Kawa Sushi in Livermore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Do you like the hibachi experience? I hadn’t been to one in years but always remember thinking that it was so fun as a kid.
Recently Living Social had a deal for Ichiban Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar. The deal was spend $15 and get a $30 gift certificate to spend on food and non-alcoholic beverages. I had never been here so I thought this would be a good time to check it out. While they have several locations the certificate was only good for the Village Run Rd location, this is north of Pittsburgh. My kids had never been to a hibachi restaurant so I thought they would get a big kick out of them cooking food right in front of them. Well I have to say this was the worst restaurant experience we’ve ever had. I must say that my kids had been having a rough day, so they were not at the top of their game. They were still well-behaved but didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I expected.
It all started when we sat down at our table. There were four of us so they paired us with another family of four. They also had two kids. Just as we were sitting down the waitress was bringing their drink order. She spilled and broke a glass of wine all over the lady’s dress. Luckily nobody got hurt, but since there were small pieces of broken glass everywhere they had to move us to a new “table”.
We placed our order and then I had to listen to the girl next to me watch SpongeBob on their iPhone. (Not the restaurant’s fault, but definitely didn’t help my experience.) My husband ordered Spicy Tuna Roll from their raw sushi menu. We are not sushi experts, we are starting to expand our horizons into the sushi world, but this thing that was delivered to our table was disgusting! To those of you who know sushi better than us, when you order a spicy tuna roll it is supposed to contain a slice of tuna fillet or is it supposed to have some sort of ground tuna consistency? This one had the later. I seriously thought my husband was going to be sick at the table. Of course we could not finish our appetizer. The waitress took it away and at no point asked if we had liked it or made any comment about how we had left most of our appetizer on the plate.
The chef came out to make our meal. My children were completely terrified of the big fire! The meals come out with soup, salad, rice, noodles and whatever meat you pick. We had shrimp, scallops and chicken. The soup wasn’t horrible but pretty much tasted like salty, chicken flavored water. The salad was a small bowl of lettuce with a thousand island type dressing on top. I’m guessing my husband asked for chop sticks because they were never offered to me. The waitress brought water to refill the other lady’s glass but never asked if I wanted more water in my empty glass, so I had to stop her to get my water. The shrimp, scallops and chicken were well cooked, but the food in general didn’t have a lot of flavor. The portions were all VERY big, but it’s not the quality that you expect from an $$$$ expensive restaurant.
This place is advertised as a steakhouse/sushi bar and they charge you like a steakhouse/sushi bar. The quality of the food and service is on par with a chain restaurant like Chili’s. (actually I think you get better service from most chain restaurants) This was a terrible overall experience for us. I would have much rather spent the same amount of money and gotten a high quality steak at Morton’s. Needless to point out that we will NOT be returning to this restaurant and can NOT recommend it to anybody else. Maybe the fact that this place has these issues is why they offered Living Social deal to try to get more people in the door. We went on a Friday night, the certificate said to make reservations. When I called the girl said that there was no wait and reservations were not needed. I guess I should have known then.
Oh and to finish the story about our table mates, the girl who had wine and glass all over her… they brought the bill and charged her for all the drinks. Her husband had to ask the waitress if they could please not charge them for the drinks they spilled all over his wife!
Bottom line… Ichiban Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar is NOT a recommended restaurant.
Until next time…