Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maruha Japanese Steakhouse Opens In Columbia

The Maruha Japanese Steakhouse has opened in the Hickory Ridge village center.  This is a Japanese restaurant with an large sushi menu, but the real center is an entire room of hibachi tables.

Hibachi is the "Benihana-style" of tabletop cooking also called teppanyaki where you sit on one side of a table and the chef cooks on the other.  Maruha has a series of these tabletops in deceptively large and nicely-decorated space, and they were eager to show off the hibachi room when I stopped for a menu.  I was just heading into the Giant, so I did not have time to sample the food.  Anyone?

If you like Japanese steakhouses, you can also check out Ginza of Tokyo on Johns Hopkins Road near Rte 29.  Again, I haven't been, but there was a great comment by a guy who talked up Ginza and said his kids love watching them cook hibachi.  Click here for all posts about Japanese food, including Sushi King and Sushi Sono.

Does anyone know what happened to the Fractured Prune donut store in Hickory Ridge? Are they re-opening?  It closed last fall, but it looked completely stocked when I looked through the window last weekend.  There are even pallets of soda inside.  If you know something, please comment on the posting about the closing.

Maruha Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
6410 Freetown Road
Columbia, MD 21044

NEAR: This is in the Hickory Ridge village center just off Cedar Lane. This is north of Rte 32 and south of Broken Land Parkway just west of Rte 29.


Anonymous said...

We went there on Saturday night after getting a $5 off coupon in the mail. The entire time we were in there, I think besides us, there were three other couples who either came in later or left before us. That's it. The place was empty.

We order Hibachi Steak and Chicken. The soup was excellent, but the salad was not. It was something in the dressing that made the entire salad taste like peanut butter.

The chicken and steak, mixed with the vegetables and rice, was very good and the chef at the hibachi was entertaining and engaging despite the fact we were the only ones in the entire room for most of the meal. The service was also fast and excellent, but that could have been due to the fact we were the only ones in the place for most of the meal.

We may go back at some point, but I hope there are more people the next time. Without anybody else in the restaurant, the place just has absolutely no atmosphere to speak of.

Unknown said...

replying to your comment about "Save money on your next meal out": I have bought these a bunch of times- there is no shipping you print them off at home

Anonymous said...

This is a new restaurant, so perhaps slamming them is premature. However, lets get on with it. It was obvious that they spent quite a few $$ putting the place together. The entrance is nice, but leans to the simply functional. There is a lovely fountain with live fish and turtles in it. The dining rooms are decorated well, with still life's and Japanese art. We had a large party of 15 people. The two chefs were lively, but things went quickly down hill. The food was bland, and uninspired. How difficult is it to cook chicken, steak, and seafood on a hibachi? Throw in a little rice and veggies and call it a $27 per person meal. The wait staff was confused and uninstructed. They created an atmosphere not unlike McDonald's. I cringed every time one of them stuck her thumb in a bowl of soup, or casually dropped plates in front of us like we were in a cafeteria. My simple drink order was met with, "sorry, we don't make that." A gin gimlet? Go only if there is nothing else.

Unknown said...

I've got to put in a good word for this place. We've eaten there three times, including on my son's birthday. The staff is very friendly, the service is excellent, and the food is good. A restaurant like this is partly about the food and partly about the experience, and we have not been disappointed on either count.

heeper said...

I'll add to the nice comments. I've not had the hibachi experience - but eating sushi and other menu items in the main dining room has been a good experience. Friendly staff, though some are better at their jobs than others (I'm talking to you, guy who brought me an obviously dirty plate for appetizers!!).

The sushi menu is extensive for rolls - and everything I've had is fresh and nice. Similar to what you'd find at Sushi King or Sushi Sono. The other meals (chicken katsu, soba noodle stir-fries, udon soup) are all good - I've not had a miss yet.

Anonymous said...

We went there. Summary: good food, bad service.

We did hibachi, with some sushi, appetizers, and drinks. The appetizer order got mangled. The sushi order of unagi maki resulted in unagi donburi. My wife didn't get her drink order initially. Our included salad and soup didn't arrive at all. Will not be going back anytime soon.

- Morty

brandon said...

Went there last night for sushi. We got several of their special rolls and the standout was the "Fire Roll" (I believe that was the name).

Overall I still put King and Sono ahead in quality, and I actually like the variety at Katana a little more than I liked Maruha's selection of special rolls. Good sushi though, and the service while we were there (~7pm Sunday) was very good.

Anonymous said...

Host told us 15 minute wait; we waited 45 minutes. We waited 10 minutes after being seated to see our waitress. 10 minutes later she brought out our (wrong) soups and salads before our drinks (not bar drinks, so no reason for them to be so late). 10 minutes later the cook began making our dinners and our correct soup, sushi, and appetizer still hadn't appeared. We asked our waitress for our soup again. 10 minutes later after our fried rice was served, we asked another waitress to give us a hand. She said she would...and didn't. Once dinner was served, we asked a hostess for help. She told us no manager was in the building but that she would help us. Finally, as the waitress was dropping our check she asked if we would like our soup and appetizer. Um, no thanks. Plus, the restaurant was freezing cold. On the plus side, the food was not bad and the hibachi chef was great. But the service was absolutely brutal. I will NEVER go back.

Anonymous said...

Though the food was good and of good proportions to eat and pay for, to much of my dismay I was BURNED by the Hibachi chef. At Hibachi restaurants they sometimes throw food up in the air to you to catch in your mouth. You may not always catch it and the food lands on the ground. With that said the Hibachi chef did just that and the piece of food he threw towards me landed in my sweater and burned me and left a scar. You should not have to be burned by a hibachi chef. When did launching food at people become apart of the hibachi experience.????? Though the food was fine I will never eat hibachi there again. The chefs need to just stick to cooking the food instead of trying the make the experience a little too interactive. What if a kid got burned by food being thrown at him or her?