Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New York State (exc. NYC) >
Feb 19, 2011 05:19 AM

looking for fun birthday dinner place for kid turning 9


My son is turning 9 and wants to go out tomorrow night for his celebration. We live in lower Westchester County. He wants Japanese, and is hoping for a place that both does the grilling and has sushi. I think straight sushi would be fine too, but it has to be a place that isn't uptight about kids because we also have an 11 year old and a 4 year old. I looked at the menu for Gasho's in Hawthorne, but there is no sushi, and the menu looks kind of icky. My kids are fairly adventurous eaters - we have travelled in China and they had no trouble - but they are kids so we don't want anything ultra fancy. I heard there is some new place called Banzai that opened, but I can't find any online menus. Are there other options?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like Gasho, there's no sushi but the hibachi is really fun. It's very kid friendly and reasonably priced. I haven't tried Nagoya on Central Avenue near Tuckahoe road but that's well known for sushi/cooked and not fancy. Fujinoya further up by Hartsdale Ave has gotten great reviews, I plan to go there soon myself.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ho_Nutha_Levoo

      We went to Banzai as a family on New Year's Eve. It was packed with families. The food was decent and they did have sushi/sashimi. They also had beef tataki, which is my son's favorite and seems to be a little difficult to find around here. It really didn't have much else to offer in terms of a unique teppanyaki experience (same ol' onion volcano and burning flat-top). No one at the table ordered shrimp, so there was no shrimp-tossing (glad he didn't try that with my lobster).

      Food-wise, the only really unusual thing I noticed was that the chef perused the veggies and swept anything he found unacceptable (woody stems, onion slices that were mostly skin) into the garbage hole with his spatula prior to cooking.

      No liquor license when we were there. They did have Ramune, but only one flavor.

      Price-wise, I think it was pretty average for the area (I think my filet and lobster was $27ish, maybe the priciest thing on the menu). There are coupons floating around out there. They even accepted a coupon on New Year's Eve from our tablemates.

      For us, the most unique thing about Banzai was the American flag decor in the dining area. The wait staff was dressed in red, white, and blue. Not off-putting, but not really what you expect in a hibachi restaurant.

      Overall, it was fun, but I don't know if it's special enough for a birthday experience for worldly children. However, if this is their first teppanyaki experience, they may love it.

      1. re: foodiemom10583

        I looked online, and saw that there is a place in larchmont called Fuji Mountain. I wonder how Banzai compares. Also, where IS Banzai located? The web links seem to conflict. Is it on Central Ave, or where Mighty Joe Youngs used to be?

        My kids have only had teppanyaki once - in Chongqing China of all places!

        Fuji Mountain Restaurant
        2375 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont, NY 10538

        Mighty Joe Young's
        610 W. Hartsdale Ave, White Plains, NY 10607

        1. re: rgny

          Banzai is on Central Avenue in Hartsdale. If you're heading north on Central, it's on your left (the west side of the street) between the Pastina's strip mall and Chef Central.

          The Mighty Joe Young's space is now the Benjamin Steakhouse.

          It's kind of awesome that they've done teppanyaki in Chongqing.

          Chef Central
          45 S Central Ave, Hartsdale, NY

          Mighty Joe Young's
          610 W. Hartsdale Ave, White Plains, NY 10607

    2. Okinawa steak house in Ossining has habachi and sushi and is quite kid-friendly. Went there once for habachi which was very tasty and well presented.

      1. Nagoya Restaurant in Yonkers- in the Highridge Shopping Center on Central Ave. has teppanyaki and sushi. Good food and family friendly as well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sra. Swanky

          We did this for my son's 9th birthday. It was a huge hit, and they are extremely kid-friendly. Prepare to sit with other diners unless you are a large group.

        2. When you choose a restaurant that does both hibachi and sushi, you have to realize the sushi will not be as good as a dedicated sushi restaurant.
          Abis in Thornwood might fit you needs-just dont get crazy with the raw fish, stick to simple rolls with cooked ingredients, some hibachi and it will be fine for the kids.

          Fujinoya does have good food, but the atmosphere is a bit dreary-its a remodeled gas station garage!
          Not a party spot by any means.

          3 Replies
          1. re: AdamD

            Does Abis have the hibachi stuff? We used to go there all the time before we had kids, but I don't remember that. My memory is that it isn't very kid-friendly. My kids actually will eat raw fish sushi, but they might be too loud for a adults-only sort of place

            1. re: rgny

              Abis has no hibachi, but there's a fountain in the Thornwood location's dining area.

              1. re: rgny

                I think so. Its been years since Ive been there. Give them a call. And they do have plenty of space to accommodate your group. I may be thinking of the Greenwich location though.

            2. We have always had a good experience with Noda in White Plains. I have never actually had the sushi there, but the food cooked at the table has always been good.


              2 Replies
              1. re: valerie

                That looks like a great place for kids

                1. re: AdamD

                  I just looked closer at the website and while it doesn't list this on the menu page, they offer kids portions of the hibachi dinners. The adult portions are very generous, way too much food for kids (small kids anyway).