restaurant review: hibachi j sushi grill

Keith and I go out to eat pretty often. Once a week or so. That’s probably not “often” in relation to some, but we never went out to eat growing up*, so once a week is often to me!

We were on a streak of getting sushi on Saturdays but haven’t gone in a while, so last Friday Keith suggested we try a new(er) place near us – Hibachi J Sushi Grill.

We have lived in Gibsonia for ~4 years now and this place has been at least 3 different things…all Chinese/Japanese. I’m not sure if they keep changing owners or if they are just trying different things, but this latest iteration opened a few months back. I was actually sitting in a parking lot taping up a box for UPS when a lady tucked a flyer under my windshield wiper. We’re not huge into buffets and already have a go-to sushi place, so it never piqued my interest until Keith brought it up.

When we walked in, there was a sign stating that they no longer served sushi. Okaaay, hibachi it is.

Now it’s not your normal hibachi set-up with grills in the middle…it’s the suburban strip-mall hibachi where they just make it and bring it out to you and you have to trust that they made the onion volcano and the flying shrimp for their own amusement.

What sets this place apart from others is it’s all you can eat. All you can eat appetizers and hibachi, I think it was $8.50 for lunch and $10.50 for dinner.

When you are seated, you are presented with a small paper menu. It lists the appetizers (crab rangoon, fried oysters, gyoza, salad, miso soup, clear soup, spring rolls) as well as the starch options for the hibachi (white rice, brown rice, fried rice, hibachi noodles, udon noodles).

The cool part about the appetizers were that you could order as few or as many as you wanted and our waitress kept reminding us if we decided we wanted more, we just had to ask. Which was pretty great. I LOVE crab rangoon, but Keith hates it, so I can never order it because I can’t eat 6 pieces of it. Here I can order 2 for myself and go to town. We also got fried oysters, which I don’t care for…but since it’s included in the cost, Keith can have as many as he wants.

For your hibachi, you pick your rice/noodle and circle it on your paper. Then you head up to what used to be a buffet. There are all your meat options. They had chicken, shrimp, scallops (I think), calamari, (fake) crab, maybe some sort of beef/steak I can’t remember.

You grab a bowl and fill her up. Then you head over to the veggies, fill up on whatever you want (they had quite a selection, much more than the standard onion/zucchini/mushroom of most hibachi places). Then you add a sauce in a little ramekin (again, great selection from spicy to plain). Then you hand your bowl off, go sit down and less than 5 minutes later they bring you your plate!

photo

And again, this is all you can eat, so you can go up as many times as you want. Keith and I only ate one plate, but Keith is very excited to go back once he is gaining weight again because he knows he could do some real damage. For 10 bucks!

When we were there it was only us and another table, but the food was great, service was great, it was a super fast and super cheap meal! I get why they ditched the sushi…if business is slow, it wouldn’t be cost effective..but like I said, we’ve got a sushi joint, it’s nice to have a hibachi joint.

And I can forgo the theatrics if it means I get my meal in 5 minutes as opposed to 25.

A+ Hibachi J. I will be back.

Hibachi J Sushi Grill on Urbanspoon

*Minus the occasional trip to Hoss’s with my grandparents.

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Spring Break!!!!!!!1

Which means beaches, beers and burritos.

Or…not at all. I didn’t even realize this week was spring break until Thursday or Friday of last week, but I lived it up this weekend!

Well, sort of. I lived it up for me.

Friday I got off work a little early, came home and took Daisy on a nice walk until we were chased by a scary dog. He barks and snarls at us when he is on his leash, so I was I was honestly terrified when I heard his owner yelling and saw him coming up the road behind us. I had completely resigned myself to being bit just before he turned around to go home. Probably the last time I walk down that road. Luckily there are a few different ways we can go, so it’s not a huge loss.

After Keith got home, we worked out and had some leftovers for dinner. Then, instead of retreating upstairs for homework, I went downstairs with him to catch up on tv. Parenthood and the Americans. I love Parenthood so much, I wish it was a 3 hour episode every week. Even it has gotten a little weird this season. The Americans is good too but kind of slow so far this season.

Saturday we woke up and got lunch then went to the meat market. We try to get there every few weeks but they are closed on Sunday which has been my usual shopping day, so I never remember. When you go there, they package up the meat, then carry it over to the register and ring it/bag it, so it wasn’t until I got home that I realized I bought at least twice as much chicken as I meant to. I asked for 4 chicken breasts, but didn’t realize theirs aren’t split like the ones in the grocery store, so I was a little shocked when I opened the bag. Also got some ground lamb for some fake Halal Guys food, yum.

