the concept, I guess, it just really cheapens it before even walking in. Once we did walk in, there was a large fountain, with another sign, that said not to throw coins in it. This wasn't looking good.

We walked to the hostess stand and said we'd like the grill. They also have a simple dining area. She seated us immediately. We were the first couple on our side of the grill - the other side was already halfway through their meal. We ordered drinks as we looked over our menu. If you've been to a hibachi restaurant before, you know how it works. If you sit at the grill, you order a hibachi dinner - most of these are either chicken, steak, scallops, shrimp or fish. Sometimes a combination. These come with a side of rice or noodles and vegetables and sometimes two pieces of shrimp. I ordered the hibachi scallops. Chris opted for the hibachi salmon and shrimp. We also got an order of California rolls.

Another couple was seated at our grill. It's always a little awkward because it turns into communal dining if you're not already with a large group of people. But it makes it a fun experience, too. Our sushi came out quickly. Small rolls, but they were fine. Not entirely flavorful, but not bad either.

Next, we got our miso soup. I'm not a big fan of miso soup - it's okay. It's a warm broth with a few pieces of tofu. I had about half the bowl. It warmed me up and got my tastebuds going.

Next was their salad. If you're familiar with this cuisine, a small salad with a ginger dressing is typically served. I'm also not a fan of this. It's typical for the cuisine - it's just not my taste. I was ready for my entree.


Finally, the chef came out and put on his show. He was very chatty. He was doing all the tricks. The onion volcano, the tossing of the egg on the spatula, and the throwing the shrimp into customers' mouths. Of course, I missed mine. Both times. Our chef even had a shot (two) of sake with the other guy at our grill. He was entertaining, and we had fun. Sometimes these things can get tacky, but he was very personable so it wasn't like he was just putting on a show with us. He was very interactive. It was welcoming.

When the whole show was over, I finally had my plate full of huge scallops, a heaping pile of noodles, some vegetables and two pieces of shrimp. We had the two dipping sauces - the darker one he said is for the red meat, and the "yum yum" sauce is good for everything else. Which it was. The scallops he cooked were huge. Delicious and huge. Fresh, cooked right in front of me, and grilled to perfection. Dipped a little in the yum yum sauce to give it a kick. It was delicious. The noodles were so flavorful - the yakisoba, like lo mein, give a carb to help balance the dish. The veggies are grilled and delicious, so that layer rounds out the meal. So a balanced meal, add a couple shrimp, and you have a huge dinner that most people can't finish in one sitting. At least I can't.

It's a good meal, enough for another meal, and entertaining. A little on the pricey side - expect to spend about $60 for two, but it's food and entertainment. It's about what I expected from a Hibachi place, so no big surprises, but nothing disappointed either. Plus it's great to see exactly how your food is cooked and get a little show on the side.

Grade: A
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