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What's good at Japanese Restaurants?

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What's good at Japanese Restaurants? I've never been to one before. The menu lists some bowls, it says pick rice, noodle, or veggie. Then it says to pick either BBQ, Teriyaki, or Hibachi Sauce. They also have a Volcanic Chicken Bowl.

  1. My recommendation for a place to start is udon (noodle soup).

    1 Reply
    1. re: GH1618

      Thanks. The Vegetable Tempura and Soy Garlic Noodles sound good too. It's hard to decide because I have no idea what anything on the menu is or what type of sauces they use.

    2. What a massive question. It completely depends on your taste. Real Japanese food is quite different then Western food, but I have a feeling the restaurant sounds somewhat Westernized.

      Rice is a large staple, if you have never had short grain/sushi rice it might be interesting to try, it is not just a medium for sauces like some long grain is used for.

      There are many noodle choices as well, udon is pretty mild in flavour, soba can actually have a flavour some people might find different.

      BBQ sauce you can probably imagine, Teriyaki sauce is mirin, soy sauce and sugar, it is kind of a salty, sweet almost burnt/dark caramelized taste. No idea what the Hibachi sauce is, but could be a ginger based sauce.

      Sounds like it will just be whatever protein/vegetable you want, mixed with the sauce you want, on top of rice or noodles.

      If its more then that, Japanese is famous for seafood. Fresh sushi and sashimi are excellent, but may contain raw fish so be aware of that. Udon is great, its summer now so cold udon or soba dishes are excellent. The fried foods are also good, katsudon, karage, tempura. Japanese Curry is pretty tasty as well.

      I can't really even begin to get started, if you posted the menu we could make suggestions, but it really is a massive cuisine.

      1. The menu description you provided indicates to me this is an americanized japanese-style restaurant. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but be aware that it bears only a remote resemblance to Japanese food. I'm sure whatever you pick that suits your palate generally, e.g. if you like noodles a lot pick noodles, if you really like BBQ pick that sauce (and what the heck is "hibachi sauce"?!), will be edible, but it won't be Japanese food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: janniecooks

          <<suits your palate generally,>>

          Wow, on CH I rarely see the word "palate" spelled correctly in this case.
          You must also be a great cook, Jannie.

        2. What would be good is to avoid this place and go to a real Japanese restaurant.

          17 Replies
          1. re: E Eto

            +1. This sounds like the chipotle of Japanese food. Not really Japanese but Asian fusion.

            Not a bad place to start if you really don't know much about that kind of food but a real Japanese restaurant will have a much better selection.

            1. re: Crockett67

              Japanese cuisine is really about different disciplines (noodle making, fish prep, frying, stewing, etc.), so a more focused menu vs. a better selection would probably do the cuisine more justice. I would recommend to someone just introduced to the cuisine to find a place with a smaller menu with attention to craft, freshness, season, and the other harbingers of good Japanese food.

              1. re: E Eto

                +2.

                The OP really needs to research further by herself and think about what genuine non-Western foods are supposed to be like rather than treating the upstate NY restaurants in her immediate locale as definitive of the various cuisines. One congratulates her on trying out new (to her) cuisines and encourages her in her endeavors but also encourages her to look into the cuisines in a more thorough fashion. Suppose she looks up what "Japanese cuisine" is with a simple Google search? That menu from the place she is contemplating patronizing (in a post below) looks nothing like what I would expect from a Japanese restaurant.

                Here's a meal I had not so long ago at a decent Japanese place: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8599...

                1. re: huiray

                  Your Japanese lunch was fairly Americanized as well. Though at least there is nothing that can be called "volcanic".

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    Oh certainly it was at a Japanese restaurant operating in the USA and the items ordered were to my fancy. Still, I wouldn't say hiyayakko and zaru soba are common American-Japanese items ordered by a great number of USAmericans, actually. :-) But certainly Japanese in Japan may order other things and even the same things as I ordered would probably be presented differently and all three may not be combined in the same meal as I did with mine. Of course I also did not have an actual wasabi root to grind against the special tool for doing so with my zaru soba. Perhaps you would have that as a matter of course in Japan. The nigirizushi I had - what strikes you as being USAmericanized to you?

                    1. re: huiray

                      The nigiri are all fatty items that Americans prefer and are usually jammed in sushi sets - tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and eel. No balance. No white fish or silver fish or shellfish. And tobiko you may as well punt through the uprights as it's more or less considered decorative. Maybe there were other sets and this is the one you chose.....Miso soup is usually served at the end of a sushi meal. For a lunch set, it might be served altogether, but most Japanese places in the U.S. follow the soup-salad-main convention because that's what we are familiar with here....There's also a huge pile of wasabi. I see that a lot here. Presumably the chef left the wasabi off the nigiri I guess......Finally tofu, sushi, and soba in the same meal is WEIRD. Actually, being on the same menu is weird. Maybe that was you just trying to catch up on all your Japanese favs at the same time. Still, it's a pretty odd combo. What are the chances that either the tofu or the soba were made in-house?

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        And I don't mean to pick on you. It's late and I just saw your link and the pic for the first time. I recognize we go to some restaurants to get our favorites of a particular cuisine in one place. Totally natural and I'm as likely to do it as the next person.

                        1. re: Silverjay

                          ...and you jumped to the conclusion that the restaurant had "set lunch" selections (A, B, C, whatever) and that the sushi was "set 1" and the "Set A" package had the tofu+soba+set1 sushi. Wrong.

                          I explained in my post (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8633...) you first responded to (where I *said* "But certainly Japanese in Japan may order other things and even the same things as I ordered would probably be presented differently and all three may not be combined in the same meal as I did with mine.") that I chose the dishes myself. I did so again in my subsequent post (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8633...). I selected the individual dishes and the individual nigirizushi pieces entirely a la carte from the full menu of the restaurant - as what I wanted to eat that day. And yes, I didn't feel like having ikura that day. :::Shrug::: If the combination was something that a true-blue traditional Japanese person would not do, so be it. Heh.

