|Do the teppanyaki chefs still put on a show at GoJo?|
"We've gone to GoJo's since it opened and still enjoy the food. But there's no show anymore," wrote Larry, noting that when teppanyaki steakhouses like GoJo were all the rage in Kansas City, "most of their cooks/chefs put on quite a show. They were jugglers, percussionists and all 'round showmen, but now it seems that they just do a perfunctory basic cooking routine."
Larry and Barb want to find a Japanese steakhouse where the cooks still juggle pepper mills, flip cooked shrimp into the mouths of giggling patrons, break eggs ("Bad egg!"), build volcanoes out of raw onion rings and make bad jokes. I could hardly understand why -- as most Fat City readers know, I find the "show" at Japanese steakhouses to be sort of tiresome. I mean, once you've seen one flaming onion volcano, haven't you them all?
Still, I found it difficult to imagine that the grillmasters at GoJo, one of the city's oldest and busiest teppanyaki restaurants, would resort to a "perfunctory basic cooking routine" since it's more of a tourist draw than anything else.
So on an investigative mission, I stopped in last night to the
venerable Westport steakhouse to see for myself: Were the teppanyaki
chefs giving a show -- or not?
At 6:30 p.m., GoJo was packed with
customers, some even waiting outside for seats at
one of the grills in the warren of little dining rooms. There were
teppanyaki cooks slicing and dicing meats, but no flamboyant shaking of
shakers and such.
I asked two of the employees at the front about the status of the theatrics. "Oh no," a woman explained to me. "That's too slow. We have too
many customers. The cooks need to focus on cooking. No show."