Seven people walked into a hibachi restaurant in Myrtle Beach.
Not one of them order the same thing as anyone else. Everyone left stuffed.
While we’re not ready to get into the comedy circuit just yet, we do know food.
And, ladies and gentlemen, that’s where we begin a journey of what we long ago discovered to be arguably the most consistent and dependable hibachi joint in town.
Lil Tokyo Steakhouse and Sushi Bar is so good and so reliable that we’re often surprised this place hasn’t closed down yet. Why? Because what you get for what they charge doesn’t really make sense.
Here’s a seven-deep example of what we’re talking about.
Five of us went with traditional hibachi (we’re going to save you from reading about a couple of kids who haven’t yet developed a proper palette). Of those five, one went chicken and shrimp, another went filet mignon, one had salmon, another the chicken/New York Strip combo and the last one (he’s a weirdo) straight vegetarian.
Only the Daddy Warbucks who went with the Filet topped $30 for his order.
Want the closest thing to a punch line we can come up with?
Every one of us took home leftovers.
Lil Tokyo’s hibachi selections all include a might-as-well-lift-the-bowl-and-drink-it clear soup, a small side salad, a large selection of veggies profiled by zucchini, fried rice (or noodles), a couple of shrimp and the main event. Of course, all of them are served right in front of you in the traditional hibachi style, unless you choose to sit at the bar or regular dining room.
No matter where you sit, you also have the rest of the menu at your disposal.
The appetizers here include steamed dumplings, skewered chicken, Japanese egg rolls and squid salad for the brave of heart.
We haven’t even mentioned the hidden gem.
Thanks to the excitement around the hibachi grills, most patrons here overlook Lil Tokyo’s badass sushi, sashimi and nigiri. Separate chefs near the front are preparing each of those on the fly, and we’re honestly a little dumbfounded on how quickly they take care of business given how vast the sushi menu is.
If our count was correct, we dinged off 64 different rolls alone.
We didn’t want to be rude, so we added a couple pieces of the salmon nigiri. It was just heavy enough to hold us over for the three-and-a-half minutes between ordering and the soup showing up. So that was good, it prevented us from rioting.
Ready for another punchline?
Those of you with a big appetite and some early availability can get the same great meals with all the hibachi fun for a big discount if you show up any time before 5 p.m. That’s right. Say you get done your round in the early afternoon and want to go big, you can get everything mentioned above for as little as $15 (vegetarian) and no more than $27 (filet).
Like we said, Lil Tokyo is sure of its product.
And banking on the likelihood that you’ll return.
LIL TOKYO, ON THE QUICK
Address: 780 Coastal Grand Circle, Myrtle Beach
(Photos for this story from Lil Tokyo’s website and facebook page)