Mikato Japanese Restaurant has been in Huntsville for many years, but I am amazed to find people who live there who haven’t been yet.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ When I was dating my husband, he lived within three blocks of Mikato’s, and had never gone there. Now it is one of his favorite restaurants! The food is delicious, the atmosphere is wonderful, and the service is fantastic!
On entering the restaurant, one first sees the wide lobby that is decorated with a large waterfall and wishing well and a huge Japanese gong, with colorfulÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½parasols hanging from the ceiling. Reservations can be made, and are advised especially on weekends, but on weekdays the wait is generally short to be seated. Mr. Pak, the owner, is likely to be the one greeting you when you arrive. He is friendly and personable, and always asks the regulars how the family is doing! He has even followed us into the parking lot to tell us thanks for coming and please come back. The dress there is casual, and whenÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ you are called to be seated, one is asked if they would like to strike the gong the number of times of the number of people in your party. Kids, especially, love this, and are always excited to hear the loud chiming.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
Seating is done family style around the grill, as it is in most Japanese restaurants, with eight being seated at each table. There are three separate dining rooms, with multiple tables in each, and a low lit bar area with eight or so tables in the back, if you prefer to have a drink and watch television. The main diningÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ rooms have Japanese paintings,Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½swords, and plantsÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½and are very nicely decorated.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
Soon the waitress comes to take your drink order. Mikatos serves cocktails, beer and wine, as well as tea (hot or cold) and soft drinks. Kids can order a Shirley Temple or Roy Rodgers (cherry coke and cherry seven-up with real cherry juice and a cherry on top). The menu has a vegetarian selection, chicken, steak, lobster, scallops, and shrimp. You can order a dinner of one, a combination of two, or a larger selection of three of these. Each dinner comes with a bowl of a beef mushroom broth-type soup, a salad with Mikato’s secret house dressing, steamed rice (fried available for a slight extra charge, but it’s worth it!), and stir fried veggies. Entrees range from $9.95 to $23.95 and a children’s menu is available for a lower price.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
The waitress serves the soup, then takes it when she brings your salad. After that, the cook comes out with his cart and begins to cook at your table. He does a short “fire” show to get your attention, does knife tricks, spins eggs on spatulas while tossing them into the air (or into his hat) and makes a volcano of fire and smoke from an onion. During all this performance, he serves up the best Japanese food in North Alabama. The portions are huge, and take out boxes are available to take home the leftovers. The dinner is finished with a fortune cookie.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
Mikatos is a great place to take a date, a business associate, or your family and friends. It is my favorite pick for special occasions such as my birthday or anniversary. Mikatos has a special ceremony for birthdays. A group of waiters and Mr. Pak, the owner come out with Japanese drums and sing Happy Birthday, first in English and then in Japanese. They serve a pineapple boat of fruit with a candle and take a picture of the group to take home as a remembrance in a special folder. Children who are celebrating their birthdays also get a nice wooden box of chopsticks.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
I love eating out, and this is one of my favorite places to go. IfÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ you are looking for good food, go hungry to Mikatos and you won’t be disappointed. As Mr. Pak says, “They’ll come for the show, but they’ll come back for the food!”