Sunday, July 29, 2007

Do you like playing with your food? (OC/LA)

Every child in the world growing up was probably told by their parents not to play with their food. If you weren't... then your parents were probably
1) oblivious
2) the type of parents that believe negative reinforcement is bad
3) the type of parents that don't care what their children do and allow them to run rampant like little hoodlums/wild animals sending them to a clear cut path to juvie and a life of crime. (Just kidding).
4) really really into Teppanyaki!

Since my blog isn't I'm pretty sure you can guess what direction I'm headed toward. (psss #4).

This past summer I've actually had quite a bit of Teppanyaki. We've gone twice for work and once with my family.. which is actually 3x more than I've been the year before.

If you're not familiar with Teppanyaki please read this fine overview .
Its essentially a variety of meats/seafood/vegetables cooked on an iron surface right in front of you. The chef is usually rather skilled in the preparation of the food and is more than willing to show you the delicacies of his craft.
I.e. Ability to spin knives around, toss eggs into his hat, and create giant onion volcano's that make the former residents of Pompeii go "wow that's big".

The location we're at today for our blogging purposes is Kingswood BBQ in Rowland Heights, California. Opened by a former Chinese Actor, the restaurant is lined with pictures of him and a bunch of other famous Chinese stars. The restaurant itself is split into two, one side has hot pot (reviewed here by Kirk from mmmmm yoso) while the other said has Teppanyaki.

Like most restaurants, there is a lunch and dinner menu. The lunch portion is about 25% smaller than the dinner portion but it is 30-40% cheaper, which makes it quite the deal! The best part about lunch is that you rarely have to wait in line. Places like these get PACKED at night. Since every meal is a spectacle it tends to lead to pretty slow turnaround.

The menu consists of an assortment of steaks/beef/chicken/fish/shrimp/calamari grilled in each way shape or form. This place offers you Black Pepper sauce for your meat as well as just plain soy sauce, quite a few places give you zero option so you better love the crap out of black pepper.

After you order the cook comes along with his cart full of magical goodies.
You'll notice there is an ample amount of butter, shallots, lemon, and garlic.. essentials for traditional Japanese food (not).

While you wait for the food to cook, you're served a bowl of soup and some salad!

One of the pre-requisites with every good Teppanyaki restaurant is the freshly made fried rice.
A mixture of white rice, chopped green/white onions, egg, chicken, garlic, butter, and soysauce. Egg is scrambled and mixed in with the rice. After the vegetables, egg, and chicken are mixed in together an ample amount of butter is placed into the rice and then mixed again. Soy sauce is poured in.. and then your lovely chef will do a little trick with the rice. He'll make it into the shape of a heart, stick the spatula under it and pump it like a beating heart.

*applause from all the young women in the crowd*.

End result? a nice decent size bowl of tasty tasty fresh fried rice!
After the fried rice is made the chef usually places all of the meats as well as the Zuchinni and onions that will also be enjoyed in your meal.

After some more dicing and chopping and throwing and tossing and general mayhem that your parents would never let you do with your food your food is served!

My general combo at Kingswood is the mini-steak (no idea what a mini steak is) with shrimp in black pepper sauce. I can't really attest to the quality of the meat, but anything with that much sauce really is bound to taste good.

AFter your meat is served the chef will usually stack the onions up , pour some alcohol down into the hole created by the stacked onions, and set it on fire! Woooo wee, the volcano of doom!
Dice up the onions with freshly grilled zucchinis and you got yourself a tasty lil dish. They mix the vegetables with... you guess it! butter and black pepper sauce! Those japanese sure know how to eat healthy!

After the onions/zucchini's you get yourself a batch of bean sprouts with soy sauce.

The meal itself really is a fun experience. Its nice crowding a bunch of your friends in a semi-circle watching the chef do little tricks. The grand total of the mini-steak + shrimp? A paltry $15 at lunch!

A meal and a show for $15! Medieval Times eat your heart out!

Kingswood Teppan Steak House
18900 E Gale Ave #B
Rowland Heights, CA 91748


KirkK said...

Hey Clayfu - Nice lunch time prices! Looks a lot less crowded as well.

Charlie Fu said...

Kirk: yeah we actually got a table without waiting! other.. dinner time is a whole different beast!

charsiubao said...

ahh.. good memories. i rmember going there when it first opened for someone's birthday. i was littler then and it was the most exciting food show ever. even more so than medieval times, b/c i was even littler then and didn't know what was goin gon)