Lakewood, CA 90712
verdict: it's aight
i went here recently with my sister for dinner. we were driving through lakewood and had hunger pangs. i remembered going to tokyo hibachi A LONG TIME AGO and faintly remembered it existed...it turned out it still did and it's still the same, inside and out.
there are two parts to this restaurant. one part housed their teppanyaki (benihana style) grill area which looked pretty crowded for a saturday night. there was definitely a wait for that side. my sis and i did not need a show to go along with our food so we opted to go to the side that had a sushi bar and an area for dinner. we got a booth without a wait and proceeded to peruse the menu. we decided to share the "love boat," an odd assortment of meats and tempura and also ordered sushi (maguro, albacore, and spicy tuna roll) for our appetizers.
good god when the "love boat" came out! jeezus. the "love boat" had too much food and seemed more appropriate for two burly, fat men to share as oppose to two asian women with normal appetites. this boat consisted of steak and fried chicken drenched in teriyaki sauce. there was also a pile of shrimp and veggie tempura, chinese style bbq pork (a.k.a. chasiu), and fried sesame chicken. too much meat and too many fried items. the pidly attempt at some salad and fruit in this order did not balance out the meal. i felt a little queasy and totally overwhelmed in grease. there was NO way we would make a dent in the food....and we didn't. we packed 80% of it in a box and took it home.
the sushi was ok. it was fresh but overpriced. the "love boat" was NOT so lovely. it's a great way for a restaurant to execute in quantity but not quality. just fry everything and give a lot of it...that would stop most people from complaining. we walked away 20 lbs heavier and $30 poorer in each of our pockets. i get it, lakewood is NOT a sawtelle or a little tokyo in los angeles, but that doesn't mean i will be easy on my judgements just because there's no other acceptable japanese restaurant in the area to compare it with.