Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taki Japanese Steakhouse... Preliminary visit.

I have been hearing about how great Taki is for a few years and needed to visit. As I pulled up I was looking to be impressed. There were great looking people in the parking lot, and as I walked in I realized this was a place where the "pretty" people come. This night I didn't try the sushi, instead going with the popular teppan room. I was assured by my date that it was something really special. I must admit that I have been to at least 20 of these places, and had seen some of the best in Los Angeles, and other locations on the Pacific Rim. I'm not a fan. Usually the trick cookery is the same where ever I go, and while it is interesting and a show, it gets old. Lots of banging knives, spatulas, shakers, and forks against the griddle. Tossing things around behind their backs, and of course the ever famous toss of an egg into their hats... Oh and yes the favorite, lots of fire from a bottle of 151. No surprises here. The show was fun, but lets talk about the food.

I ordered the Filet and Scallops. Before this we were presented with bowls of stir fried rice that were really lack luster. The rice was overcooked and mushy, and the predominate taste was that of soy sauce. We had been given sauces. One was a fish sauce, the other a sauce for the meat. Let me say that I'll blow the not so hidden cover off of the fish sauce... It was mayo and ketchup. Maybe one or two ingredients were in there, but to my trained taste buds, it was just mayo and ketchup. If there is more in there than that someone didn't taste it. As a professional chef you must taste what you serve. If it wasn't suppose to taste like that someone made a mistake. Well back to the rice. The cook at our table suggested the fish sauce go on the rice. It was pretty terrible together. The rice sucked, and to add essentially what was mayo and ketchup to it didn't help at all. Not a good first course. The meat sauce tasted like citrus and soy sauce with some ginger. It was okay. Nothing special at all.

This is where the review gets better. The cook then started with the preparation of the filet. He cut it into cubes and seasoned it liberally with salt and pepper and essentially fried it on the griddle. The scallops were cut in half and cooked with a little bit of a teriyaki glaze. They were good, but the steak was fabulous. They had cooked it perfectly to my order of medium rare, and it was seasoned just right. The only problem I saw was a logistical one. My steak was cold when I ate it. My date had ordered medium well, and they had started the steaks at the same time. I am a gentleman. I waited for my date to eat my meal. This could have been handled with a simple change in the cooking procedure. Fire the medium-rare steak after the medium well one. When the medium well was farther along in the cooking process add the medium rare to the griddle. I have seen this done all the way through my career, and at the price of the meal it should be happening already. So I waited and ate my steak cold. It was still medium rare... but cold none the less. It was however a tasty steak even cold. It was so tender you could cut it with a fork. Nice job. Not fantastic, but simply okay. I'll expect better next time I'm in, and you'll all know about it.

Overall I have this to say about Taki Steakhouse... It's a good place for a show. The girls are pretty, the bartender makes great drinks, and the steak is great... If it wasn't cold.

Next visit I'll be eating the highly suggested sushi...


The food business is booming here in the Des Moines area. Are we becoming a food city? In a way I guess. In a way we're still behind the curve. I'd love to hear suggestions of places to review, favorites of your's, and maybe places that aren't on the publics radar just yet... Just as I won't hold back in my reviews of the restaurants and other food locations, I don't want you to hold back on your replies to my posts. Let it all hang out.