An international Japanese barbecue restaurant chain that's great fun for control freaks is coming to Dallas. Called Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, or more simply Gyu-Kaku ("gew-kah-koo"), the concept revolves around a grill installed at every table, so that diners can indulge in the interactive process of cooking their own meat, not unlike the famed fondues of Melting Pot.
Gyu-Kaku is going into the old India West space at the corner of Belt Line Road and Montfort Drive in Addison. India West closed in 2015; previously, that space held a location of Mattito's Cafe.
The chain has 35 locations around the United States and Canada, and opened its first outlet in Texas in Houston in April 2014, where it created a bit of a buzz, prompting hour-long waits.
Japanese barbecue, aka yakiniku, is said to be similar to Korean barbecue, in that you get raw meats you grill yourself. But in yakiniku, there's more focus on the quality of the meat and the way it's cut, more precisely, like sashimi. At least, that's what the yakiniku places say. There are enough of them in Tokyo that best yakiniku lists have been made with photos of very marbled meat.
Unlike Korean barbecue, yakiniku does not automatically come with an array of adorable sides.
Gyu-Kaku's signature dishes incorporate some of the grill-your-own meats, including Angus skirt steak in miso marinade, garlic-marinated shrimp, Angus short rib, thinly sliced shabu beef, and hanger steak. Other best-sellers include sushi rolls, noodles, and bibimbap.
The company emphasizes the social aspect of yakiniku, saying that spending time with friends and family is what it's all about. "Gyu-Kaku offers the fun of shared plates, inspiring laughter, conversation, and good times," its statement says. "You can't help it — with a personal grill installed at every table, everyone instantly becomes an expert cook."
The Addison restaurant will include seating for 136, which includes a 525-square-foot patio. According to a spokesperson, it's anticipated to open by early fall, at around the same time a second location is slated to open in Houston.