Steakhouse Offers Views, Upscale Cuisine

Contributing Writer

JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE: Guests watch as a Hibachi chef performs at their table at Zanmai, 1402 S. Peoria Ave. The restaurant, which opened last year, also offers sushi and steakhouse menus.

BLAKE AUSTIN for GTR Newspapers

Zanmai, 1402 S. Peoria Ave., an upscale Japanese steakhouse, Hibachi and sushi bar, has been calling Cherry Street home since September last year.

First opening with only a Hibachi menu, the restaurant since then has opened the steakhouse portion of its restaurant and has begun offering a lunch menu.

For those visiting the restaurant for the first time, it could be a bit confusing to locate. While the restaurant’s location on the second floor of a two-story building affords it beautiful downtown skyline views, it does not have much of a street presence on Peoria Avenue, and two commercial spaces operate on the ground floor. Guests enter from Peoria Avenue and must climb the stairs or take the elevator to the restaurant.

Once entering, guests can choose to dine Hibachi-style, with the cooking theatrics and group dining that the style is known for, or in the general restaurant and bar area.

My party chose the Hibachi experience, although the entertainment-focused dining style is better suited for parties and families, I feel. That point was made more evident to me by the groups that entered the room; besides a few couples, I saw mainly families with small children and large parties. Diners sit at large tables of eight each with a cooking station. The Hibachi room also features wide windows facing south and east looking down 15th Street. However, the food preparation is clearly the main event as opposed to the steakhouse and bar portion of the restaurant, which features downtown Tulsa’s identifiable skyline.

The bar side also features a somewhat intimate side room of tables as well as an outside eating area.

The Hibachi menu consists of a five-course meal: soup, salad, appetizer, entrée and dessert.

Prices start at $12. Entrée options include filet mignon, lobster, shrimp, chicken and combination choices.

My salad was a basic side salad with tomatoes and cucumbers. I chose roasted red pepper as my soup, which had a nice flavor and thickness. My companion chose the traditional miso soup, with the good, typical flavor of miso soups.

While the shrimp appetizer was nothing out of the ordinary, my companion’s yakiniku, a Japanese word for grilled meat, was tender and full of flavor, as was my salmon entrée. I finished my salmon meal days later at home, and its flavor was still in full force.

For dessert, our French vanilla frozen yogurt wasn’t anything I was particularly looking forward to, but it ended up being a nice finish to the meal and surprisingly satisfying with a cool, thick texture.

The steakhouse dinner menu offers high-end steak and seafood options with prices starting at $25. Entrees include a New York strip, rack of lamp, sea bass and black cod. The sushi bar, nestled almost secretly between the steakhouse and Hibachi dining rooms, offers an array of rolls in an even wider range of prices. Vegetarian rolls start at $4 and go up to $28 for the ZanMai roll.

Reservations are generally recommended, especially for individuals choosing to dine Hibachi-style. And even with a reservation, a few-minute wait will most likely be required as the other individuals who will be sitting at your table arrive.

Updated 07-17-2014

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