last night i went to hibachi for the first time. the occasions were plentiful: arabella's little brother was in town, shep's pals were in town, chadley was hungry, and shep and arab wanted to celebrate squirmy mcgee (our fetus). we ended up at wasabi, a hibachi grill in norfolk. from the outside, it looked like one of those shady restaurants that i tend to always suspect are fronts for drug circles or brothels, but once inside, it was more spacious and classy than i'd have imagined. (i am still 98% certain that this discount bread shop by our apartment is drug central though - i mean, the place has a huge property, is open approximately 40 hours a week, employs at least three ladies for those whole 40 hours, and sells $1 bread. it just doesn't add up.)
since we had a group of eight, we had our own table/grill, which was nice because then we wouldn't have to stare across the table/grill at strangers. except our table/grill was facing another table/grill, and at one point i looked up and felt like we should perform something for the audience over there. we didn't.
the waitress came and i ordered the teriyaki chicken. then she brought onion soup, which was just some weird broth, but i liked the shape of the spoon so much that i ate a lot of it. next was a house salad, which had the most amazing dressing on it. i really could have had that to drink. it would have tasted better than the water i had picked. i just hate water.
then the hibachi chef arrived. he flipped his utensils around like nun-chucks, and i was mesmerized. he poured the rice onto the grill and did some fancy egg cracking, and i was in awe. then he lit the whole thing on fire and i was amazed. he also made a little tower out of rings of onions, then made fire spurt out of that and shouted "JAPANESE VOLCANO!"
then he cooked some meat, which is something i could have done myself. not impressive.
finally, he cooked some shrimp and tossed it into people's mouths. i didn't really want him to toss any at me, and my reasons were threefold: 1. i don't really like shrimp, as you may recall. 2. i've never really been good at catching even smaller things - like m&ms or popcorn - in my mouth, so shrimp seemed impossible. 3. i was a little afraid it would be super hot.
well, chadley caught some, no problem. arabella looked like a little seal catching hers, no problem. so i decided sure, why not? he tossed a shrimp at me and it bounced off the corner of my mouth and splatted on the floor. he tried again and it hit my teeth and plopped on the table. lame. i did not wish to further subject myself to this takahirofoolery (that's tomfoolery with tom replaced by a common male japanese name, in case you're wondering), so the chef moved on.
in conclusion, the food was delicious (except i wish i'd picked the steak and i still don't like shrimp), the chef was entertaining, and i do not have a future in catching food in my mouth, though i'm not sure that anyone really does. this is a first worth repeating.
(i don't know why i'm making that face.)