My nieces’ and nephews’ go-to birthday celebration restaurant has been Kobe Steakhouse for years. For good reason.
First, you get the dinner show.
And, you get dessert with a cheesy photo.
The place has sentimental value to my family, as well, since my dear deceased nephew, Jon, loved it.
It’s our special occasion restaurant.
My kids got to experience it for the first time recently.
(Ok, it wasn’t Farley’s first time, but you can hardly say he remembers anything of his first visit – he was 3 months old.)
Here’s a few things to know when you bring littles to a place like Kobe:
- Don’t expect Happy Meal prices.
Kobe offers kids meals that are a fraction of an adult entree, but it still going to be more than you’d expect to pay elsewhere. It’s a lot of food, for one thing (soup, salad and entree just like ours), but you’re also paying for a show, basically.
- Kids drinks are awesome.
Again, a little on the pricier side than, say, a cup of juice, but this is a special occasion, right? We ordered the kids virgin pina coladas and this is what they got:
Cue the music: “If you like pina coladas…”
- The under-4 crowd might not like all the fire. The rest of the table will.
Mooch was not a fan of the balls of flame shooting out of our grill – or any of other grills within 50 feet of her. I’ve heard from other parents that their little reacted the same way. Keep it in mind. Don’t laugh at it, it’s been drilled into their heads to stay away from fire.
- They can get cheater chopsticks.
Our waitress gave the kids a special plastic thingy (real term) to help them use chopsticks. The adults at the table were jealous.
- Catching flying shrimp is a learned skill.
If you remember your first time at Kobe’s, and if memory serves you correctly, you had no problem catching the shrimp your chef threw at you. Your memory lies.
It’s hard for kids to catch them, no matter how small the pieces are and how skilled your Harlem Globetrotter of a chef may be. Cheer the little guys on, regardless. And then sneakily put a shrimp into their mouths and move on.
- Leftovers reheat well.
The kids get a lot of food in their meals. We brought home a large container of the kids’ unfinished dinners and reheated them the next day. It tasted great.
- Large parties can go to Kobe.
The way the tables are set up, you can theoretically all sit together around two grills, which is how my family did it for the last birthday celebration (we were close to 15).
The thing is, you’re too far away to talk to the other grill’s group, unless you’re social, like my kids, who got up to talk or tickle everyone. But, you can still feel like you’re together.
This is NOT a great date place if you’re trying to make a good impression on someone new (no one looks attractive trying to catch shrimp in their mouth). Which does not explain why my group of friends chose Kobe as our prom night dinner spot, but who can explain why teens do what they do anyway?
Which brings me to the next point:
- The chefs’ jokes haven’t changed since my prom.
That Japanese egg roll joke never gets old. I mean, it’s been two decades since I first heard it, surely these aren’t the same chefs from way back then.
It’s all good, though. You do feel like you’re experiencing it for the first time all over again when you bring a kid here for their first dinner.
I got a smart tip from Lauren on Facebook that I had to share with you: “If you have one kid who only likes rice and one kid who loves shrimp. Order 1 meal and split it. Still plenty of food for both and you aren’t wasting any of the extras.”
If you go
Where: 16801 Burke St. (by Village Pointe)
Hours: Mondays-Thursdays, 5 to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 to 10 p.m.; and Sundays, 4 to 9 p.m.
Tip: You won’t be seated until your entire party is there, so don’t invite the McPetersons, you know, that one family who always shows up 20 minutes to everything.