Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse is a Liverpool institution, and those who crowded the restaurant on a recent Monday night while we were there like it that way – the way it has always been.
As we placed our order for a hibachi dinner, my friend Patty commented, “I always get the filet. I love it. It is always the same. It is always good.”
You can expect that same experience – the traditional hibachi dinner with the flaming volcano, shrimp flying through the air, ginger dressing, fried rice. This is why all the young kids in the restaurant enjoy themselves so much. When I looked around the restaurant, it really was the same for everybody. There were a lot of smiles and a lot of talk. We took the opportunity to catch up with our friends and find out why Mark was banned from a casino for life. Curious? He won too much money.
But, hibachi-style dinners are not all Ichiban offers. More adventurous can try the Chef’s Choice dinner; a chef-selected assortment of sashimi and nigiri sushi, while Ichiban also offers traditional Japanese fare, like yakisoba, tempura and teriyaki. Bringing kids? Ichiban boasts a complete children’s menu that includes hibachi options or regular dinners, even catering to the simplest of palates with a noodle soup and steamed rice option.
The maki mono menu (seaweed wrapped rolls) listed some great combinations with equally intriguing names – like Stoned (an inside-out roll with tuna, yellow tail, cucumber, scallion and cream cheese), or the Smoke-a-Roll (smoked salmon, eel, cucumber, egg omelet and scallions). I had to wonder who thought up the names.
Their best seller sushi roll is called the Crystal Bubble (shrimp tempura, crabstick, lettuce and radish wrapped in soy paper and topped with quite spicy mayonnaise, shrimp, avocado, scallions and sesame seeds). If you want it without the avocado you just order the K-Mac. Personally, I don’t understand why anybody would get anything without avocado, but that’s just me.
Everyone received a warm greeting from manager Bridget Hodgson the night we were there. Patty’s daughter used to be a regular customer when she lived locally, and Patty recalled how lovely Bridget had always been to her, and how Ichiban had always accommodated her daughter’s gluten-free requests. Ichiban now offers a separate gluten-free menu. Bridget explained that they had many gluten-free offerings and wanted their customers with gluten issues to be able to order from a menu without having any concern about their selections. Our waitress, Amanda Fulton, was a bubbly breath of fresh air who provided excellent service without being intrusive. No wonder Ichiban has been in Liverpool so long.
302 Old Liverpool Road Liverpool, NY 13088
New Hours: Monday-Thursday 4:30 to 9 p.m. , Friday 4:30 to 10 p.m. , Saturday 12:30 to 10 p.m. , Sunday 12:30 to 9 p.m.
Favorite: The fried rice upgrade to the hibachi dinner — a salty, savory way to get your vegetables! I like to mix in the bean sprouts and the stir-fried vegetables and enjoy it all together.
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