This evening after picking up Miss Julia I scrambled up to Thomasville, Georgia to meet my lovely wife and son. She has been beating the “I want hibachi now” drum for the past couple of weeks and at the recommendation of her hairdresser we ventured to Moto Japanese Steakhouse. Moto is located in the Publix shopping plaza behind Ashley furniture on East Pinetree Boulevard. The restaurant tucked away in the left hand corner between a nail saloon and shoe store. Outside a large red neon sign announces it presence.
With the kids in tow we walked in. The restaurant is separated into two parts. When you walk in the area has a sushi bar near the rear and various tables for diners. To the left through a doorway sits 4 hibachi grills. The walls were painted a vibrant red with light grained wood on the bottom. Around each of the grills were wooden chairs and Japanese artwork hung on the wall. We were the only people in the hibachi area and it was spotless until Miss Julia began her reign of terror.
After being seated a cheery waitress took our drink order. She also offered to bring some crackers over to us so the kids would have something to snack on while we waited. This was greatly appreciated as the natives were becoming restless. While our drinks were poured we looked over the menu. Moto offers what is to be expected at a Japanese hibachi restaurant namely grilled meat, vegetables and rice. We both decided to order chicken and I also ordered a tuna roll.
We placed our order. Steaming bowls of miso soup soon appeared along with small salads topped with ginger dressing. Both were good. I gave Miss Julia a sip of the soup, which she enjoyed. As for the lettuce with ginger dressing she gleefully flung it onto my khakis leaving a large smear from the dressing. She cooed, batted her big blue eyes and flung my keys with a smile onto the floor. I cleaned her mess as my sushi arrived. Eight nori wrapped pieces with pink tuna sat neatly arranged on a white contoured plate. The suish itself was a bit sloppy as the fish was pressed to one side. Regardless, the fish was fresh and I enjoyed my roll.
Our cook wheeled his small cart to the grill and introduced himself. He was originally from Biloxi, Mississippi and had been in town for a couple of months. He immediately got to work wiping the grill down and beginning to cook our meal. Unlike the majority of places where the cooks employ the same schtick including a volcano, flaming happy face and the ubiquitous shrimp flip ours was all business. It was nice not having to fake interest in a vegetable choo-choo and instead be able to keep an eye on our baby girl who was systematically shredding a napkin and tossing utensils onto the floor.
The rice was finished first followed by the vegetables (a mixture of carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and squash) and then the chicken. Unlike some hibachi restaurants Moto does not serve noodles with each meal. Everything we were served was properly seasoned and cooked. Two sauces were also provided. One was a ginger while the second was a creamy one. I doubled up on the ginger and happily ate my meal until Miss Julia knocked my glass of water all over my pants. I looked like a homeless man who wet himself. After drying myself we finished our meal, cleaned up the path of destruction left by our pint-sized daughter, and left the waitress a nice tip. Our meal was good and I am would go back to Moto, especially if we leave the kids with their grandma.
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