Gyu San Japanese BBQ is the new kid in Ballston, but it holds up fine against its neighbors. Opened in mid-May, the bustling restaurant serves authentic Japanese cuisine in a fun setting.
As parties are seated, the entire staff greets them in unison with “Irasshaimase!” (translates to “Welcome in!”). The centerpiece of each table is a barbecue grill, anxiously awaiting its shot at firing up the thinly sliced meats you choose.
This is a do-it-yourself grilling spot, unless you order some of the perfectly marbled A5 wagyu offerings. The quality (and price tag — the 12-ounce rib-eye is $168) qualifies guests for culinary assistance from servers if they order any of the five special yakiniku wagyu selections.
Fish fans may bypass the grill altogether, as an abundant array of fresh nigiri, sashimi, and sushi rolls round out the expansive menu.
We were very satisfied with our selections — around 2.5 ounces each of brisket, harami (outside skirt), garlic shrimp, and garlic chicken thighs, delivered with three dipping sauces (sweet soy, shio garlic, and spicy miso), all traditional accompaniments.
The brisket was fatty, but flavorful. The harami proved memorable, bathed in the spicy miso. Our server explained the staggering number of menu items, and the taiyaki with vanilla ice cream was the perfect end to our adventure. Visit Gyu San with a group — the barbecue grill presents a fun activity to hover over as you enjoy the friendly ambiance, traditional food, and tempting sakes and cocktails.
4300 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 150, Arlington
See This: High-powered barbecue grills on each table
Eat This: Chicken yakisoba, harami beef, taiyaki with ice cream
Feature image by Dawn Klavon
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