Had a chance to stop by the brand new Asian Gourmet a few weeks ago, and while I was quite impressed by some things, I much less impressed by others.
The Asian Gourmet is in the old Greek family restaurant that was previously known as Café Oceana that later became Yao Yao Chinese. It’s quite a huge building, in fact, from inside it seems as though Asian Gourmet is only occupying about 3/4 of the available floor space.
The concept here is pretty interesting; offer as many types of Asian cuisine under a single roof as possible.
In the front, you have a Japanese Hibachi chef and two sets of tables, in the middle, a Mongolian stir fry (or BBQ) chef and his set up, than along the center walls are Chinese, Thai and Pan Asian buffets tables and even some American fare, probably for those picky kids who only like pizza.
The owners and wait staff that I spoke with were all east coasters, and based on what I saw, this place seemed pretty much in line with what I would normally expect when dining at an Asian restaurant out east. I went for the Hibachi, which was run by a chef hailing from Virginia Beach, nice guy, kind of quiet, and capable on the cooking table. His food however was really bland and not all all in line with Lake County Hibachi standards.
Now before you read much into that statement, let me say this; I’ve tried Hibachi restaurants all over the country from coast to coast, and no place, anywhere, comes close to what Lake County has to offer when it comes to Hibachi. From the king of all Hibachi restaurants Tsukasa, on to the very worthy opponents of Yuri & Hanakawa, we are blessed in that we have some really great Hibachi options. And in the future, I’m still going to stick with one of those for my Hibachi restaurant desires.
In the meantime, Asian Gourmet still has some really nice people running it, it was a clean, comfortable restaurant and offers a ton of Asian options; too many in fact to cover in this one review. Which is why I’m asking; If any of you get to experience any of the several dozen other options here, and find something great, please leave me your comment with what it was, OK? Thanks!