Yamato Japanese Steakhouse: Lima, OH
Nothing is more revered as an exotic food experience in White America as a trip to the local Japanese Steakhouse for some teppanyaki. My family and I decided to indulge in Lima, OH’s latest foray into the market on Christmas Eve.
Having been to several standard deviations of this restaurant in the Midwest before, I decided to judge this one accordingly.
The decor was underwhelming but the service was nice. There was a good gap in our drink refills as our original server got cut halfway through, but I’m not snooty enough to care. It’s not like I was at El Bulli (or ever will be, bastards . . .).
They had a typical menu, with the pop3 Japanese beer in bottles: Sapporo, Kirin, and Asahi. Also, the sake menu was small but approachable. I had the Hana Lychee (lychee being my obsession of the year). I found it to be quite delicious, and since the traditional sake flavors were very muted, my sake hating girlfriend really liked it too. To my disappointment there was no Shochu, but it is nearly impossible to find between the coasts anyway.
The meal itself was very typical. The rice was good but not as much texture as I would have liked. The salad with ginger dressing was good as was the clear soup. The noodles were delicious! As for the proteins, I enjoyed them all with the scallops being the best. Shrimp and steak were good, with the beef maybe being a tad over. Chicken . . I could eat, but wouldn’t order again.
The chef did all the typical routines; made a volcano out of onions, flipped food into your mouth, caught an egg in his hat. This is Lima, you’re not going to get the world class chefs.
All in all, this is the kind of restaurant that I won’t mind visiting occasionally and Lima’s did not do the Hibachi any injustice. For $50 our family of three was miserably full AND Japanese steakhouses are about the only restaurant that I can go to with a young child. They don’t fidget or fit, they stay entertained throughout the entire meal. If you have never been to one, I definitely recommend it . . . especially if you cannot get rid of your kid for the evening.