                          Each individual dish or nigirizushi seemed fine to me and were not American-Japanese concoctions. I had no complaints about what each dish was nor about the freshness/quality of the fish. :-)

                        2. re: Silverjay

                          I chose the nigirizushi myself as personal selections as my personal hankering that day. They were not a "set combination". I did not want shellfish or whitefish that day. Miso soup and salad at the start is a Western convention, that is true. The pile of wasabi was offered, yes, but one chooses to use as much or as little as one desires. I chose to use barely any to accompany each piece of nigirizushi - each of which *had* a small pad of wasabi already placed there between the fish and rice. The first piece of each pair I ate alone, without any additional wasabi or soy sauce, and decided with the second piece if I wanted any additional wasabi or if I wanted a touch of soy sauce. No slurry of soy sauce + wasabi was made by me nor did I dunk any piece of nigirizushi in such a slurry - if not anything else because I did not make such a slurry. Tofu, sushi and soba in the same meal - as I said, that was what I felt like that day. I do not consider such a "mix" to be forbidden simply because it is not what you would ordinarily do in Japan. Neither the tofu or soba were probably made in house - but I hardly hold that to be a defining mark of whether a restaurant is Japanese or not.

                          Note also that I said it was a meal I had at a Japanese restaurant. I did not say I had a Japanese meal as a Japanese person might have in a Japanese restaurant in Japan.

                          For that matter wouldn't there be sushi, tofu and soba in the same meal in some versions of a kaiseki offering or even less elaborate meals?

                          1. re: huiray

                            Haha, no. Unless you sat on a tatami mat, your meal had nothing in common with kaiseki. Typically in Japan, only cheap canteen style restaurants or maybe airports would offer tofu, sushi, and soba on the same menu. Perhaps a catch-all izakaya might do it as well..... Obviously many Japanese restaurants here in the U.S. try to offer a broad menu of standards across the cuisine in the same way many Chinese or Italian restaurants present various regional offerings in one place...A pile of wasabi with nigiri sushi is American. I guess it's done because many people want to control the amount of wasabi themselves, but putting wasabi in shoyu and dipping in nigiri is American....I think in a discussion about what to eat at Japanese restaurants, it's reasonable to point out that a big block of tofu, fatty pieces of sushi, and a pile of soba in one setting would be unusual. It's nothing to take away from your individual right to fulfill your hankerings. But there is something to be said for pointing out standard cultural dining convention.

                            1. re: Silverjay

                              That's fine. It's also very true that in America many (if not most) Japanese restaurants (other than select or specialized ones in limited areas) would offer selections from across the spectrum as you say, rather than like in Japan where you would have dedicated sushi-ya or ramen-ya and the like as the norm. Even so, you admit that having tofu, soba and sushi on the same menu is found in Japan itself.

                              Uh, don't Japanese also dip nigirizushi into shoyu or soy sauce if they desire to? BTW - again - I kept my soy sauce and wasabi separate. Sure, the common USAmerican tendency is to put wasabi into shoyu/soy sauce and stir it up then dunk the nigirizushi into it - but the point here is that the restaurant would not provide the already-mixed wasabi-shoyu. *You* decide if you want to do it. :-)

                              1. re: Silverjay

                                BTW I wasn't saying that what I had was a kaiseki meal. I was merely pointing out that there are kaiseki meals where one does indeed end up having some sort of tofu, selected sushi, and some form of noodles (including soba) in the course of the meal. Somehow I get the feeling you did think I was saying my meal was just like a kaiseki meal. :::rollingeyes:::

                                1. re: huiray

                                  It would be odd for a rice and a noodle dish to appear in the same progression. People don't usually eat both in the same meal. And sushi is traditionally not a kaiseki item but that is changing and no longer rigidly followed. But we're talking about a small piece of hirame or tai most likely. Not oily fish...Regarding wasabi, sashimi is served with a small grated pile. Sushi is not as the chef places a dab on the nigiri for you.

                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                    Nowadays I believe noodles are sometimes swapped for the rice course.

                                    1. re: huiray

                                      Doubtful that soba would appear in kaiseki. Maybe somen or harusame in the summer. But doubtful.

                            2. re: Silverjay

                              soup/salad/main is because miso OUGHT to be at every meal -- but people won't order a $2 soup.

                    2. I agree that the menu you describe sounds very Americanized - like someone has taken the Mongolian grill concept, and added Japanese sauces.

                      However, if you are at a more Japanese style place, one of my favourite dishes is the grilled fish, particularly the saba (mackerel). It's very flavourful, with a slightly crispy skin.

                      For some fairly 'safe' choices for Western palates that are fairly generic (ie, not in a specialized restaurant)

                      Teriyaki - meat or fish in a sweet-salty soy and rice wine based sauce.

                      Tempura - breaded, deep fried shrimp and veggies, served with a soy dipping sauce.

                      Tonkatsu - breaded, deep fried pork cutlet, served with a sauce that's a lot like Wochestershire sauce.

                      Japanese curry - Take Indian curry, run it through Western cooking styles and import it to Japan. The result is sort of a curry-flavoured brown gravy, used in a stew with meat and vegetables, or with deep fried meat on the side.

                      My mother-in-law relies on sukiyaki for feeding foreign guests - thinly sliced beef, mushrooms, tofu and vegetables, cooked at the table in a soy and rice wine based sauce. It's simple to make, but goes over well with a wide variety of people.

                      1. I haven't read through this, so I hope I don't duplicate - apologies in advance, if that's the case. The place you are describing serves Americanized Japanese food - they've taken the donburi concept and tamed it for American palates. That being the case, any of the starchy beds will do; you should find nothing offensive there. Then, it all depends on is what you like for topping it off; if you're a poultry person, try that; if not, order something else that appeals with whatever sauce sounds like it would be good with it. You're entirely correct if you ask your waitperson (or do they not have them there? It sounds like a counter operation, maybe) or your counter server what their most popular item is, and order that if it sounds to your taste. BUT in the event that you go to a truly Japanese restaurant, be aware that usually the very best of them specialize; in Yakitori (grilled, skewered items - you'd probably like them.) Sashimi (raw fish) and Sushi (rice and veg. and only sometimes fish wrapped in rice and then wrapped in nori -seaweed), Tempura (battered, fried items; delicious) and so on. That's not to say that you can't find them under one roof. I'd suggest things like tempura and sushi and an authentic noodle/rice bowl; miso soup; Teriyaki anything; maybe katsu (battered, crumbed and fried meats...I have a yen now and then for a big ol' katsu pork chop.)
                        Wow, just writing about this made me hungry.
                        Oh, and Benihana and it's ilk are not Japanese restaurants; they are marketing schemes which are cleverly disguised as restaurants, designed to pack as many people in at a time as possible, and then turn those tables as quickly as possible. I'm not saying the food isn't tasty, because it is, but.......anyway. If you want a real Japanese food experience, you should probably go to a different place than the one you're thinking about. I'm pretty sure that an authentic Japanese restaurant doesn't serve anything called a "Volcano Chicken Bowl." :)
                        Wherever you end up going, enjoy your lunch. I'm sure it will be fine.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: mamachef

