With eighteen bars and buffets in the center and back, and rows and rows of dark booths on each side, Hibachi Grill looks like a church of food. Including the private party room, it can seat upwards of 350 people. In the front is a large foyer and elaborate fountain (which will eventually have koi, once the water is tested and purified). The fountain and some eye-catching light displays actually draw the eye away from all the food, and despite the drama and rainbow sprays of light on the ceiling, noise and light levels are pitched low, so diners get a feeling of privacy and even formality.
Chen says all Hibachi Grills are designed pretty much the same, but the Ann Arbor one is notable because it has sushi: "Because people love sushi here," she says confidently. "But you see, we have ice cream bar, and here's American style with prime rib. I know American people like that. Here's traditional Chinese style. Here's kids' style--like chicken nuggets, French fries. All you see is food! Nothing else!" There's a salad bar (which in the evening includes raw oysters), a buffet that seems more or less Italian, another that's more or less Mexican, and several dessert bars. In the back is a create-your-own stir-fry, made while you wait. "Pretty soon, we're even going to have our own smoothie," Chen says.
All this for prices ranging from $4.99 (kids, lunch) to $10.99 (adults, dinner). Drinks--conventional soft drinks only--are extra, and Chen says a liquor license has been applied for.