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Loren wanted a Japanese hibachi dinner for his birthday so we drove over to Kuchi Sushi & Hibachi in Tampa.  Being a Wednesday night, they only had two tables of diners and two hibachi chefs when we arrived.  The manager actually asked us if we were in a hurry because they could cook the food in the back while the two chefs were busy.  Instead we ordered some sushi to start off with and by the time the chefs were finished with the other tables, another family was seated with us so we got the full table side experience.

The soup came out first.  It was typical mushroom broth and then they brought out the sushi.



The rainbow roll was very tasty.  It’s one of our favorite rolls whenever we get sushi since it has tuna, salmon, and a whitefish.  This was the thing that really stood out for us for the entire meal.  Next up, salad and fire.



Our hibachi chef seemed to have the enthusiasm of a wet blanket.  He was going through the motions but really didn’t seem like he wanted to be there.  He was also really difficult to understand.  He spoke softly and fast with a thick accent so most of the “jokes” he told went right by most of the table.  I get that part of the show is to toss food for the people at the table to catch in their mouths, but when it’s very clear that you don’t want food tossed your way, I expect the chef to respect that instead of just tossing it anyway.  Loren ordered the steak & shrimp and I ordered the filet & shrimp which was a few dollars more.  There really wasn’t any noticeable difference in the meat because it and the shrimp were both overcooked.  The shrimp was kind of tough.  Loren also commented that the steak dipping sauce which is usually a tangy ginger type sauce was a lot sweeter than he’s had at other restaurants.



The dinner came with rice, veggies, and noodles, but we’ve definitely had better hibachi dinners at other restaurants.  There was vanilla ice cream for dessert and even it was on the icy side.  I like creamy ice cream, not ice cream filled with ice crystals.


Overall, there wasn’t anything about the experience that would make us want to go back.  Total bill with a drink was $61.

Kuchi Sushi & Hibachi
9206 Anderson Rd
Tampa, FL

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  • Filed under: Japanese, Tampa
  • I’m the first to admit that I’m not a fan of dining in restaurants where there are a lot of young children around, but having a little kid at the hibachi table at Arigato makes the dining experience a little more entertaining.  The chefs play up to the kids and really seem to get into the show more when there’s a wide eyed child watching their every move.

    We like Arigato more than Kobe when we’re in the mood for hibachi dining.  They started us off with soup and salad.

    Pretty standard for one of these restaurants.  Loren ordered the chicken, steak, and shrimp and I got the steak, shrimp and scallops.  Rice and veggies come with it and I spend so much time eating the rice and veggies that by the time the rest of the meal comes I’m usually quite full.

    Our chef was entertaining, the food was cooked well, and overall the meal was enjoyable.  I think I’d like it better if they limited the tables to 8 people rather than 10 because it did feel a little crowded.  Loren had to send back his iced tea and ended up not drinking the soda he got either because the fountain mix wasn’t quite right.  Overall service was pretty good though.  Total bill was $65.

    26508 US 19 N
    Clearwater, FL
    Arigato Japanese Steak House on Urbanspoon


    Ocean Blue

    Ocean Blue Sushi just opened up on McMullen Booth in the same space where several other restaurants have come and gone recently.  At first we were surprised to see another sushi place in the same plaza as Keiko (one of our favorites), only to discover that both restaurants are owned by Charlie.  We overhead a conversation where his son said if had any issues, he’d just walk next door and ask his dad. 

    The decor and atmosphere are very different between the two restaurants.  Ocean Blue is a big space with a large bar, plus they also have outdoor seating.  It seems to be catering to a younger, late night crowd.  There are a lot of items on the menu and we settled on 5 rolls and some salmon.  Loren also started off with a salad.

    All of the sushi was tasty.  We got a Mexican Roll, Ex-Wife Roll, Haha Special Roll, Rainbow Roll, and a Super Crunchy Roll.   Now, I love the super crunchy roll at Keiko and hoped for the same love here, but unfortunately, this one was spicy.  Loren liked the one here more, since it did have some spice to it, but I’ll be heading back to Keiko for my super crunchy fix from now on. 

    Loren commented that some of the rolls were rather loose.  They weren’t as tightly wrapped as they should have been and some of the ingredients kept trying to escape.  Overall, though, this is a great addition to our sushi choices close to home.  Total bill was $58.

    Ocean Blue Sushi Bar & Japanese Restaurant
    2475 McMullen Booth Road
    Clearwater, FL

    Ocean Blue Sushi on Urbanspoon



    We decided to try the teppanyaki style dining at Yuki Japanese Steak House tonight.  We ate sushi there the last time and we probably should have done the same tonight.

    They weren’t very busy, so we had the table to ourselves.   Usually I love the soup served at Japanese steakhouses, but this one had miso in it, so I didn’t care for it.

    The ginger dressing on the salad was also kind of weak.

    Our chef didn’t seem to have been on the job for very  long.  He went through the motions, but really didn’t have much in the way of skill or showmanship.  He also doused the food in way too much soy sauce.  The filet I had was horribly salty.  And then to top it off, the goody-goody sauce (the one that’s mayonnaise based), was more like ranch dressing than what I’ve had at other places.

    Overall, it just wasn’t impressive.  Even with a $25 coupon, the bill ended up being $70 for the three of us.  I’d go back for the sushi, but definitely not for the teppanyaki.

    Yuki Japanese Steakhouse
    13505 Icot Blvd
    Clearwater, FL

    Yuki Japanese Steakhouse on Urbanspoon


    We’ve eaten at so many loud restaurants lately, that it’s so refreshing to actually sit down to a nice quiet dinner.  We headed over to Kado Japanese Steakhouse in Tampa for dinner with our $25 coupon in hand.

    The restaurant was nearly empty.  There was just one table of 4 people when we came in.  Kado is so much less commercialized than the other Japanese steakhouses in town.  It’s like a small family owned restaurant.  As far as we could tell, the waitstaff seemed like generations of the same family.

    I have to say though, it did seem a little awkward to be the only two people at one of the Habachi tables.   The chef went through all the motions, but I’m sure it was a bit underwhelming for him too to not have a big tableful of guests to show off to.

    They start you off with a light, tasty broth.

    It had a nice mellow flavor and was served piping hot.  You can even see the steam.  Next up the salad.

    The ginger dressing was really good.  Since we needed to spend $50 for our coupon, we ordered some egg rolls.

    They were a lot bigger than I thought they’d be.  Good crunch, tasty filling.  I already knew at this point that I wasn’t going to be able to finish my dinner.

    Loren ordered the filet and shrimp and I got the Sumo which is filet, shrimp and scallops.  And of course, lots of goody-goody sauce. 

    The veggies, rice, and shrimp were cooked perfectly, the steak and scallops very tender.  It’s so nice to have a meal where everything is just incredibly well executed.  Believe it or not, we still hadn’t hit $50, so we just had to order dessert.

    I saw cheesecake on the menu, but when it came out, we were both surprised to realize it was deep fried cheesecake.  Wow!  I’ve never had cheesecake like this before.  It was slightly frozen in the center, but otherwise had a nice, crispy tempura shell all around it, plus drizzled in chocolate sauce.  It was an incredible ending to a very delicious meal. 

    After the coupon and with the tip added in, the total dinner was $44.  It was probably one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time for a very reasonable price.  Plus I have leftovers for tomorrow.

    Kado Japanese Steakhouse
    6821 W. Hillsborough Ave, Ste 9
    Tampa, FL

    Kado Japanese Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Japanese, Tampa