                          Mamachef - a generous and helpful response, as always. I have to confess to a roll of the eyes when I saw the words "volcanic chicken bowl." Restaurants of this sort can be satisfying in a carby and sugary way, or they can be really and wholly terrible. Were it me, I would go for something safe like tonkatsu or sukiyaki over rice. Teriyaki can be dicey, but curry seems to be standardized and of predictable quality.

                          I would avoid noodles altogether as the OP does not like saucy noodles and therefore would probably dislike udon.

                          1. re: JungMann

                            I love saucy noodles if the sauce is thick, like italian tomato or alfredo sauce, but I hate it when you order chinese food and it is drowning in that thin soy sauce type sauce. I feel soy sauce and thinner sauces should be cooked into the dish.

                            1. re: JolokiaJen

                              "I feel soy sauce and thinner sauces should be cooked into the dish."
                              ----------
                              That is not what the originators of the dishes thought, and not what many dishes of that style aim for. Do not mistake your personal preferences for what the cuisine itself regards as suitable or intended.

                              I somewhat suspect you would also blanch at "soupy noodles" or bowls of noodles in a soup - which would fall into your stated dislike of noodles in a thin sauce. Unfortunately for you, "soupy noodles" constitutes a very big section of East/SE asian cuisine.

                              Oh, I believe you are also vegetarian. You really should be looking into Buddhist cuisine of the DRY type, non-soupy, non-saucy types. (there are few).

                              1. re: JolokiaJen

                                "...soupy with the SOY SAUCE..." (my emphasis)
                                -------
                                ...also implies BAD dishes to me, if the sauce is just a "SOY SAUCE" sauce as you say. (What exactly *do* you mean by a "soy sauce" sauce?)

                                Sigh. Yet again for the umpteenth time - many E Asian (Cantonese especially) or SE Asian dishes *do* have a "soupy" sauce, that is the way it is supposed to be. Maybe these cuisines simply aren't for you.

                                1. re: huiray

                                  "Sigh?" ...I don't know what you mean, I just answered your questions that you asked me, no need to make me feel bad. I like the noodle dishes at chinese restaurants. I don't like the vegetable dishes, the ones literally drowning in the thin brown sauce that come with the rice on the side, that doesn't taste good to me, that's all. Anyway, thanks everybody for your help, I don't think Chowhound is the place for me. I get a lot of snarky comments and I try to word my answers in the nicest way possible.

                                  1. re: JolokiaJen

                                    I just looked at that menu and I think you've made the right choice in deciding not to go there, as it would definitely have given you the completely wrong idea about Japanese food. I lived in Japan as a kid, and really love the cuisine. Hope some day you manage to find the real deal and give it a try.

                                    1. re: JolokiaJen

                                      I think the posters are genuinely trying to be helpful, even if their tone may sound unpleasant. It's great that you are eager to try good food that's new to you, but the general consensus is that you're probably not going to find that at Koi and we're trying to steer you away from what sounds, to be honest, like a bad restaurant.

                                      I live in NYC and even with all the options, believe me there are some cuisines that are just not well-represented. So rather than waste a meal at a bad restaurant, I wait until the next time fate puts me in the position of getting some good grub, be it Korean, Ethiopian or plain old chili. Sounds like this might be the best case scenario for your first taste of Japanese.

                                      1. re: JolokiaJen

                                        I don't think people are trying to be snarky towards you, but rather towards that sort of mash up of various somewhat Asian related dishes calling itself a Japanese restaurant. I don't recall ever seeing a soupy noodle dish at a Chinese restaurant that came with rice on the side, so folks are probably not sure what you mean.

                                        1. re: Kathleen M

                                          The noodles dishes aren't usually soupy, the veggie dishes with the brown sauce with rice on the side are terribly soupy and drippy. I have seen noodle dishes that look terrible and soupy in pics, but when I order them they are fine. I will just stick with noodle dishes, not the rice ones.

                                          1. re: JolokiaJen

                                            I think one of the differences between Americanized Asian food and the food that is served in the country of origin (overgeneralization here) is that in the West, rice is a side dish, whereas in the East, the rice is the meal and the stir-fried whatever is there to flavor it.

                                            Are there any Japanese cookbooks in your local public libraries? That might introduce you to Japanese food better than your restaurant. The old Time-Life Food of the World series provides a lot of good reading, and there have been some new books as well.

                                            1. re: JolokiaJen

                                              JJ, basically from how you are describing the Chinese food, you are in an area with bad Asian food in general. Very low end Americanized Asian food across the board. Because many of us aren't understanding what you exactly mean in your descriptions. That's not your fault, and you are trying to learn more about different cuisines. I think that's why you are feeling that folks are being snarky. We're talking different versions of Chinese food, Japanese food, etc.and it's like two different conversations going on at the same time.

                                              I spent time last year working in upstate NY on the Canadian border, and the Asian and Italian food was very much adapted to the area, and really had nothing in common with what I knew to be authentic. At one Italian place I ordered lasagna and it had grape jelly in the tomato sauce.

                                          2. re: JolokiaJen

                                            Japanese noodle dishes like soba and udon are served in a hot soup broth or with a bowl of chilled broth for dipping. It's not sauce. The broth is based on soy sauce flavor, but is made with dashi and often shaved dried bonita, so it has more depth and a gentle savory, sometimes smokey flavor. When eaten hot, the soup is warming and filling. When served chilled, the broth is refreshing. Slurping the noodles activates your taste buds and the aromatics in the broth. It's nice to feel the gentle chew of the noodles in your teeth and then feel them slide down your throat. Can warm you in the winter or cool you in the summer.

