Are you looking for somewhere to eat for Valentine’s Day? Do you just need a night out? If so, consider Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse in Liverpool. My husband and I headed there for dinner and a show.
Located on Old Liverpool Road, the restaurant first opened its doors in 1975. You can sit at a non-cooking table or a hibachi table, where guests can watch as their food is prepared. I recommend the latter to get the full experience, especially if you’ve never visited a hibachi restaurant before – it was our first trip.
Manager Bridget Hodgson says the chicken teriyaki is among the restaurant’s most popular dishes, but they also offer numerous vegetarian and gluten-free options. “We can accommodate whatever you’re looking for,” she says. “[Guests] can have their dinner cooked in back any way they want it. We can cater a menu item based on their allergies or just likes and dislikes…We just want to be a part of everyone’s special moment.”
Since I am a pseudo-vegetarian, I opted for the teriyaki tofu. The meal started with miso soup and a salad topped with Ichiban’s homemade ginger dressing – or in my case, a double salad. Next, the chef cooked fried rice and fried noodles (depending on what guests ordered), followed by the main course. Though both of our meals were prepared in the kitchen, we thoroughly enjoyed watching the show, especially the occasional burst of fire and shrimp toss over the shoulder. It made dinner much more exciting.
Hodgson says Valentine’s Day is one of Ichiban’s most popular days, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to visit then. We may be back soon.
If You Go
Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse
302 Old Liverpool Rd., Liverpool.
Monday – Thursday from 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.;
Friday from 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.;
Saturday from 12:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.;
Sunday from 12:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Have an idea for a future treat yourself? E-mail [email protected]
How to choose a gem
Brad Ozinsky has been the owner/operator of Bradley’s Jewelers in Liverpool for the past 42 years.
What are some of the most popular gems?
Diamonds are by far and away the most popular gem. There’s nothing that’s even a close second. It used to be rubies, sapphires and emeralds, which are all in the category of precious gems because they’re the most expensive. But rubies, sapphires and emeralds are mixed in now with a whole lot of other stones. Tanzanite is popular, morganite is popular, pink sapphire is popular. There are a ton of different stones out there.
What advice would you give to customers? What are some things should they look for?
They’re going to get lots of different prices for similar stones, so they need to shop around and compare. And no two diamonds are identical. So even though two stones could both weigh 1.03 carats and have the same grade, they can still look different depending on how they’re cut and what the original rough diamond that came out of the earth was actually like. Just keep in mind, it’s not apples to apples. It’s not like you go to Best Buy and price an HP computer and it’s model number xyz, then you go on Amazon and find the exact computer in model xyz. There, you’re comparing apples to apples. But diamonds are different…You need to ask a lot of questions and you need to trust the person that you’re dealing with. That’s important.
What is the top mistake you see customers make?
Worrying too much about the grade of the stone. In other words, they’re looking at a particular stone that has this color and clarity, and yet they could find, very likely, another stone that has a different color and clarity that could be substantially less, but looks the same. A lot of people get hung up on the grade, and say, ‘Oh, well I have this quality diamond,’ and the other person says, ‘Well, I have a lower quality diamond, but boy they sure look exactly the same in the ring on my fiancé’s finger.’ I actually heard that from a world-renowned diamond cutter who I asked a technical question about diamond cutting, and all he said to me was, ‘What does it look like? Is it beautiful? That’s all that matters.’ People just get too worried about the grading of stones. You should be more concerned with what does it look like to you.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.