I have neglected for far too long to write a review for my favorite restaurant and what I sincerely believe to be the greatest Japanese Steakhouse (Arigato) in the known world.. For those of you ‘big city’ folks who believe that Benihana is the end all, be all when it comes to Japanese food you are sorely mistaken because yes I have been to one of those too. The appearance of the restaurant is always top-notch. It is very clean and I am always greeted by a friendly smile when I go. The hostess staff is very polite, the managers as well. The waitresses are well trained and do a wonderful job of getting the orders right. The chefs are wonderful as well and are well trained in steak and seafood preparation. The first thing that is brought to the table is the traditional ‘Miso’ soup.
The next part of the meal is brought after you get your drink. I know it sounds crazy to get excited about a salad, but my favorite salad dressing at any restaurant is served at Arigato. They have two in-house dressings: the chef’s dressing which is ginger based and the house dressing which is soy based. The house dressing is “to die for”. It is soy based but there is also a strong hint of onion in it as well. This may sound like an odd choice for a salad dressing but it really works and works very well. I love the house dressing so much that I usually order a side cup to dip some food in for a dipping sauce and whatever is left over I drink because it is way too good to waste! By the time you get your salad it is time for the chef to come out to your table. The first food that is cooked hibachi style are the vegetable appetizers which consists of grilled onions and zucchini. They are the prelude to the greatest appetizer in the world, which is the appetizer shrimp. Before I am a Japanese steakhouse fan I am first and foremost a seafood lover. I know it sounds strange but what most people consider a great steakhouse I consider it for their seafood. There are two reasons that I think Arigato is the best seafood restaurant around is for two things that they serve. The first one is the appetizer shrimp. For connoisseurs of shrimp it is the best and freshest that is available. The next part of the meal is one of the most anticipated: the fried rice. It is very good and simply done; rice, soy sauce, corn and scallions. It is not over done with thirteen kinds of vegetables and fried egg. I know this doesn’t sound like a reason to call it ‘anticipated’ but there is more; this is when you get to enjoy the dipping sauces that you ordered with your meal. You get to pick two out of three. The three choices are ginger, mustard and ‘white’ sauce. I have already mentioned that I am not a fan of ginger so I naturally pick the mustard and white sauce. The mustard is great but the white sauce is by far the best sauce for dipping seafood in known to man. But here is the really great part that ties the white sauce into the rice that is served; it is also an amazingly great complement to the rice. I have jokingly called it ‘Japanese gravy’ for a long time.
After the rice if you are not already stuffed, they serve you your choice of entrée. I have tried everything at Arigato from the red snapper, to the salmon to the filet mignon and I can honestly tell you that every entrée is great, but I have saved my second favorite reason for calling it the best seafood restaurant for now. For those who enjoy scallops, they are a must have experience. They are not imitation ‘skate’ pieces which are what some restaurants try to pawn off on unsuspecting customers. For those who really want them done right, when your chef verifies your order, tell him that you want them cooked ‘well done’. This may sound strange but when the chefs cook them ‘well’ at Arigato they use butter and soy sauce and by cooking them longer it creates a wonderful caramelizing effect that is amazing!