                                            1. re: JolokiaJen

                                              I certainly hope you don't mean me. It's never my intention to contribute to making someone feel bad. :(

                                  2. Where are you and this Americanized "Japanese" restaurant located?

                                    13 Replies
                                    1. re: JMF

                                      Thanks everybody for your comments and suggestions. It's the only Japanese restaurant in my area. I'll post a link to the menu
                                      http://www.fasprintmenus.com/menu/koi...

                                      1. re: JolokiaJen

                                        Ummm... reading that menu was scary. I am willing to bet that none of the items have any resemblance to real Japanese food.

                                        Most Japanese steak houses (Teppanyaki restaurants, but incorrectly referred to as Hibachi restaurants) in the US are very Americanized. Nothing at all like what a real Teppanyaki place is like in Japan. Teppanyaki is a flat metal griddle. Hibachi is a small charcoal grill .

                                        This place is even more so. Looking closely at the menu, the starters don't seem to be Japanese, more like Americanized Chinese. Except the tempura, but it depends whether it is really tempura, or just battered and deep fried foods. Tempura batter is very thin batter, very light in color and texture, when done properly it is ethereal. Very lightly fried, crispy and lace like, with little flakes of the batter sticking out. Chinese style is with a thick batter.

                                        Then looking at all the main meal, they read again like Americanized Chinese. Everything sounds like it is cooked in sweet or spicy sauces. Neither is really Japanese.

                                        As for the sushi, it's all Americanized sushi rolls, and no nigiri which is a thin slice of fish on a small oval of rice. I have never heard of battered and deep fried sushi rolls. A perversion to me just at the thought. Then the desecration of topping a roll with a sauce.

                                        If you go, expect it to be similar to any local Chinese restaurant, with some slight variations, and just order what sounds good. It may be tasty, but really don't expect to learn anything about what real Japanese food tastes like. Good Luck.

                                        1. re: JolokiaJen

                                          I admire your openness to new cuisines, but sometimes what's advertised is not what you get. When I was traveling extensively exurban New York with an Indian colleague, we both wanted the type of simple Indo-Pak food we grew up with. Every Indian restaurant we tried was unrecognizable, even for things that are simple and require only a few ingredients. Judging by the French onion soup and chicken and provolone sandwich, this menu is probably going to be equally disappointing if you want Japanese food.

                                          1. re: JungMann

                                            Actually Fried Onion soup is Japanese. (It didn't say French onion soup)

                                            I have had fried onion soup made by a master Japanese Teppanyaki chef, and 40 years later I can close my eyes and still picture it, smell and taste the thin, consomme like broth, and the great texture of the deep fried onions with sort of a rough texture, and the soft boiled onions in the soup, with the tang of chopped scallions floating on top. The soup is sort of like a 3-4 onion soup with several types of onions prepared several ways, and combined.

                                            That chicken and provolone sandwich is totally American. Texas toast, ie. garlic bread, just would never be in a Japanese place. The Japanese don't really do garlic. They use the term "garlic eaters" to refer nastily to Koreans.

                                            1. re: JMF

                                              Garlic is pretty ubiquitous in Japanese dining- especially home meals. But full grilled garlic cloves served with savory and sweet miso paste is a popular izakaya snack item, as is serving thin slices of raw garlic with katsuo tataki.

                                              1. re: Silverjay

                                                Hmmm... I really haven't experienced much garlic in Japanese food. Slivers occasionally, but not often. I haven't ever seen it used as a main flavoring. I know you know more than I about Japanese cuisine, but in all my visits to Japan I rarely saw it used much. And not much here in the States either. I'll have to check it out next time I'm in an izakaya or my local homestyle Japanese restaurant.

                                                1. re: JMF

                                                  Garlic chicken and garlic shrimp are popular home cooked dishes. Many izakaya will do garlic stir fried dishes. And Korean food has recently gone through yet another surge of popularity in Japan. Not to mention that Chinese and Italian foods are still extremely popular as well.

                                          2. re: JolokiaJen

                                            I would eat there and try to enjoy some flavours of Asia, but you certainly will not be eating anything remotely Japanese. It seems mostly Chinese with some other Asian countries mixed in. I would try the teriyaki salmon bowl, while sure not to be Japanese, at least it is a salmon donburi, and I have had and enjoyed Teriyaki salmon don in Australia.

                                            Certainly try the tempura too and see how that goes.

                                            I will close that menu now before my Japanese fiancee notices it open :P

                                            1. re: JolokiaJen

                                              I'm in the camp that frequently doesn't care if it's authentic as long as it's tasty, and that menu still sounds weird to me.

                                              1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                Wow, Hogansburg, NY is really up there. Practically Canada. Next time you are in a big city, Otawa and Montreal are closer to you than any others it seems, go to a real Japanese restaurant so you see what the cuisine is really about. It's one of my three favorite cuisines. Although even the best restaurants in the states don't compare to eating in Japan. Eating in Japan, for a food lover, is an amazing experience. Sometimes pricy, for the high end places, but worth it. And the inexpensive home style places are cheap and excellent too.

                                                1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                  I agree that you would be better off going to a real Japanese restaurant, and this isn't it. Eat there if you like, but don't count it as a Japanese restaurant experience.

                                                  1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                    oh my. As others have commented, this isn't a Japanese restaurant. That said, it does look like if you have to go there fore some reason, you might be able to eat fairly well, Just me, but I avoid fried food any place with which I'm not familiar.

                                                    1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                      Quite reassuring to read on the menu that it is the "2012 Collector's Menu."

                                                      Gosh, I want to collect them all.

                                                  2. The menu at Koi express gives me a chuckle. I have to wonder if there is a place in rural Japan that claims to be a an American restaurant.

                                                    American Lunch Special:

                                                    Pick one item from each category:

                                                    Base: Texas Toast, Mashed Potato, French Fries, Tortilla chips
                                                    Protein: Hamburger, Fried Chicken, Meatball, Fish Sticks
                                                    Sauce: Tomato Sauce, Cheese Sauce, Brown Gravy, Ranch Sauce
                                                    Topping: Bacon Bits, Grated Cheese, Deep Fried Onions, Fried Egg

                                                    Oh the horror! On the other hand, could be the mashup that happens late night in a college dorm.;)

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                      Yum- I'll take the mashed potatoes topped with Fried Chicken, cheese sauce an bacon bits. Good one! LOL

                                                      1. re: wadejay26

                                                        I'm pretty sure they offer that at KFC (or at least they used to), except with gravy and grated cheese.

