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Fujiyama serves quality food with decent flair

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ANNOUNCER: As far as dinner goes, the boys enjoy the occasional evening featuring Singapore Slings and Japanese chefs creating volcanic eruptions from a stack of onion slices over a large grill surrounded by dinner seating. But what really gets their ginsu knives in an uproar is when this little bit of cheesy cabaret includes quality meats and produce — that’s when they’ve found a floorshow worth revisiting. Fujiyama Japanese Steak House & Bar in Olympia appears to fit that bill.

JAKE: Click on and hit the “movies” section on their site to see a video of the Fujiyama chefs at work. There’s no kung fu action, but plenty of meat gets sliced and diced. I’ve seen better shows, but the chefs here are no slouches. It is the only place, however, where the chefs pass a hat for tips after they’ve prepared the meals — tacky.

JASON: Fujiyama is located inside the former Keg Steakhouse on the fringe of Capital Mall. The interior features two large rooms of grills and horseshoe seating. At the front, the younger hostess appeared put out we didn’t make reservations, but her boss (I guess) welcomed us nonetheless with a smile and didn’t seemed bothered like her underling when our party of seven was missing a person in the restroom when our seats became available. “You aren’t all here?” the underling moaned loudly as if we asked to be shepherded up Mt. Everest in two waves. To which her boss replied, “It’s OK, we can seat you, and we’ll help the other person find her seat when she comes out of the restroom.”

JAKE: Many Japanese spots cover their windows to create darkness, but Fujiyama kept the Keg’s windows open to let in plenty of light. I could care less either way. The menu offers a robust selection. I started with the chicken gyoza on the appetizer list — basic, nothing inspired, but certainly competent and what I expected.

JASON: For those newbies, the hibachi dinner begins with either a salad or soup — at Fujiyama it’s a miso soup and a salad with ginger dressing. This is followed by a shrimp appetizer (often flicked from the grill to the plate), vegetables, steamed or fried rice and finally the main course. I dug right into the various hibachi dinner choices. The teriyaki New York steak tasted as good as it sounds — tender beef, mild, sweet sauce ordered medium rare and served medium rare. I’ve eaten at many of these types of restaurants, and I found that the quality of beef here outshines the others.

JAKE: I concur. I ordered Rocky’s choice — sirloin and shrimp — and as you described, bro, the products were exceptional. The show was OK — our knife-wielding chef sliced and diced, did the various traditional flipping of the eggs into his tall red chef hat, made fun of the teenagers, tossed around lots of slicing and dicing puns, etc. Tolerable for me, but kids really get a kick out of the show.

JASON: It’s just not a cheap form of family entertainment. Dinners run $15.50 to almost $40 — kids’ meals $7.50 to $12.50. A steak meal, for example, starts at $17.50; add seafood like shrimp or scallops and you enter the $21.50 to $25 range. You won’t leave hungry.

JAKE: At least the quality is there to warrant the price. And, for a once a year experience, it’s worth every penny.

Fujiyama Japanese Steak House & Bar

Where: 2930 Capital Mall Drive, Olympia; 360.352.9888

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday. The bar has happy hour 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m. every day.

Cuisine: Excellent cuts of meat and ingredients — the emphasis is on serving the meals perfectly to order.

Scene: Light, airy inside without the gaudy décor some places sport. Expect to be seated shoulder to shoulder with other dinner parties.

Drinkies: Full bar with lots of tropical drink specials, but skip them and go traditional with the Singapore Sling or one of the sakes.


  • Shrimp Gyoza.>> $5.50

  • Hibachi Chicken >> $15.50

  • Teriyaki Scallop Hibatchi >> $20.50

  • Filet Mignon

  • and lobster Hibachi >> $30.50
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