If Benihana strikes you as a dated concept, take a cruise through Plano, where the combination of hibachi-plus-sushi in one location is alive and well, at places such as Geisha, Kobe, Japon, and Tomo. Hibashi Teppan Grill & Sushi Bar, one block from Galleria Dallas, just makes it inside the loop. This is a genre where bigger is better. Owner Steve Sohn, a wholesale jewelry distributor, has plowed nearly $3 million into this expensively lit, 12,000-square-foot emporium, where hibachi chefs clang their cleavers and bartenders hurl bottles into the air. While entertaining, these displays can overshadow the food. Between lighting slices of onion on fire, the chefs cooked the tender, teppanyaki-style morsels of chicken, scallop, steak, and shrimp skillfully, and they assembled fried rice before the customers’ eyes. But Hibashi’s secret weapon was its sushi. The slabs of fish gleamed, and the rolls were wrapped tautly with a perfectionist’s hand. Specialties such as “Monkey Brain” were exceptional and unique: a ball of diced crabmeat, mushroom, and raw tuna was wrapped in tempura batter and deep-fried. No pyro flash necessary.
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