One cuisine particularly lacking in south Texas is Japanese food. I had sushi for the first time three years ago (love), kimchi two years ago (not as much love), and, as of this weekend, hibachi (most love).
Four friends and I trooped up the road to Staunton to go to Massaki, a Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar.
We were seated with another couple, clearly on date #1 or #2 and still in that awkward stage, and got ready for dinner to begin. I had no idea what I was in for.
I watched as an innocuous little man in a chef's coat and hat wheeled a cart over. He neatly laid out his utensils, confirmed everyone's order, and bustled about. He threw something on the grill, looked around with a smile, and then made the magic happen.
I now know why every child in the restaurant was saying, "WOOOAH!!!" Yeah, dudes. Woah.
While we sipped some soup and chatted, the chef was a busy man.
He'd set onions, zucchini, rice, shrimp and mushrooms out to cook, and then diced and sliced things on high speed. Seriously, though, how do they devein shrimp and cut vegetables so quickly?!
Presented with plates of steaming veggies, the chef cleared his cooktop and then prepared the rice and protein.
The final result, Teriyaki Chicken for me, was delicious. The fried rice had bits of egg and vegetables, and the chicken was cooked nicely. I particularly enjoyed the sides of ginger and yum yum sauces--added an extra something, I think.
For the grand finale, the chef stacked up a few rings of onion and... abracadabra!
I am most certainly a fan of hibachi now, and understand why most everyone I know likes it. I mean, what's not to like? Theatrics, a (decently healthy?) meal, and customization options galore.
If you're in the Staunton, Virginia, area, check out Massaki here!