Yamato take a bow!
Of course down the years it has always been considered chic to display ‘fresh catch of the Day’ or ‘fresh organic ingredients’ etc to the dining patrons, not only in the Far East but the Western food culture too, literally breaking down the walls and showing off their kitchen skills, and engaging customers and educating diners about the food they eat. Believe it or not, the Japanese did it the ‘Hibachi’ way even before this became a trend.I guess my twin brother who booked the surprise table here at Yamato – The Japanese hibachi restaurant at California knew what I wanted exactly! Yamato did not disappoint.
Yamato, at the Canyon outlet, has a large portico with Koi fish running around the little stream that surround the entry like a moat. This makes waiting for your turn fun.The large inner Japanese decorated space is divided between a rotating swanky Sushi Bar upfront,which allows one to pick and choose from a huge variety of servings as the colorful gourmet bowls get passed around at the bar. The private hibachi tables and traditional restaurant seating are placed eloquently inside.
The Hibachi Chef with a tall red cap filled our griddle-topped table, with musical precession. I loved the drama, the dazzling knife work, the dicing magic and of course the flying shrimp and fish, all eventually juxtapositioned to keep one’s eyeballs well glued to his show. The mushrooms, carrotts and shallots all danced around on the hot grill in step with the chefs knife. I loved the Hibachi Chef!
The fresh ingredients made their steaming entry accompanied by chicken, fish and meats . I chose the Scallops and vegetable combination. The Scallops made a theatrical entry and graced the flaming platter, perfectly charred on the outside and soft on the inside. Heavy oriental mustard sauce, ginger sauce and of course the Soy sauce played havoc on my apetitie, as I devoured all the servings with delight. The Chef shared each ones order with the other accompanying guests sitting at the table too. The finely diced filet mignon tossed around were juicy and buttery, lightly coated in a sauce that delivered a fine balance between salty and sweet, very delicately japanese. Special Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, Special Sea Bream Sashimi with Kiwi, Shrimp tempura and crab meat are some of the other exotic offerings ,all served with Miso Soup, Steamed White Rice and Green Salad. So much passion in the restaurant flying around. Many wooos and wowos overheard. I remember well,the air was thick with excitement. The Hibachi room at the Yamato will be close to my heart always.
The well stacked onion ring Volcano set my heart on fire and it was then the twinkle in my eye said it all…..that I was thoroughly enjoying my Birthday alright! Although watching one of these captivating culinary masters at work is enough to make anyone feel like a wide eyed teen, and Yes I did take that message home, one is only young as the heart is! The Hibachi is an ancient tradition still tantalizing the modern tastebuds, well, some things never get old, just like me!
The crew from the kitchen did gather to surprise me with a Birthday cake and being felicitated with a neon crown head band with a live birthday song, simply sealed those wonderful birthday years. No, it wasnt the Saki, the traditional Japanese rice wine sampled, but I was high on life and I have a lot to be thankful for ! The Birthday song claps still ring in my ears.
Family in Los Angeles made my birthday eternal! With drama, taste, culinary divinity and all the TLC engulfed with Japanese flair of the Hibachi show casing, the best in Japanese gourmet experience. You must indulge in this Japanese culinary extravaganza if you ever tour LA. I couldn’t have celebrated a better birthday surprise marking a milestone engraved with laughter and blessings. Nirvana! Thankyou Wilson. Thankyou Lily.Thankyou Victor. Yamato take a bow!