“We’ve always had this location in mind,” said Manager Benny Chen. “We originally came to this location three years ago, but we were one day late to sign a lease, and it was leased to another restaurant.”
What’s refreshing about Kobe is that these restaurants are privately held rather than franchised. Three are located in Texas and one in Redding, and all of them express the personal touch of their owners.
Chen has been involved in the evolution of Kobe since the beginning. He began as a busboy in the restaurant industry 14 years ago and moved up from there, eventually majoring in business, too.
“The only thing I haven’t done is wash dishes,” he said with a laugh. “I love to interact with people. That’s my personality. I love when I see satisfied customers walk out the door and appreciate what my restaurant provided them.”
For a good show, pull up a chair at one of the many seating configurations on the right side of the restaurant that features a Hibachi grill and watch your Teppanyaki-trained chef personally flame-cook your food. Sports fans have the choice of four TVs to follow their favorite games. Wine, cocktails and sake options are plentiful, and the huge, circular bar in the middle of the restaurant – complete with artfully stacked bottles and a modern teardrop chandelier – is the best spot to enjoy them. Families are welcome, and there’s even a menu for kids 10 and under.
A sushi bar is situated against Kobe’s left wall, where you can watch your favorite rolls being handcrafted. The sushi chef is Taiwanese, said Chen, but he learned the art of sushi making in Japan at the bidding of his father, who was also a professional sushi chef.
In terms of its menu, Kobe Seafood & Steakhouse offers something for everyone. From Japanese cuisine to Asian fusion dishes, Kobe’s selections are vast. They include New York steak, Korean barbecue, Thai noodles and fried ice cream, Chinese stir-fry, and Japanese udon bowls and bento boxes. If it’s fine dining you seek, indulge in the signature Kobe steak and pair it with lobster, chicken or shrimp.
“Everything is made inside this restaurant, and we make all our own sauces,” said Chen.
Large parties can be accommodated in the main dining room; a private banquet facility that holds up to 25 people is also available.
“We believe that the quality of the food we serve, the service we provide and the variety of our menu is superior,” Chen said. “I think people will enjoy it – and they’ll come back.”
Kobe Japanese Seafood & Steakhouse, 5007 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, is open Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For more information, call 925-706-8887.