I went out to eat recently at one of those Japanese Steakhouses.  If you’ve never been to one, you need to go.  This is one of those places where the cook the food right in front of you and perform tricks and entertainment while they are cooking.

The awkward part comes in when you find out that if you don’t have a party of eight then you have to share a table with other groups of people to fill it in!  How nice, I get to spend the evening with my date and then some Guatemalan family for their son’s 9th birthday.  It was even more fun when we got to sing happy birthday to him in English and then AGAIN in Japanese…my gut feeling is that the Guatemalan kid didn’t understand either version!  These moments always remind me of when the Japenese guys tried to sing “Deck the Halls” in a Christmas Story. “Fa ra ra ra fuck this!”

I have to admit that I was tense when I first got to this place.  First off, there are no windows in this place, it’s a dark eerie atmosphere, & they have that somber light music playing that you only hear when you’re getting a happy ending or walking past a casket.  Then to top off this dinner & a funeral…it’s me, my date, and 6 strangers all facing the same way like it’s the Last Supper and we’re internally surround by a bunch of guy’s from a country who 65 years ago we slam-dunked with a nuclear doomsday device and we expect them to be rational???  THEN, to test their rationality, we’ve given these guys machetes, flame-throwers, and a full body stove to work with! Half a century of grudge and now I have to pretend not to shit my pants while they perform a Rolling Stones pyrotechnic show on my Teriyaki Chicken two feet in front of my face!!!

And it doesn’t stop there…they continue to tease and torment you throughout the meal! They make a volcano out of the onions and start sliding it across the stove top while tapping it with their knife – pretending it’s a train “Choo Choo, Choo Choo”! We have kids in third world countries starving and I’m over here watching them turn my vegetables into a locomotive. It’s Pee-Wee’s playhouse meets the fuckin’ Exorcist in there! I go out for a nice meal and all of a sudden I got Bruce Lee with a Culinary Degree!!!

If you went to ANY other restaurant and the chef flipped your food into his HAT…you’d be walking out of there with a free meal! This guy threw my rice across the table, karate chopped a stack of zucchini, and then flipped a nice shrimp tail grease stain down my dress shirt and I ended up giving them 32% gratuity and a written apology from me and the 7 other newly converted Imperialists at the table!

Fuck that, I’m sticking to Chili’s from now on…it may not impress a date, but I don’t walk out as part of the WWII axis at the end of the meal either!