Travel, Teach, Live in Japan
Without a doubt, Japanese restaurants have to be one of the most fascinating places you can visit in the states. The only problem with these is that they are more scarce than peace in the Middle East. Finding a Japanese restaurant take an enormous amount of patience and a ton of luck besides. But once you find one, it will be like no other experience in food that you've ever had the pleasure of being a part of.
There is one misconception about Japanese restaurants that needs to be destroyed right away because it is not fair to these fine places. Japanese restaurants are NOT anything like Chinese restaurants. For one thing, Japanese food and Chinese food is nothing alike. But even more important than that, in the USA, Chinese restaurants are really not authentic. They're Chinese American dishes to appeal to the masses. Real Chinese food wouldn't sell to a man starving in the desert. Japanese food, on the other hand, is the real thing in the states. These places make Japanese food that's real Japanese food. And you better develop a taste for it, because it's like nothing you've ever eaten.
Again, finding a restaurant is not easy, but once you do, there are a number of things you can expect to find at these establishments. The setups are a little different from your typical restaurant of any nationality. Also, there are various types of Japanese restaurants, each specializing in their own special dishes.
For example, one specialty Japanese restaurant is the Japanese steak house. This is a real treat to not only eat at but to behold as they do the cooking right in front of you. I kid you not. You get to see exactly what they put in your meal and how it is made. Ask somebody at any other restaurant to do that for you and they'd laugh you out of the place.
Your typical Japanese steak house has a bar like setting. You walk in and sit down at what can only be described as a bar. If there were drinks behind it the setting would be complete. But no drinks. Just a lot of good food.
Behind the bar is their little hibachi. This is where they cook your meal. The chef comes out. No orders are taken because they specialize in one thing. That's what people go there for, the classic Japanese shrimp and steak dish. The chef takes an enormous amount of shrimp and right before everybody's eyes, starts to chop it up at lightening speed. This is basically the highlight of the evening, watching this master at work.
After he's done with the shrimp, he works on the other ingredients of the dish, doing the same. He then throws everything together with the steak and cooks it on the hibachi. When it's done, he takes a portion and puts it on plates for each person sitting around the bar. The waiter or waitress then takes each plate and passes it down the bar. Yes, this is the most unusual way you'll ever be served at a restaurant in the states. You'll never forget it.
Of course there are also your more standard Japanese restaurants, if you can find them, where you sit down at a table and they serve you authentic Japanese dishes like sushi. Either place you go to, you are certain to have the time of your life.