Had my first meal at a Japanese steakhouse this weekend, Taste of Japan, with family and friends, and I'm glad there were a lot of us there because I had no idea that it was intended as a "group" experience. The seven of us were seated around a rectangular table with a huge grill in the middle. One young handsomish waiter took our orders, but a different man was our chef. He made a show out of flipping utensils in the air and tossing eggs into his pockets, but he seemed to miss as often as he made it. He cooked our meals in front of us, grilling meat, poultry, fish, and veggies all on the large table grill. My favorite "trick" of his was the onion volcano (pictured), in which he placed onion slices in a pile, poured some oil down the middle, and lit it so it gave off flame and smoke like, yes, a volcano!
I had a "blue" martini; I have no idea what was in it, but it was advertised as blue and it was blue, so I was happy. The salad had a very good sweetish dressing, and the veggies were yummy. I had the Kobe Special, which was chicken and filet mignon (medium well), and it was quite good. I liked the way the chef delivered the food: he'd get the chunk of food on his spatula, say, "Filet medium well!," see who reacted, and toss the food at me (well, at the plate in my hands). One of our party shared a bottle of plum wine with us; good but thickly sweet. The place is so loud, it's difficult to engage in casual conversation, but I quite enjoyed my food and would go back again, with a group. (Don & I aren't the kind of couple that does well with enforced small talk with strangers, especially when you're stuck with them at a restaurant table.)