Hayashi Hibachi – 4220 82nd Street, Lubbock, TX 79423
I had very high hopes for Hayashi Hibachi. I read the reviews on urbanspoon.com before going and was excited by the mere prospect that there might be decent sushi in Lubbock. Alas, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Upon entering the restaurant, I was pleased by the appropriate and tasteful decor. I was seated promptly, although the host did not ask whether I’d prefer to sit at a table, hibachi, or the bar area. As I looked over the menu with mounting anticipation and excitement, I was approached for my drink order in a timely manner. Once my drink was in hand, I promptly placed my order: one “Dallas” roll, one “West Texas” roll, one shrimp tempura roll, and two pieces of octopus sushi.
Then began the waiting game. I watched the people at the next table receive their sushi, begin to eat, and finish eating. A quick glance at my watch revealed that a half hour had elapsed.
My waitress returned with the Dallas roll and the West Texas roll. The Dallas roll was decently good, and I was hopeful that this would be a harbinger of things to come. Unfortunately it was here that my luck ran out. The flavor and texture of the West Texas roll emulated that of garbage. I finished fewer than half the pieces of this roll. Luckily, I thought, it was then that my shrimp tempura roll and octopus sushi arrived. I thought wrong. The octopus was chewy, and judging from the aroma- nay, odor- was way past its prime. I left the other piece of octopus untouched. The shrimp tempura roll, a classic staple of american sushi bars, could have been the saving grace of Hayashi Hibachi. Unfortunately they made a miserable cock-up of that as well. Sushi pieces are supposed to be one bite in size. the cross sections of this roll seemed to be the size of frisbees. The shrimp tempura roll contained far too much rice, lettuce (?!?) and a barely noticeable amount of shrimp.
The bill came.
This sordid affair cost me $40. For that price, I could’ve had 6 rolls and three Grey Goose Le Poire and sodas at Chaucer’s on a Monday night, or a mountain of shrimp tempura rolls (done the right way) at happy hour at Zenna.
If you’re in Lubbock, just get a steak.