                                                      2. re: Bkeats

                                                        THIS MADE ME LAUGH SO HARD!!! Ha!

                                                      3. You really are asking an extremely loaded question, since no one here knows what your particular likes & dislikes are.

                                                        I'm a big sashimi fan, so that's what I normally order - especially during the summer months. But sometimes in the winter I'll get a sashimi appetizer & have an entree of Shrimp Tempura (we have an area restaurant where the tempura is excellent!!) or teriyaki or a noodle dish.

                                                        It truly is fairly impossible to advise you without knowing your preferences.

                                                        62 Replies
                                                        1. re: Bacardi1

                                                          I just wanted to know what you like to order. I like most anything, but I am planning on becoming vegetarian.

                                                          1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                            Given the Buddhist tradition in Japan, there are a lot of good vegetarian options in Japanese cuisine. Cultures that historically did not eat much or any animal protein have developed very sophisticated vegetarian cuisine.

                                                            1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                              If you're in a "good" Japanese restaurant, there should be a number of vegetarian options for you.

                                                              Our local place has a wonderful Vegetable Tempura - sweet potato, broccoli, string beans, onions. . . . I know I'm leaving some things out - lightly blanched, tempura-batter or panko-breaded & fried to greaseless perfection. Served with a lovely Ponzu dipping sauce.

                                                              You can also get vegetables "hibachi-style" - chopped & cooked on a griddle along with fried rice. Delicious.

                                                              Steamed & or fried vegetarian dumplings & pot stickers - self-explanatory.

                                                              Various vegetarian noodle, soup, & rice dishes.

                                                              Seaweed salad - a favorite of mine at this particular restaurant.

                                                              It's all going to depend on the restaurant & the depth of their vegetable cooking skills & aim to please.

                                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                Thanks. I'm going to try the Vegetable Tempura and a noodle bowl. What kind of sauce comes on the hibachi vegetable dinner? I saw that on the menu. Anyway, I'm going to give it a try, I just asked on a local board and was told the food there is great.

                                                                1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                  Whatever the restaurant has decided. This is not traditional Japanese food as others have mentioned. It would be interesting to know if the chef is even Japanese.

                                                                  1. re: PAO

                                                                    Probably Native American, it is on an Indian reservation a little ways out of town. It's the only Japanese restaurant in the area unless I drive 2 hrs or more.

                                                                  2. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                    I've never been served a sauce with hibachi dinners. There's definitely seasoning in it, but no sauce that I'm aware of except for the usual soy on the table. But again - this is going to differ from restaurant to restaurant.

                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                      Thanks. I think I'll stick with the noodle bowl and the tempura. Possibly the soy garlic noodles, but do restaurants usually serve those warm or cold? I don't want them if they are cold noodles.

                                                                      1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                        I googled hibachi and I found a lot of restaurants even as far as Florida that have similar menus with the teriyaki and hibachi bowls. I guess with the hibachi noodle bowl you get a ginger sauce? Maybe hibachi is a whole different kind of restaurant than regular Japanese? Like I said, most of the menus are similar to the one in my area.

                                                                        1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                          I would think this is true, what I researched indicated a ginger sauce. It is definitely not real Japanese, but rather westernized Japanese which is fine. They are calling themselves a steakhouse so the hibachi likely refers to the small grills which the meat might be cooked on. There are many chains of various names that are in mall food courts or on their own that would have similar menus. The bowls of things on rice or noodles would be slightly more Japanese then say wontons and sweet and sour chicken are blatantly Chinese. Teriyaki is typically only used on chicken in Japan, but the sauce on anything will give you an idea of what it tastes like, and it is typical to have it on more then just chicken in North America. Try some of the sushi, its again very North American, but will give you an idea anyways.

                                                                          1. re: TeRReT

                                                                            Teriyaki is typically used on fish in Japan. It is a glaze, not a sauce. Using it on chicken came about in the US and found it's way back to Japan. But fish is the standard.

                                                                            1. re: Silverjay

                                                                              My fiancee would disagree with you completely on this, nothing has agitated her more in our travels of Canada and Australia then the improper use of Teriyaki sauce and its inclusion with beef. She maintains its primarily used on chicken here, though fish is possible. Agreed its a glaze and not a sauce.

                                                                              1. re: TeRReT

                                                                                Using it on chicken and meat came from a Japanese Kikkoman executive based in the U.S. in the 1970's as a way to sell more soy sauce to Americans. It caught on and made it's way back to Japa in. However dishes like buri-teriyaki are examples of standard fish preps. If your fiance is younger than say 40, she may have a more recent take as chicken teriyaki has been popularized by fast food and family restaurants in Japan, not to mention cookbooks and depachika counters.

                                                                                1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                  she is under 40 so that is entirely possible

                                                                        2. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                          Various noodle dishes are served hot or cold in Japanese restaurants.

                                                                          Menu will clearly state which are which.

                                                                          1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                            If the noodles are going to be served cold, it will say that in the description - as in "Cold Sesame Noodles". That's one thing that I've found all restaurants are good about

                                                                          2. re: Bacardi1

                                                                            Bacardi, what do you mean by hibachi? Because it really isn't a term that is used correctly in America. Benihana called his style of cooking hibachi, but it is really teppanyaki. Cooking on a large flat metal griddle heated by gas from below. Hibachi is a small charcoal grill. In teppanyaki, like at Benihana style Japanese steak houses there are several sauces provided, on the side, for dipping in. But no sauce is usually on the meat/seafood ahead of time. One is a ginger based sauce. The others cann be soy based, etc. They are thin and not sweet or sticky.

                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                              Oh for heavens sake - do you really feel a primal need to get into semantics here about Japanese cooking here in the U.S. & use "Benihana" as an example?? Really?? Whether it's called "Teppanyaki" or "Hibachi", you'll most likely end up with the same thing here. You must live in Japan. Oh no - because even in Japan they use each nomenclature. Go figure.

