Once upon a time, I ate at a hibachi grill… You know the kind that I’m talking about? Where they cook the food right in front of you with some humor, some flames, some entertainment, etc.? Well, I was traumatized.
Normally an occasion like this wouldn’t result in an internal meltdown, but, you see, something happened at the end. There was a man sitting beside me, a stranger. When the hibachi chef executed his grande finale, tossing bits of food into the mouths of every man and woman gathered around the grill, my stranger neighbor managed to somehow both catch his food and reject his food at the same time. Propelling back out of his mouth, his morsel landed RIGHT. ON. MY. PLATE.
You can imagine that the earth felt like it literally stopped spinning in that moment, holding its place in an effort to assist me in composing my spiraling, repulsed gut.
Well, Otani is a Japanese steakhouse in my neck of the woods that has both the hibachi grill and a sushi bar. Needless to say, I’ve barely made eye contact with the grill, but make a beeline for the sushi bar every time. Listen. A few restaurants into your life as a sushi lover, you (and just about every other person) become a sushi snob and start making claims as to where the best sushi can be found.
I am no exception. It’s Otani’s. (And Bennett will back me up on that as he craved their selections from the womb!) I’ve never eaten ONE BITE of sushi there that wasn’t completely satisfying. The mango sushi is a must, but they’re all delicious and beautiful.
Equally compelling as the sushi is the shmoozing. I loved being shmoozed. Each and every time that I’ve ever dined at Otani’s, in spite of the fact that I’m only ordering sushi at the bar, they immediately present me with 1) a salad with a yummy, homemade dressing and 2) miso soup. When I’m quite stuffed and ready ready for my bill, they bring out 3) just enough sherbet to remind me that a little dessert never hurt. And – oh yeah – none of that is ever reflected on the bill. Nope, it’s just a part of dining at Otani’s. They’re soOoOoOooo friendly.
So, needless to say, I’m thrilled that 1) they’re next door neighbors to Three Lil Monkeys and 2) they want to be advertised on Square Piece! Hopefully soon I can brave the hibachi grill. I hear that it’s divine.
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