We used to think that Steel had lost its luster. Not from any faux pas on the restaurant’s part. It’s just that so many new and shiny spots open up all the time, attracting avid diners like moths to an open-kitchen flame. But on a recent Friday night, the Centrum restaurant was still a scene, thanks in part to the presence of Hulk Hogan, who had come to dine at the sushi bar with his daughter. Hogan created quite a stir among the patrons—like a table of guys who couldn’t wait to put napkins on their heads, mimicking Hogan’s trademark bandanna, and snap pictures alongside the larger-than-life wrestler on their camera phones. Sheesh. But he was gracious.
Those of us who preferred to let the poor man alone dined on an assortment of Vietnamese and Japanese dishes—though to sample everything on Steel’s menu would take more time and calories than we could ever spare. We started with the signature miso-glazed sea bass. Always a winner, the soft flesh melted on our tongues like candy. Sea salt and chili pepper shrimp boasted crispy, oversize prawns still hot from the fry, but we got more heat from beef lemon grass, thanks to a scattering of sliced jalapeños.

We, too, sat at the sushi bar, enjoying the show as the chefs sliced, diced, and perched raw fish on a never-ending supply of plates. (The selection of sushi here, by the way, is seemingly never-ending, too.) “You girls like to eat!” said one when our server arrived with our entrees. Guess that comment would have been less embarrassing if we were famous wrestlers.

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