I went to the Garden Grill at the New Otani Hotel with my parents to celebrate my birthday. Unfortunately, my husband was out of town and missed out on the extravagant meal. They are a teppanyaki restaurant where everything is cooked in front of you on a griddle. It’s like Benihana’s, but so much better. Some of the seats have a view of their garden. The griddles can seat 4 people on each one. There are 2 side by side with a chef at each one. The meals are a little costly, but a lot of food is included. They also have an a la carte menu too. There is a full bar plus a variety of sake and shochu.
The set courses all include a choice of appetizers. My father and I had the sashimi which was simple, but good and includes 3 types of fish with fresh grated wasabi. My mother had the New Kobe Beef (American Kobe) Sashimi which is served with wasabi and soy sauce. They also had shrimp cocktail and a couple of other choices.
The most inexpensive course is $65 which comes with either the Prime New York Steak or Filet Mignon. My father treated me to the upgrade of the Wagyu (Japanese Beef imported from Japan) since it was my bday. This was very much on the expensive side at $152, but well worth it. I was salivating when I saw the raw steak with all the beautiful marbling. The beef is so fatty that it basically just melts in your mouth. It’s not something I’d be able to eat all the time since it is so rich! If you just want a taste, you can also order it by the ounce for $20 per oz. This course includes grilled veggies, grilled shrimp, salad, miso soup (tofu and nameko mushrooms), choice of steamed or fried rice, Japanese pickles and ice cream. If you order the fried rice (which I'd recommend), it is served at the end of the meal after all the beef is cooked and the miso soup is served with the rice.
My father had a course with the New Kobe Beef (American Kobe) which also included lobster tail instead of shrimp and a fish of the day plus everything that came with mine for $106. This beef was also delicious. If you can’t get Wagyu, I’d settle for this. This steak is also thicker than the Wagyu.
My mother had the seafood course which doesn’t include any beef. The seafood that was served was scallops, shrimp, lobster tail and fish of the day and of course all the other stuff that came with the two other courses. This was $85.
These are some of the highlights of the meal:
1. Watching the chef flip individual slices of paper thin garlic on the griddle until they get nice and crispy. This was delicious eating by itself or with the beef.
2. The onion is slowly cooked on the griddle which makes the flavor so sweet.
3. The chef renders the fat from the scraps of the beef then uses this as the base for the fried rice then places the bits of crispy scraps on top of the beef.
4. Watching the chef do his magic right in front of you. It’s not the cheesy show that you get at Benihana’s!
The chef was also kind enough to divide the steaks up, so we all could try each of the beefs. He kept saying that if we tried Wagyu it will be hard to go back to any other type of beef. With the cost, it isn’t quite so hard to go back to regular beef!
New Otani Hotel and Garden
120 S. Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA