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 Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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