I decided to give the Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse a try on a recent Saturday night because they cook your meal right in front of you on a giant cooktop and I thought it would fun for the family.
The restaurant is somewhat minimalist and casual, with a wonderful fountain in the entry and a tapestry of Mount Fuji.
The dining room has six or seven cooking stations, each with a bar wrapped around it and seating for eight diners. They like a full station, so don’t be surprised if you are seated with another party.
The restaurant has a full bar and serves sake.
For dinner, my husband, David, ordered chicken with shrimp ($21), I chose shrimp and scallops ($23) and my son went for the hibachi chicken from the kids menu ($10.50).
All the meals come with seasoned, fried or steamed rice, soup and salad. I also ordered vegetable tempura ($6.99), which was not on the menu. Just ask for it.
Small portions of soups and salad — which was served with a wonderful fresh ginger dressing — were basic and pleasant.
The tempura, which arrived quickly, was perfect. Onion, mushrooms, zucchini spears and sliced sweet potatoes were light and crisp with a lovely sweet and salty dipping sauce.
While we were finishing our tempura and salad, the chef came out with a huge cart of food.
The chef was quite an entertainer, telling lots of jokes and performing tricks while he cooked. He had all the kids in giggles.
He started sauteeing zucchini, onions and mushrooms and frying the rice for those who ordered it, seasoning the whole time he was cooking.
He dished up some “yum yum” sauce (a soy ginger dipping sauce) and “happy” sauce (a little like ranch dressing with some additional seasoning).
After serving the veggies and rice, he moved on to the seafood and meat.
The shrimp and scallops were fresh, well seasoned and perfectly cooked, and I thought the serving size was generous.
My husband and son both enjoyed their chicken, a mix of breast and thigh meat.
The chef finished off our meal with a saute of cabbage and bean sprouts. I really loved the fact that there was so much vegetables, something you don’t see at American steak houses.
I finished my meal with a scoop of green tea ice cream, which was fantastic.
I love this restaurant because it is so different. The hostess and chef were both so nice. I think Kyoto would be an excellent “special occasion” restaurant. Our family had a great time.
Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse
1205 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett; 425-438-8683.
Hours: 4:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Vegetarian options: Yes.