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Part of Japanese cuisine, Teppanyaki, and Hibachi restaurants grill food over an open flame in front of customers. Customers enjoy going to these restaurants to watch chefs prepare their fresh food. Customers can also witness the impressive skills of the chef making their food.
Japanese Restaurants That Cook in Front of You
Finding Japanese restaurants that cook in front of guests can be difficult, but chain teppanyaki and hibachi restaurants like Benihana and Shogun can be found across the United States.
Benihana: Across the US
Benihana is one of the most famous Japanese hibachi restaurants, with locations all over the United States. This restaurant, founded in 1964, was one of the first places that brought hibachi and teppanyaki to the United States. Benihana is also found in Aruba, Panama, and El Salvador.
The chefs at Benihana cook the food on a hibachi grill, in front of the customers, and impress the guests with speedy, expert knife tricks.
Benihana’s popular dishes from their menu include:
- Hibachi Chicken
- Hibachi Shrimp
- Hibachi Chateaubriand
- Hibachi Tuna Steak
- Hibachi Chicken Rice
Despite Benihana’s popularity, some people find the food less authentic than traditional Japanese hibachi food. Benihana is also more expensive and maybe crowded and noisy than other restaurants, so it may not suit customers on a budget or who prefer a quieter, more intimate atmosphere.
Shogun: Across Southern California
Established in 1980, Shogun Restaurant is a teppanyaki and sushi restaurant chain with various locations throughout Southern California. This hibachi restaurant also is popular because of its unique dining experience and the ability for guests to watch their food being made. It is known for its great food, fun atmosphere, and good service.
This restaurant’s popular dishes on its menu include:
- Sesame Chicken
- Filet Mignon
- New York Steak
- Half Roll Trio
Although Shogun is a popular restaurant chain, not everyone enjoys it. The restaurant is more expensive than most, so it’s not ideal for people on a low budget. The seating at Shogun can be limited, and it can be difficult to get a reservation at peak times. Many of Shogun’s famous dishes are meat-based, so this restaurant may not be as popular with vegetarians and vegans.
Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood House & Sushi Bar: Across the US
First established in 1988 by Marc Ha, Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood House & Sushi Bar originally opened in Fredericksburg, Virginia, before opening locations across the United States.
Famous for hibachi-style cooking, they also offer a range of teppanyaki dishes, sushi (including sashimi), steak, and specialty Japanese alcoholic beverages. Customers enjoy the high-quality ingredients, extensive menu, and the option to watch their food be cooked by expert chefs. The staff at Sakura are friendly and attentive, ensuring you have everything you need for a great dining experience.
Menus vary by location; popular items include:
- Filet Mignon
- Shrimp and Chicken Combo
This restaurant may not be popular with vegans and vegetarians because the menu is mainly based on meat and fish. This Japanese eatery is also quite expensive. Sometimes because of the restaurant’s popularity, it can be difficult to get a reservation during peak times.
Teppanyaki vs. Hibachi
Teppanyaki and hibachi are similar cooking styles originating from Japan, grilling food over an open flame. Both styles are used in restaurants that cook in front of guests, such as Benihana and Shogun. However, there are a couple of crucial differences.
A hibachi is a small, cast iron, open-grate, charcoal barbecue grill used for cooking Japanese food. Modern hibachis are electric.
Teppanyaki refers to a style of grilling that uses an iron plate or iron griddle with a flat surface to prepare food in front of restaurant guests. Teppanyaki grills tend to use a propane grill as their source of heat.
Restaurants, where chefs cook and do tricks in front of you, include:
- Benihana (across the US)
- Shogun (across Southern California)
- Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood House & Sushi Bar (across the US)
- Sakura Teppanyaki and Sushi (California)
- Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar (New York, NY)
- Nikko (New York, NY)
- Flame (New York, NY)
Asian Restaurants & Chains
Teppanyaki restaurants are not available in all areas of the United States, but other Asian restaurant chains can provide a similar fun experience:
- Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, across the US and Canada ($$): A hibachi restaurant with a twist. Instead of the chefs cooking the food live in front of you, you can cook the food yourself on a charcoal grill. There are Gyu-Kaku locations all across the US and also in Canada.
- Dons Bogam Wine Bar & BBQ, New York City ($$$): Another hibachi restaurant, but it specializes in Korean food, not Japanese food. This high-end restaurant is known for its Korean beef. Menu specialties include pork belly and lobster tail.
- Kura Revolving Sushi Bar across the US ($$): This restaurant is well-known for its handmade sushi that makes its way to customers on a conveyor belt. Kura offers traditional sushi dishes, including tuna rolls and shrimp avocado rolls.
- Haidilao, across the US and Canada ($$$): This hot pot restaurant is known for serving delicious, authentic Chinese hot pot. Haidilao is an international chain offering restaurants in the USA and Canada.
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