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Samurai Steak and Sushi

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I was excited to see that Samurai Steak and Sushi had opened at 5317 Bissonnet. Just the thought of rare steak and wasabi with a cold Asahi beer was getting me all worked up. When we walked in, the hostess greeted us with a big smile and promptly sat us behind the big, flat hibachi that soon would be layered with our veggies and meat. The waitress took our order and turned the burners on the griddle up. We ordered the Samurai Special -- chicken, shrimp and beef with zucchini and mushrooms, bean sprouts and steamed rice.

To start we had uni, which are sea urchin roe. The fatty, rich roe was so succulent, it was almost like foie gras but with no liver aftertaste. I was surprised how fresh the uni was. We also had some octopus sushi before a salad with a tasty sesame dressing and a brothy soup with paper-thin slices of scallions and mushrooms came to the table.

When our hibachi chef came out, he seemed less than enthused that we were sitting in his station. It was awesome -- we couldn't have asked for a better hibachi chef. He had a studded leather belt with a knife in a sheath, and he would pull it out, twirl it and then put it back like a Samurai sword. He kept twirling his utensils and dropping them. When he tried to flip a shrimp off the hibachi onto his fork he dropped it on the floor. It was all part of the show: pure comedy. It was like that SNL skit with John Belushi, the "Samurai Futaba."

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