If you haven't tried teppanyaki (鉄板焼き), it needs to be at the top of your list.
Teppanyaki is one of my favorite things for dinner. I love when this Japanese-style dinner is the show. The Japanese words literally mean grilled on an iron plate — teppan (鉄板) translates to iron plate and yaki (焼き) means grilled, broiled or pan-fried.
Teppanyaki has a flat solid cooking surface more like a griddle, and Hibachi uses an open-grate grill. Hibachi is better for larger things, as smaller finely chopped carrots, onions and rice will fall through this system. Hanjip is a Korean BBQ in Culver City while ROKU Sunset is teppanyaki.
The first chain to bring Japanese teppanyaki to America was the “Misono” chain in 1945 shortly after World War II. Americans loved the food and flavor of teppanyaki but also the chef who could juggle knives, tell jokes and set the entire grill on fire. In 1954, a famous Japanese wrestler, Hiroaki "Rocky" Aoki, opened the first Benihana teppanyaki restaurant in New York City and brought the teppanyaki experience to millions with its eighty restaurants around the globe.
I have been lucky to find amazing teppanyaki chefs all over America, from St. Paul to Palm Desert and from Guam to Los Angeles. Each one has a different flair, but they never disappoint.
Where do you love to eat teppanyaki? Let me know, and maybe I will go there next!
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