Then Keith went home and I went to Target to add some more stuff to our wedding registry, kind of boring, but a necessary evil. And then more grocery shopping which is definitely evil. We were supposed to go to dinner with his parents, but his mom wasn’t feeling well so we went for some sushi instead. And then home to watch Before Midnight. We watched Before Sunrise and Before Sunset the previous two weekends and I really liked them all. Before Midnight was a little bit of a downer, I think Before Sunset was probably my favorite. I really like Julie Delpy.

double heart roll, wasabi roll. #sushisaturday

Sunday we were going to go out for lunch then bowling. We were discussing where to go when I saw Pgh Taco Truck would be in Fox Chapel so we headed out that way. I thought they were at a table tennis match and was impressed that there were so many people there but Keith corrected me that it was platform tennis, whatever that is. Still an impressive number of people considering how cold it was.

#latergram my @pghtacotruck haul from yesterday. wish I had more today.

After some delicious tacos, we went bowling and not to brag, but I kicked Keith’s butt both times! I also probably bowled my best two games ever, so it was really exciting. Keith bowled a third game and beat both of my previous scores, so I was glad it took him that long to warm up!

gettin' our bowl on. so far I am crushing keith.

After that I headed down to drop off wedding photos and head to my grandparent’s house. Got to see the family for the first time in a while so that was nice.

cutest nephew ever.

my other nephew, kevin bacon, is pretty cute too.

It might not be a very exciting Spring Break, but I really freaking needed a weeked of little to no responsibility. I’ll get another one of those in May, already can’t wait.

pittsburgh restaurant week – part 3

So before I finish up with our final stop during Pittsburgh Restaurant Week, a quick review of an unofficial stop we made. Unofficial because they were not part of Restaurant Week and not even a restaurant, but a new place we checked out.

After my terrible race on Saturday, we got home and I walked the dog while Keith worked out and then were were going to lunch. Upon checking twitter, I saw that PghTacoTruck would be at the Coffee Buddha from 12-3. It was almost 12, a quick google showed that the Coffee Buddha was only about 20 minutes away and I deserved tacos, damn it.

Keith wasn’t too into the idea of driving that far and asked if we could just go to Emiliano’s, but I pouted and he relented. We popped over and got in line and about 20 minutes later had some tacos! I got the ground angus with queso fresco, cilantro and onion and the spicy jerked chicken with avocado crema. Keith got the ground angus with cheddar jack and the grass fed steak with kimchi.

tac

They aren’t lying about the spicy jerked chicken, it was almost too spicy for me and I love spicy. The avocado crema was great though and helped cool things down. The ground angus was fantastic. Keith always makes fun of me for not wanting to branch out, but sometimes simple is best and that taco knocked it out of the park. I only tried the kimchi part of Keith’s taco and it was…weird. Not bad and pretty much exactly what I would have expected, but I don’t know if I am a fan of kimchi.

I got us some drinks inside to go with our tacos and the Coffee Buddha is just the cutest little place. I got Keith lemonade and got myself a dry rhubarb soda. Both really good! Definitely hit up PghTacoTruck if you see it, I think I will definitely make a pilgrimage back to the Coffee Buddha for it and next time I’ll bring Daisy! They have leashes and waterbowls on the porch for dogs. How cute!

Okay, enough about tacos. (Never enough about tacos.)

Our third and final stop for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week was Tamari. This was actually the only choice Keith made. We headed there after the baseball game on Sunday. (Well, actually the game was still going on, but it was in extra innings and we had a reservation.)

Tamari is Latin-Asian fusion and in Lawrenceville. Keith had wanted to try it for quite a while so we made our way over.

For their restaurant week special, they had a specialty sushi roll for $20.13. Since it was market price, I don’t know how much we saved, if anything, since we usually don’t order things without prices.

Tamari has small plates, and those places always confound me. I always want to order too much food and Keith has to reel me back in. We decided to get three things and if we were still starving, we could order more. We started with some ceviche with taro chips. It was delicious, but a pretty small portion and we ate it before I could take a picture.

Next we had a lamb quesadilla. It was a bit bigger, but a little bland. I laughed at Keith for dipping his pieces in soy sauce, but then I tried and that actually improved it quite a bit! Also ate too fast to take a picture and if you don’t know what a quesadilla looks like, shame on you.

Our final plate was the specialty sushi. It was shrimp tempura and asparagus with tuna and something else on top, covered with a spicy miso sauce and pico de gallo.

sush

(Also super dark in there, which is why I wasn’t too snap happy.)

It was delicious. The pico de gallo was unexpected yet totally awesome. I’m not sure I’d spend $20 a roll normally, but if it was $15 or so, I’d definitely order it again and again.

We left, for the first time during restaurant week, not sickeningly full, but perfectly satiated. Although a little pricey, I’d definitely go back to Tamari and try some other dishes.

PGH Taco Truck on Urbanspoon

Tamari on Urbanspoon