                                                                              I cook authentic (or as authentic as I can get) Japanese cuisine frequently, & also - luckily - enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine at a local restaurant.

                                                                              I seriously believe you know exactly what I was talking about & are just interested in starting an argument that isn't going to help the OP at all. Just your ego.

                                                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                Not trying to start an argument. Just trying to make sure the OP knows the difference. relax.

                                                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                  As JMF noted, they are not the same thing. Hibachi is a grill with direct heat. Teppanyaki is a griddle- heated flat surface. The terms are not interchangeable. I've never heard the word hibachi used in Japan though. They usually say "shichirin". My wife, who's from Tokyo, says that hibachi is like a stove for heating a room. But they used to, and perhaps still do, sell little home hibachi cooking sets here in the States.

                                                                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                    Yes - I know the difference. But here in the U.S., the nomenclature is used for the same thing. If you go to a Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse (& 9 out of 10 Japanese places use the word "Hibachi" in their name), you'll be seated around a Teppanyaki griddle - not an open-fire hibachi grill. You can purchase little cast-iron hibachi grills for home use, but I've yet to see even ONE in a Japanese restaurant. Korean restaurants, yes; Japanese, no. Yet most Japanese places still call their open-griddle cooking "hibachi-style", with a handful of "teppanyaki" thrown in here & there. Go figure.

                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                      Apparently this restaurant is what it's supposed to be because if you google japanese hibachi style restaurants they all have similar menus, even in bigger places like Florida and NJ. Can somebody please post a link to a menu from your favorite japanese restaurants? It seems like there must be different types of japanese restaurants. This one sounds delicious for what it is. Today I found an article with a great review in it that explains all their food and sauces. It had a link to their facebook which shows several pictures of the food. You basically pick teriyaki or hibachi soy type sauce, they grill up the meat I guess and put it on noodles or rice. Or you pick tempura meat or vegetables that comes with a spicy creamy sauce. I'm not sure if that's on noodles or just plain?

                                                                                      1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                        This is a fairly standard upscale izakaya menu from a place in NYC --> http://www.aburiyakinnosuke.com/dinne... . They use the correct term "shichirin" for the grill it yourself items.

                                                                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                          Thanks. Yeah, they are two totally different cuisines it seems. The only things they have that are similar I think are the Tempura and the Teriyaki Salmon. I have no idea what most of those things are! It would be fun to try an authentic japanese buffet, that way I could try a lot of different things. I'll have to search and see if there is one anywhere near here.

                                                                                          1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                            JJ, there is no such thing as an authentic Japanese buffet.

                                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                                              Why not, they don't have buffets?

                                                                                                1. re: JMF

                                                                                                  John, buffet dining in Japan is called "Viking style". It's true they tend to be not-so-authentic Japanese food and more of either an eclectic mix of offerings (usually some Western, some Chinese, some Japanese) or something like pure Chinese or Indian food buffets. But there are also yakiniku and catch-all Japanese ones as well. We used to go to one that had all you can drink draft beer.

                                                                                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                                    I meant here in the States, as JJ said. She wanted to find one near her. Never heard of a Japanese buffet in the States. Have seen Korean markets selling sushi, bu not the same thing.

                                                                                                    1. re: JMF

                                                                                                      There is a Japanese buffet chain called Todai. Used to be a branch in the 30's in the city. Not sure if it is still there. I think there is one called Ichiumi as well. Company that runs them is Korean I believe.

                                                                                                2. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                  I have to agree that I've yet to come across a "Japanese buffet" (except for one extremely BAD one). Some Chinese restaurants that have buffets may offer a couple of Japanese-type dishes like tempura or soup, but Japanese cuisine really doesn't lend itself well to buffets. The food should be fresh, not sitting around in a steam-tray for hours. (Although frankly - no cuisine really lends itself well to all-day buffet-style - lol!).

                                                                                              1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                What you want is an authentic izakaya, probably -- this is a gross simplification, but izakaya = kind of like tapas -- small plates, go with a group, try lots of things.

                                                                                                  1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                    "Tapas" are sort of like "bar food" in Spain. Little "small-plate" dishes of all sorts of assorted goodies - high-quality marinated olives, braised mushrooms, spicy shrimp, snails in garlic, anchovies & roasted red peppers, etc., etc. Sort of like little appetizers. Parts of Spain are covered with little "Tapas Bars" - places where you can stop in for some good wine, conversation, & loads of these "little dishes". "Tapas" are also popping up here & there in various U.S. Spanish/Mediterranean restaurants, although far less casual (& more expensive) than in their homeland.

                                                                                                1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                  Everyone keeps telling you that the place you are investigating has very little, if anything, to do with authentic Japanese cuisine. Let it go: it doesn't mean it can't be delicious in its own right.

                                                                                                  Silverjay and Bacardi1 are very knowledgeable. See their posts above and below.

                                                                                                  Or do some basic googling to help expand your culinary adventures beyond your isolated small town. Enjoy expanding your horizons: your life will be all the richer for it.

                                                                                                  FWIW - here is my favorite Japanese restaurant. Actually it is my current favorite restaurant period.

                                                                                                  http://15eastrestaurant.com/home/menus/

                                                                                                  1. re: thegforceny

                                                                                                    "Let it go?" I don't understand this place. I thought proper etiquette was to answer back when someone is talking to me. I guess I just don't belong here. Why do you have to make somebody feel bad? I thought we were just having a conversation. Thanks everybody for your nice comments, but like I said, this isn't the place for me. Why would someone want to go to a forum and end up feeling bad. No thanks. Thank you to the ones who helped me learn a bit about japanese food, I appreciate it. Bye.

                                                                                                    1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                      The only thing you have to understand about etiquette vs. CH is that the majority of us try to be, and are, quite respectful. A differing view does not neccessarily a fight make. I can see why you feel slighted, but I also see that you've recieved a kind of gift: a pretty heavy-duty tutorial from two of the most-knowledgeable CH's. The stuff to "let go" is the inferences......take what applies; leave the rest where it belongs, in the compost container. You do need to have a fairly thick skin to play here, that's true. But you will get information firsthand that you'd never get elsewhere. I encourage you to hang around. It takes all kinds. :)

                                                                                                      1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                        "let it go" didn't seem to me to be intended as a criticism of your comments, I think gforce meant that people are telling you that this particular restaurant isn't authentic japanese, but in your case that's the restaurant you have access to so ignore the people telling you it's no good! It's useful for you to know that if you tried a different japanese restaurant, maybe in a big city, it could be quite different from what you get at your place.

