"Oh my gawwwdddd... I loooooooooooveeee Hibachi."
Then we go, and I get it out of my system, and basically get the itch for Hibachi thoroughly scratched. I leave, smelling of barbecue smokiness sticking to my clothes, reaking of garlic oozing from my skin, with my stomach bloated out to high heaven and wondering how I fit all that food in my belly. And it surely doesn't all fit, because it usually means a speedy trip to the nearest bathroom, stat!
But sometimes, when I'm really stupid and displaying zero self-control, I venture to arrange multiple return visits to the grill. Call me a sadist, but I think I secretly love having food tossed at me, and gunning for it like a starved trained seal at Sea World. I must also think that a stack of raw onion rings are the most brilliant thing in the world because a savvy Hibachi Master can turn them into A) a flaming Volcano of Onion, B) the smoky front end of a locomotive ("Choo Choo!!") or C) the source of the smelliest damn farts you have ever bore witness to, if you are foolish enough to bring your most immature and inebriated friends. (Which is why if you are ever hosting a Hibachi night, you want first right of refusal when one of your guests decide to RSVP... plus 9 strangers. But that's just me....)
Then I go home the next day, like I will today, geared up to finish off my Hibachi leftovers for dinner, and find myself thoroughly disappointed. See, without the searing grill, the pyrotechnics, the culinary antics, and a masochistic but funny Hibachi chef who missed the cut for Showtime At The Apollo... without all those things, the food is just.... food. It's not Ruth's Chris. It's just food that tasted incredible because the chef flipped it at your face and it conveniently landed on your plate and not down your shirt. Something about that dog & pony show makes it taste... well, good.
(Hey. Keep your dog and pony jokes to yourself, people.)So, Hibachi for Summer of 2008... done and done. And done again, unfortunately. I totally blew my Hibachi load for the summer. Which is unfortunate because when it comes to dining entertainment for a large group, your choices are Hibachi, Chuck E. Cheese, and Medieval Times. If I'm missing out on some great group dining destination, please fill me in.
So until Summer 2009, I say Sayonara, Hibachi! Sayo-frigging-nara!!