By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela
By Lauren Saria and Heather Hoch
By Deborah Sussman
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Eric Schaefer
By Heather Hoch
As for the regular menu, it's a bit unusual. Lunch entrees are served with miso soup, salad and your choice of steamed rice or bagel. That's right, bagel. Don't ask me why. Lunch prices range from $3 to $8.
Bagels are not an option at dinner. Some entrees, like the Kobe beef teriyaki, come in a compartmentalized box-tray. Each of the six compartments contains a different item: ginger, melon, green salad, pickles, rice and the modified teriyaki--a mixture of asparagus, shrimp and strips of beef in a subtle teriyaki sauce. Unfortunately, stalky, tough asparagus spoils the dish one night.
Another unusual offering we try is the Kobe Club spaghetti, a big plate of regular old spaghetti topped with shrimp, scallops, carrots and mushrooms. I like this idea in principle, but the particular execution I sample lacks adequate flavoring. The oyster sauce needs more ginger or onion or something. It's hardly there.
Kobe Club makes no bones about being a modified Japanese restaurant. I sense innovation at work. Kobe Club is trying a new approach to Japanese dining, even in marketing. Diners receive a frequent dining card; each visit is stamped and there are discounts and special offers when you reach a certain number of visits.
Yep, Tempe residents have plenty to be grateful for these days. The city now boasts an excellent Indian restaurant and a good Korean restaurant, as well as Chinese, Thai and assorted other ethnic eateries. So what should you do if you're looking for classic, authentic Japanese dining in Tempe? Take a drive to North Scottsdale. See how they do it at Yamakasa.
Ichiban, 1435 East University, Tempe, 968-3234. Hours: Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; Dinner, 5 to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Kobe Club, 1845 East Broadway, #101, Tempe, 921-8482. Hours: Lunch, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; Dinner, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; closed Monday.
Above the lonely sushi chef, a pink neon sign proclaims "rock and roll sushi." Call it "nouvelle Japanese" cuisine, or maybe "Cal-Japanese" for short.