I really did want to like Gyu-an very very much. I took an out of town guest here for a special Kobe Beef experience (you cannot purchase Kobe Beef in the U.S. -- anything labelled Kobe in the U.S. is a lie) and no sooner had I talked up the incredible concept of service throughout Japan that things started happening that I have never seen before in Japanese restaurant. For example it took three requests before we were brought cold water (and I speak enough Japanese that they understood each time). Also, they mixed up our appetizer selection. And finally one of the younger waitresses did not seem to have developed the graceful way of removing dishes from a table.
But nevermind all that! We came for the Kobe -- and it was fantastic!! You really have to try true Kobe Beef to understand how tender and special the breed is. We had the Filet set course which came with two appetizers, a salad, soup, and dessert. The first appetizer (of the day) was simple sashimi, which was a nice surprise at a steak house. Then you have a choice of three types of beef appetizers (grilled beef sashimi (which sounds like an oxymoron), smoked, and roast beef). I had the smoked (even thought I had ordered the grilled sashimi) and it was quite delectable. Then the main course is served, almost teppanyaki style. It comes with some condiments (Salt and Pepper, a garlic sauce, and some sort of oil), but they are really unnecessary for the beef, although nice with the veggies, which are mostly onions. Dessert was just a scoop of one of two types of ice cream (the night I went it was cassis sorbet or macha -- green tea).
I would go there again as a special treat for an out of town guest who would find the novelty of Kobe Beef exciting. I do not think I would use it for a group outing.
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