Do you enjoy live entertainment with your meal? If so, this Grand Junction restaurant is for you.

We're not talking about a dinner theater. Until yesterday, I had no idea Grand Junction had anything like this venue.

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Yesterday, April 25, my group made our way to the Tepanyaki Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar at 752 1/2 Horizon Drive in Grand Junction. Most of our party had never heard of this business.

Why this restaurant is unique.

I had never been to a restaurant of this kind before. Until yesterday, my only knowledge of them came from TV shows and movies.

This restaurant features table-side grills where the chef prepares your meal directly in front of you. The photo at top shows our chef. Check out the camera blur. The video below was not our chef, but the "entertainment" was very similar.

First things first: What is the difference between Teppenyaki and Hibachi cooking?

According to the website benihana.com:

In the U.S., the phrase 'hibachi-style' is occasionally used to refer to what is really teppanyaki cooking. Hibachi grills are called shichirin in Japanese and are small, portable barbecue grills that are made from cast iron. These grills have an open-grate design and commonly use charcoal as their heating source. Modern hibachis in U.S. restaurants are electric so that they can be used to cook food indoors. By contrast, teppanyaki grilling involves using an iron griddle with a flat, solid surface to prepare food in restaurants in front of guests. Teppanyaki grills typically use a propane flame as a heat source. Guests are able to sit around the teppanyaki grills so that they can view the skills of the teppan chefs while they grill chicken, pork, beef and seafood dishes. The teppanyaki grill’s surface is also ideal for cooking finely chopped sides such as eggs, vegetables and rice.

How was the cuisine?

Personally, I thought it was extraordinary. We all ordered the same items. The preparation was excellent, and each persons selections were cooked to order.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely. They don't advertise with us, and I'm not doing any kind of an endorsement. Even if you were to take the entertainment out of the equation, the dinner was still well above par. The place is a long way from cheap, but the prices are very reasonable considering the quality and portions offered.

Ultimately, the evening was very enjoyable, far more enjoyable than the scene below.

As a matter of fact, yes, that crap really is necessary. I've had plenty of meals from a paper sack, or worse, that I've made myself. Where those options are concerned, there's not much to report. With this restaurant, though, it was a treat to watch dinner being prepared before your very eyes.

Please make the effort to visit this Grand Junction business. The quality is excellent, and the atmosphere is very enjoyable. Oddly, for a restaurant specializing in Asian cuisine, this venue has a true "hometown" vibe about it.

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