Mon-Thu, 5pm-10pm; Fri, 5pm-11pm; Sat, 4pm-11pm; Sun, 3pm-10pm
R at 86th St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
For a dinner theater experience where food takes center stage, Arirang can’t be beat. Family-style seating with two hibachi grills at the center of the table means that up to 20 can gather around two dazzling working chefs, who turn out mini volcanoes of carefully stacked onion slices, flash-fried mushrooms and fast-cooked pileups of steak and seafood. The performance begins with the splash of ginger and mustard sauces; side dishes follow, sizzling in a mix of hot oil and soy sauce. All the chefs follow a similar knife-clanging, zucchini-throwing drill—but it’s still impressive to see a man catch a bowl of fried rice in mid-flight without losing a grain or snag a pepper shaker in the top of his toque. The chef grills the unadorned, fragrant steak to order before cutting it into one-inch bites with a few sharp slashes of the cleaver. Shrimp and fish hit the grill frozen solid but cook to peak flavor, doused with oil, soy and lemon; hibachi noodles, full of ginger and garlic, are lip-smacking savory. A wide range of good sushi and traditional dishes from the kitchen, like teriyaki and beef negimaki, round out the expansive menu.Extra
Groups of 20 or more can opt for a banquet-style dinner—two and a half hours of free-flowing booze and edible entertainment. If it’s your birthday, tell the host—and brace yourself for a disco ball lightshow, sparkler-topped cake and guaranteed embarrassing photo op.Recommended Dishes
Hibachi steak dinner, $21.95; hibachi salmon dinner, $18.99; yellowtail roll, $5.50; hibachi noodles, $2.99