                                                                                                        if it were me, i'd go for the veggie tempura then the garlic shrimp and scallop plate, and i'd ask them to do me a salmon skin roll without the cream cheese. the salmon skin will (should) be all crispy and tasty, similar to the skin from a roast chicken.

                                                                                                        1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                          Jen, please don't abandon this question. Eat there, enjoy it, but please be aware that it's not really Japanese food.

                                                                                                          Many of the people responding to you have authentic knowledge of Japanese food, and they are worth listening to. But where you are, authentic Japanese (and Thai) food just isn't available.

                                                                                                          Nonetheless, keep eating. Google things, read cookbooks, listen to Chowhound, and life will be good.

                                                                                                          1. re: sr44

                                                                                                            There are many 'tweens, teenagers and young adults like yourself who post here looking for advice and guidance in expanding their palates beyond their immediate surroundings. It changes one's life to experience cultures through their cuisines. Keep at it and have fun!

                                                                                                            1. re: sr44

                                                                                                              And remember that Japanese food - like any other cuisine - does vary a lot: there are noodle-based cuisines, and seafood, and warming winter stews, and other regional variations. I like shabu-shabu -meat and vegetables cooked at the table in broth - in cold weather, cold soba (noodles) in warm.

                                                                                                              One of my favorite US Japanese (and I use the term loosely) restaurants, now defunct, was an all-you-can-eat sushi place that had mediocre sushi but a good selection of Cantonese/Cantonese-American dishes which were pretty good. And macaroni salad and jello - go figure.

                                                                                                            2. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                              I don't know why you feel bad or insulted. Except for a brief detour between some of us into the semantics of Japanese grilling styles, I think everyone here has been trying to be helpful.

                                                                                                              In the long run, the only way you're going to be able to find Japanese dishes you like is going to be to jump in & start trying them. Some things you'll like; some you won't. Remember that food is always going to be based on personal preference. Many things that I love, you may hate, & vice versa. That's just the way it is.

                                                                                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                +1 on what Bacardi1 says about Japanese food. Just jump in and start trying it. Also, for things you don't like at first, give them another try in a few weeks. It may take a while to acclimate your palate to Japanese food, but in the long run it is really worth it.

                                                                                                      2. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                        The style of cooking you refer to is teppanyaki cooking, which others have discussed at some length in this thread. It was invented sometime in the forties in Japan, and became popular mostly with foreigners. Many, including myself, do not consider teppanyaki cooking to be indicative of Japanese cuisine, nor do they consider teppanyaki restaurants to be Japanese restaurants.

                                                                                                        Here are two links, one to an excellent site that provides lots of great information about all things Japanese, and the first section on the home page gives an overview of Japanese food. The second one is on about.com and also gives you lots of information about japanese food. While it is primarily a recipe site, reading about how to prepare the food particular to a cuisine is a good way to learn about it and thus decide for oneself what one might prefer:

                                                                                                        http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e620.html
                                                                                                        http://japanesefood.about.com/

                                                                                                        1. re: janniecooks

                                                                                                          Thanks. It's almost as if they tried to fuse a steakhouse with japanese food and sauces. It sounds delicious though.

                                                                                                          1. re: JolokiaJen

                                                                                                            And it IS delicious. But I always order my Teppanyaki/Hibachi food off the menu & at a regular table because I can't stand the "show". If you sit at the "hibachi" table the chef always puts on a show - tossing knives around, eggs up into his hat, making "volcano onions", etc. It's fun for families with kids for the most part, but we lost our taste for it when chefs began insisting that patrons catch screaming-hot food in their mouths that the chefs would toss straight from the griddle. Once, while my husband & I were conversing, a chef did this without realizing we weren't watching him, & a mad hot shrimp hit my husband in the face & fell into his lap, dribbling hot oil all down his shirt front & ruining it. The chef just laughed & threw another one, which hubby did catch - burning his tongue & the roof of his mouth. It was ridiculous. Needless to say, we never went back to that restaurant, & decline to dine at the "hibachi tables" at all anymore. Don't need a circus with my food - just good food.

                                                                                                            I'll never understand why so many folks get their panties in a twist because a dish isn't "authentic". That NEVER bothers me one whit. Good food is GOOD FOOD. Period.

                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                              Many people are interested in exploring or enjoying the good food from another culture without "interpretative" twists that compromise authenticity.

                                                                                                              1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                                                Yet there is something to be said about having dishes "true enough" to a cuisine but "as one wishes to combine them with", or "new ways to approach the old ways" - as opposed to a rigid notion of what is supposed to be in a traditional, unchanging and thus fossilized "ancien régime" of the cuisine.

                                                                                                                Y'know, I wonder what traditionalists in Japan (and YOU, for that matter) think of kewpie mayonnaise... ;-)

                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                  Not following this stuff about rigid, fossilized ancient regime, traditionalists, and kewpie mayo. Japan has a very open and dynamic dining culture, but with naturally a particular Japanese sensibility to it. Like any culture.

                                                                                                                  I think many people are interested in eating food that is eaten in Japan and also experiencing Japanese dining culture.

                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                    The way I see it.... Optimally, you should try it first as close to authentic as you can. Then you can make adjustments as you see fit. But the basis for comparison should be the "real thing." Well, at least if you're going to say you don't like something or that it's your favorite dish. Ok, I'm tired, but I think what I'm trying to say is coming through.

                                                                                                                    1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                      Nothing that I have said in this thread is contrary to what I think you are trying to say nor to silverjay's second sentence in his first paragraph above.

                                                                                                                      In fact I think I said what silverjay said in that 2nd sentence of his.

