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November 15, 2012 12:10 am


Chicken teriyaki is one of three different teriyakis at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse.



Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar in Massaponax is the second location for a 17-year-old Stafford-based restaurant. The newest location welcomed diners earlier this year in a large building near Lowe's and has the ability to accommodate big parties at the teppan tables or smaller groups in the sushi bar area.

Stopping in for lunch, My Dining Partner and I selected seating in the latter, with assurances that any style food would be available to us.

We began with a sushi roll special at the recommendation of our server: Smoke Dragon ($10.95). The fresh roll consisted of six pieces of spicy tuna and cream cheese rolled and covered with a layer of smoked salmon. It was accompanied by a generous amount of wasabi and fresh pickled ginger. We liked the combination of flavors in the roll--the spicy tang and smokiness.

Wading through several menus to understand our options, we settled on lunch offerings, which, as it turned out, were hearty enough to stand for our large meal of the day, while far less costly than the evening entrees. Basically, instead of having soup and salad, we were offered a choice of either at lunch. One of the owners stopped by the table and asked if we'd like refills on our soup, which we declined--our meal was on its way. My miso soup was hot and flavorful and MDP enjoyed his bowl of onion soup, a clear broth with plenty of onion essence.

I ordered the teriyaki salmon bento box ($8.95), a favorite of mine, and it did not disappoint. The salmon was fresh, properly cooked and sweetly accentuated with the teriyaki glaze. The bento box also contained beef gyoza, papery dumplings filled with a dollop of crumbled beef, a six-piece California roll, and a surprisingly delicious cold seaweed salad with a teriyaki dressing and sesame seeds. I also received a bowl of steamed rice.

Between us were several dipping sauces, including ginger, teriyaki and one that resembled Thousand Island dressing. We gravitated to the ginger.

My Dining Partner ordered the lunch version of the hibachi entree of chicken livers ($7.99). His plate was heaped with slightly overcooked pieces of chicken liver, a mound of fried rice, which he thought was bland, and a large helping of sweetened, cooked carrot medallions and mushrooms. He was pleased with his meal, but said he had had better fried rice elsewhere.

Kobe is a nice addition to the eateries in the Massaponax shopping and dining corridor, and there's good value combined with quality--a winning combination.

Linda Salisbury is the author of the Bailey Fish books, an award-winning adventure series for kids.

What: Kobe Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar Address: 10119 Southpoint Pkwy., Fredericksburg, near Lowe's Info: (540) 898-0599; Hours: Monday through Friday, lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. Dinner, Monday to Thursday, 5-9:30 p.m., Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Sunday, 3:30-9 p.m. Prices:

Appetizers: $2-$8.95

Soups and salads: $1.95-$2

Dinners: $13.99-$34.99

Children's menu: $7.99-$16.99

Desserts: $2.95-$4.95

Beer, wine and mixed drinks available.

The Scoop: Clean, family friendly, excellent service, vegetarian meals available.

Reservations accepted.

Payment: Major credit cards accepted.

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