The Olympics have been held in the US only eight times during the event’s illustrious history, but you’d swear you were walking into a world-class venue the moment you parked your car at Kasai Japanese Steakhouse in Old Town Scottsdale. Two large, flaming lights on each side of the entrance road greet you, and a gorgeous water feature sets the tone for a fun-filled evening of delicious food and culinary craftsmanship.
Although there are no sports competitions within the premises, Kasai certainly provides the level of excitement synonymous with such entertainment. I am referring, of course, to the Japanese cooking style known as teppanyaki. Using an open flat surface grill, chefs cook many different items simultaneously in front of the leads. In fact, chefs often incorporate diners into their routines by throwing food into people’s mouths or creating a fiery display of gastronomy.
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If the restaurant’s ambiance isn’t warm to you, one look at the bar’s menu will do the trick. In keeping with Kasai’s East Asian traditions, you can find plenty of cultural cocktail options that range from sake pitchers to authentic Japanese whiskeys, such as Sherry Cask for 18 years ($50).
If you’re like me, you might be the type to look at a cocktail menu and not understand the difference between the options. Kasai unraveled the menu mystery by including detailed explanations of their drinks, highlighting items like aroma, palate, and food pairings to help you decide.
As for the food, you could say this Japanese restaurant learned from its time studying abroad, because you won’t come home hungry after these American-sized portions. For starters, there’s an extensive list of appetizers, including lump crab rangoon ($11) and wagyu sliders ($13).
If you choose to go the teppanyaki route, prepare for a seven-course meal complete with mushroom soup, house salad, shrimp appetizer, fried rice, seasonal vegetables, and a soft pineapple Dole dessert. Your only responsibility is to choose your protein from a selection of filet mignon, New York fillet, chicken breast, tofu, calamari steak, salmon, scallops, sea bass, lobster or wagyu fillet.
Of course, there are plenty of alternative options if you choose to relay your teppanyaki experience. For example, if you’re a fan of wok and noodles, there are plenty of delicious dishes to choose from, such as kabayaki scallops ($24) or Szechuan beef ($18). And if a serving of soft pineapple isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry. Choose from a plethora of mouth-watering desserts, such as the Brown Butter Cake ($8)—a delicious butter cake served with bourbon-caramel toffee ice cream topped with seasonal berries and a mixture of raspberry-caramel sauce.
If you are looking for beautiful decor, lively atmosphere and the highest quality of service and food, then Kasai Japanese Steakhouse is a must-visit in the valley.
Location: 14344 n. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 4 pm – 9 pm; Friday and Saturday,
4 PM – 10 PM Closed on Mondays.