                                                                                                                      I used to hold that the term "authentic" was the term to use. As time goes on I think "traditional" is a better term if one has to try to characterize certain properties and attributes of a dish or cuisine. I have come to appreciate that "authentic" is a slippery term and is a hard term to define. Teppanyaki is, after all, indeed authentic to the purposes it was created for. General Tso's Chicken is an authentic dish - in Chinese-American cuisine. Kewpie mayonnaise is an authentic food item - in modern Japanese cuisine...it just happens not to be a traditional thing found in old [ancien régime? ;-)] Japanese cuisine. There are any number of fiery arguments even here on Chowhound in many threads about whether "authentic" means anything at all.

                                                                                                                      BTW - I don't think one NEEDS to go to Japan and eat in a "traditional" Japanese restaurant to have a "Japanese" meal. Ditto "Chinese" or name-your-ethnicity meals. One CAN get a "Japanese" meal in a place OTHER than in deepest "ancien régime" Kyoto or Edo. (But perhaps not in upstate NY)

                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                        Authentic is what is eaten in Japan- sourced, prepared, and served as it would be there. It should be tacitly understood that what is eaten there may not date back hundreds of years or may be recently imported or appropriated.

                                                                                                                        There are restaurants here in the US that serve authentic menus. You can walk in and it's pretty much like stepping into Japan. I like to recommend these places to people. Some restaurants though, merely have a handful of authentic items. And some are just inspired by authentic but geared toward American. There aren't that many of the first. There are some of the second and there are ton of the third. NYC and LA seem to be the best locations for finding those first type.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                                                          So authentic Japanese cuisine would be stepping into a KFC place in Shinjuku and having the fried chicken there, which would be "sourced, prepared, and served as it would be there", and which would be "recently imported or appropriated". Interesting.

                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                            First, there is an authentically Japanese experience of eating at a KFC in Japan that's not replicated anywhere else. Especially around Christmastime. Beyond that, I don't think Silverjay said anything about authentic Japanese cuisine. Rather, authenticity in terms of an eating experience. No one would be so dense as to say that KFC represents Japanese cuisine. And the incorporation of mayonnaise (Kewpie or any of the competing brands in Japan) in the everyday eating of most Japanese can be considered an organic (or "authentic") development, just as the use of tomatoes and avocados are pretty much ubiquitous in many aspect of restaurant and home cooking these days. I think more Japanese find the use of shio-koji in contemporary Japanese cooking to be more of a surprise.

                                                                                                                            1. re: E Eto

                                                                                                                              He did. He said "authentic" Japanese cuisine is "...what is eaten in Japan- sourced, prepared, and served as it would be there..." and "...recently imported or appropriated...". HIS WORDS. So KFC in Japan would be authentic Japanese cuisine.

                                                                                                                              Yes, what you say about something like eating at a KFC in Japan especially at Christmastime (that "Christmas Cake"!!) is an inimitably "Japanese"experience - but not necessarily what one might mean as some dish that is found only in Japanese cuisine. That is all the more reason to be careful about what one means when one uses the term "authentic".

                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                Gosh. You're really nitpicking, and really misrepresenting what other people are saying here. I just went through all the above posts and it looks like you're inventing straw men to make an inane point.

                                                                                                                                1. re: E Eto

                                                                                                                                  It isn't inane. You pooh-pooh it but words do have meaning. The issue of what "authentic" means is also not a "straw man" of a point. You are free to dismiss it as you wish, just don't expect me to agree. Have at it, I'm done with this thread.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                    I'm not pooh-poohing your issue over the meaning of "authentic". I'm pooh-poohing your mischaracterization of what others are writing on this thread, and your ability to draw conclusions from your mistaken preconceived notions.

                                                                                                                                2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                  I think it's important to try and understand the spirit of what someone's point about rather than just the specific words alone; otherwise we may end up being many long paragraphs of legalese if we require that level of precision.

                                                                                                                                  For example, General Tso's chicken is indeed an authentic American-Chinese dish, but it's not an authentic Nigerian dish, nor an authentic Chinese dish. And I think that when most people call it inauthentic, they aren't saying that it's not authentically Chinese-American (or Nigerian), they're saying that's not authentically Chinese.

                                                                                                                                  In the context of the discussion above I think it's reasonable to assume that Silverjay is referring to authentic Japanese cuisines as Japanese cuisine it is normally and commonly practiced in Japan.

                                                                                                                                  "Authentic" isn't a particularly special word that demands more care than words like "classic" or "traditional." Unfortunately the same slipperiness apply. Is 500 years traditional? 50 years? 5 years?

                                                                                                                                  Separately, what's important is to try and understand the underlying spirit of the point being made. Of course one can disagree with those underlying points or seek clarification as one goes along, but a debate over the meaning of words aren't going to change one's impression that a particular kitchen changed a dish so much that it was no longer as delicious as the dish it was derived from, or the impression that the kitchen was trying to pass off something as one thing when it should be another.

                                                                                                                                  Cuisines evolve not only because of change, but because some changes are rejected while others are accepted. We're all open to change, but with that openness must come a need to critically assess these changes to see if they good or bad.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: limster

                                                                                                                                    As often happens, topics on authenticity can get testy rather than promoting further discussion. We're locking this one.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                    It's not that one dislikes something that is not authentic. It's that one gets something that isn't good or isn't as good, and the reason why it's bad is because the kitchen deviated from a good recipe. In some situations, there's also an intent to deceive, by passing on a dish as X when it is not.

                                                                                                                    Recipes evolve all the time, and critical thinking is required so that we can reject bad changes and embrace good ones. A straightforward way to decide is to compare it with the dish(es) that it was derived from. Because there are many ways to ruin a dish, and few to improve it, "not authentic" ends up being a common diagnosis.

                                                                                                            2. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                              In NYC, the terms teppanyaki, hibachi (shichirin), yakiniku, and robatayaki seem to be used accurately. So it depends on location. I linked above to Aburiya Kinnosuke, a popular restaurant that provides table side shichirin for grilling yourself. Takashi, a yakiniku place, also does grilling over bincho coals.

                                                                                            2. Stay away from lasagna in Japanese restaurants they never quite get the hang of it

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: redfish62

                                                                                                Lol!!!

                                                                                                Tacos as well. Yes, one of the worst "Japanese" restaurants in our area that I've ever eaten at actually offers Tacos - & on a buffet steam-table at that. I didn't need to try them - appearance said it all.