It’s entirely possibly that your kids have never seen a chicken made of scrambled eggs lay an egg. Or watched chefs flip full bowls of rice into their hats without spilling a grain. Or light their dinner (in fact, the whole table) on fire. But all that is about to change. ROKU in West Hollywood just launched a new “Okosama” kids’ menu at the teppanyaki tables and your whole family will flip for this interactive, theatrical and tasty dinner.

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It’s Frankly Flipping Awesome
Think you know teppanyaki from a long ago visit to Benihana? Oh, no. This takes that dinner theater experience to a whole new level, a level with neon pyrotechnics for the kids and Sunset Strip cocktails followed by lobster tail and Wagyu beef for parents. Your chef? Yeah, you might recognize him from Pirates of the Carribean; he has those mad skills and fast fingers because he’s also a stunt man. The new teppanyaki experience at ROKU on the Sunset Strip is a night out the whole family will devour, adore, and never forget.

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Picky is Not Problematic
Okosama refers to a “kids’ menu” in Japanese, and the menu provides enough options for all little eaters. Kids meals are priced from $18-$22 and each meal includes miso soup, hibachi shrimp, seasonal vegetables, and steamed or fried rice plus their choice of meat including Jidori chicken breast, Faroe Island and filet mignon. Kid tasters said, “I can’t pick a favorite thing about the food, it’s just really, really, really good!” The licked plates attest to that. In fact, they’re so absorbed with the show that they may not notice they’ve scarfed down all their veggies. As for parents, there are similar choices plus lobster tail, scallop, Chilean sea bass and Japanese A-5 Wagyu NY Steak. Can’t choose? No problem, they’ll let you mix and match half orders of any two selections.  All that, and the food isn’t even the star of the evening.

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Great Balls of Fire
Oh yeah. Catching bowls of rice and spearing lemon on a fork, fancy flying spatulas and crazy egg tricks are all loads of fun. But the pop-kids-eyes out pieces of the show all involve fire. First up is an onion volcano, which you may have seen before, but not like this. It’s got a neon color element in addition to the fire that is especially memorable for little ones—and they also love that after it’s part of the show, it becomes part of dinner. Then the big stuff. Flames lick the griddle and flare in huge bursts. Fire is spread, juggled and then doused. This is the excitement you see when when the first flames appear:

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Yes, Your Dessert is On Fire
It’s not just dinner that gets the inferno treatment. While a chocolate lava cake redefines the species and invokes the fire motif, it’s the s’mores that you actually roast over your own personal flame that make kids say, “Woah!” (Direct quote.) You’ll find yourself sneaking bites too, as it’s an elevated version, with chocolate ganache bites and green tea white chocolate to mush with the roasted ‘mallows and roll in the crushed cracker crumbs. More plate licking to follow.

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Sunset Strip Spectacular
While kids are entranced by fire, spectacle and food, you have time to sit back (with a lovely drink; the bar here is top notch) and enjoy the fact that you’re not in a kid-centric plastic-filled joint. You’re on the Strip. The décor about a 180 flip from when it was Rivabella, but retains the gorgeous airy feeling. Toss the keys to the valet and saunter through the beautiful bar area with soaring ceilings on your way to the teppanyaki and sushi bar area. You’re forgiven for forgetting for a moment that you’re not 22 and on a hot date. Tack on a decade or two and some amazing kids you get to watch in wonder as they eat. In some ways, time is kind.

ROKU Exterior_Credit Wonho Frank Lee

A Spectacular Spectacle Is A Built In Celebration
Great for birthdays, each table holds up to 6, or get the whole half side for 12 (or reserve the whole area for 24 for a party in the round). Kids who celebrated birthdays here insist we mention that cake comes not with your usual candles, but with sparklers, and the chance to blow out the juggling flames. You get an extra big wish with that.

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When to Come and How to Park
The Okosama menu is available for kids ages 12 and under, from Monday-Saturday at 5:30-7 p.m. seatings, and all night on Sundays. No two ways about it, you probably need to valet. Luckily, the prices are far less than the rest of the Strip’s club parking and is just $9 with restaurant validation.

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ROKU
9201 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood
310-278-2060
Online:  innovativedining.com/restaurants/roku

What’s your favorite interactive dinner experience in town? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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—Meghan Rose