Hibachi Grill Has No Hibachi -- Or Grill

Categories: First Bites
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Lee Klein
"Hibachi" chicken
Hibachi Grill & Noodle Bar opened in downtown Miami about one month ago (it is located in the back of 50 Biscayne Blvd. at NE Third Avenue and NE First Street). The bright little mostly white space has a place where you can order, and some other counter space to stand and eat; the only seating is at outdoor tables under red umbrellas.

The condensed menu offers stir-fried noodle dishes; noodle soups; fried rice bowls; a couple of salads; and side orders such as egg rolls and gyoza. The signature items are the namesake "hibachi" meals, which offer choice of chicken; steak; shrimp; vegetables; teriyaki salmon; and combos thereof.

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Lee Klein
Chicken on the hibatch -- er, on the griddle.
​A hibachi is a Japanese portable charcoal-burning brazier with grill. Usually when the term is found on a menu, it implies that a little grill will be brought to the table where marinated strips of meat, fish, poultry or vegetable will sizzle upon it. Because Hibachi Grill And Noodle Bar is a fast-food place that does most of its business as delivery and takeout, it's sort of understandable that grills aren't brought to each table (and delivery orders of burning hibachis would be really problematic). So in this case, it makes sense for the word hibachi to imply that the food is simply grilled -- still deceptive in concept, but grilled food is grilled food.

Except Hibachi Grill also has no grill.

What they have is a flat griddle, which is where pieces of chicken breast for my "chicken hibachi" were cooked. All the food here is wokked, griddled, or fried per order, so freshness is not an issue. The decently portioned chicken ($8.95) comes atop fried rice, and with a side of sauteed zucchini and onions. Lots of soy sauce in the flavors -- not great, pretty much Chinese fast-food -- but hibachi or no hibachi, this dish is sorely missing the taste of the grill.

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Go with the pad Thai
Tried a pad Thai, which contained all the necessary and listed ingredients: rice noodles, scallions, bean sprouts, egg, and crushed peanuts with a garnish of cilantro and lime. Oops, they forgot the cilantro and lime -- and forgot it on the one dish we ordered to go (so we didn't notice until we got home). We had tofu tossed into the mix ($7.95; a buck more for chicken or beef, two dollars extra for shrimp), the cubes crisply fried. All in all an OK renditon, and generously portioned for the price.

Chicken gyoza were good -- four small dumplings with garlic kick, freshly fried and tossed with scallions and frizzled garlic ($3.95).

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Gyoza are good too.
Hibachi Grill & Noodle Bar is cheap, fresh fast food -- passable for downtown workers on the go and looking for a new lunch spot. Just don't head there expecting that your food will exude the pleasing flavors derived from hibachi or grill.

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Hibachi Grill & Noodle Bar

45 NE 3rd Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

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3 comments
MV
MV

This review is misleading.  I can't believe NewTimes allow this clown to write reviews for their newspaper. My office is a block away from Hibachi and not only do they always welcome me with a smile, I love their food.  I eat at Benihana frequently and their Hibachi is great but so is the one I eat at Hibachi at least 3 times a week.  My favorites are the Pad Thai and the Orange Chicken hibachi.  My staff loves it as well.   

Bob
Bob

When you go to Benihana do they cook the food on a hibachi or a griddle?  It's a large griddle.  

The food is fantastic, portions are very generous, and it tastes the same or better than Benihana but with out the theatrics, high cost and waste of time.

Cheap is not a term to use when describing food.  It is inexpensive for the portion.

Katk04
Katk04

By Cheap I'm assuming you meant Inexpensive, because it was.  And Delicious too!  Another note this new lunch spot is frequented by Downtown Execs making 6 - 7 figures (not just your ordinary workers Downtown), and as told to me by them (my friends) - they LOVE this place.  They come here sometimes TWICE DAILY.  Generous, Delicious portions, at Great Prices...And Service with a smile.! 

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