SheKnows: Teppanyaki: Where Dinner is the Show!


Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.39.22 AMA version of this article called “Why you should try Japanese Teppanyaki for dinner tonight” was originally published on SheKnows.

What is Teppanyaki?
Teppanyaki ((鉄板焼き ) is one of my favorite things for dinner! I love when this Japanese style dinner is the show! The Japanese words literally mean grilled on an iron plate— teppan (鉄板) translates to iron plate and yaki (焼き) means grilled, broiled, or pan-fried.

Teppanyaki vs. Hibachi Grilling

Teppanyaki has a flat solid cooking surface more like a griddle and Hibachi uses an open grate grill. Hibachi is better for larger things as smaller finely chopped carrots, onions and rice will fall through this system. Hanjip is a Korean BBQ in Culver City while ROKU Sunset is teppanyaki! See my videos to see them both in action!

History of Teppanyaki in America

The first chain to bring Japanese teppanyaki to American was the “Misono” chain in 1945 shortly after World War II. Americans loved the food and flavor of Teppanyaki but also the chef who could juggle knives, tell jokes and set the entire grill on fire! In 1954, a famous Japanese wrestler, Hiroaki “Rocky” Aoki opened the first ‘Benihana’ teppanyaki restaurant in New York City and brought the teppanyaki experience to millions with its eighty restaurants around the globe.

I have been lucky to find amazing Teppanyaki chefs all over America from St. Paul to Palm Desert and from Guam to Los Angeles. Each one has a different flair but they never disappoint!

St PaulSaji Ya Restaurant  “Saji-Ya where festive meets intimate, and where local ingredients and selectively imported Japanese ingredients are show-cased through the passion of our Chefs. Our goal to serve you tasty dishes that are pleasing to the eye and to make you feel at ease with service that is always friendly.”

Palm Desert: Mikado “One of the finest Palm Desert restaurants, the ancient tradition of the Samurai lives on at Mikado, where knife-twirling chefs use fire and steam to create mouthwatering culinary art from the freshest meats, seafood and produce.”

Los Angeles: ROKU Sunset: “ROKU challenges traditional Teppanyaki to sharpened standards, combining a cutting-edge setting with exceptional ingredients and impeccable sushi. Teppan chefs prepare A-5 Japanese Wagyu, Matsuzaka beef, Santa Barbara spot prawns and other high-quality ingredients at interactive grill tables. ROKU’s menu offers new style appetizers, inventive entrees and select favorites from the iconic Sushi Roku brand alongside a vast selection of handpicked sakes, crafted cocktails and the largest selection of Japanese whiskey in the LA culinary scene.”

Where do you love to eat Teppanyaki? Let me know maybe I will go there next!

Find more tasty treats from my trips and travel tales on my website, We Said Go Travel, or my YouTube Channel. Happy New Year! Lisa Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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