Ohana Steakhouse. You know, the teppanyaki-style restaurant where they cook in front of you? If you don’t recall by name, surely you remember the commercial where “that guy” (aka owner Cy) tosses knives up in the air like it’s no big deal. The Japanese steakhouse has been in West Des Moines for nearly 20 years, and continues to impress. Here are 10 reasons why we keep coming back for more.
1. The smells. Seriously. This place has a lingering smell that can make your mouth water from a mile away. Go ahead and see for yourself — we dare you.
2. The steak. If it’s in the name, it’s got to be good. Choose the filet or New York strip. Either way, the thought of this juicy steak will make your stomach growl for days.
3. The shrimp. If you weren’t a shrimp fan before, you are now. Bubbled in “liquid salt” (aka soy sauce) and sprinkled with seasoning, these succulent bites are an Ohana must. Just watch out for flying shrimp tails.
4. The scallops. Draped in silky-sweet lemon butter and sizzled to crisp, golden perfection. Enough said.
5. The chefs. Between those zubaz pants your dad used to rock in the ’90s and their punny jokes, these guys know how to put on a show. Our favorites: Cy and Ray.
6. The sauces. They offer two must-have dipping sauces: one mustard-based for meat and one ginger-based for veggies and seafood. Even the creamy Italian salad dressing is delicious.
7. The drinks. Sake bomb, anyone? If pounding your fist onto the table and chugging a warm, beer cocktail isn’t your thing, go for a fruity Bahama Mama or split a Volcano with your friends.
8. The service. From the waiters to the chefs, the Ohana crew provides rock-star treatment to its customers. They even give you O-shiboris (cool cloths for cleansing) and cheaters — because we can’t all be chopstick pros.
9. The ambiance. Tranquil yet modern, Ohana fashions a sleek gray and gold color scheme with plenty of seating for waiting. There’s also a bar for enjoying a pre-dinner drink (or two). Extra points for mood lighting.
10. The dinner-for-two specials. Chicken and Shrimp Sunday, Montreal Steak and Chicken Tuesday, New York Steak and Shrimp Wednesday, and Calamari and Scallops Thursday. At $30 a pop, what’s not to love?
Find it: 2900 University Ave., West Des Moines
Hours: 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday, 4:30-10 p.m. Saturday, 5-9 p.m. Sunday