You are correct that Jeffrey’s closed about 20 years ago. It was replaced by a restaurant called Slowly which was also pretty good. Since Slowly closed, the space has been generally vacant. Another very good restaurant that is fondly missed is Bistro 44. While I agree that the OC is pretty barren when it comes to decent food offerings, there are few diamonds if you know where to look such as Siam Spice, Pho Viet Express, Chef Mike’s ABG and Mud City Crab House to name a few.
I knew Jeffrey personally as his gig before this was as a GM of a County Club I belonged to at the time. I also belonged to Toms River CC for a time back then, they had an old school Maitre D’ named Tom, (I forget where he spent his career prior to TRCC but I used to know) he made the absolute best table side steak diane.
My comments were mostly regarding the barren wasteland of culinary options available in Toms River, as you aptly point out, OC does have some gems. Shipwreck Point - Prime 13 - Frankies (for burgers/bar food) - Harpoon Willies (same as Frankies) - Chef Mike (as you mentioned) - Brielle House (decent but worth the view) and new comer Charlies of Bayhead being most of my favorite OC haunts.
I also enjoy the Ocean location and have been a frequent diner there since it opened (I assume by prior owners) back in 2001. I believe this marks their fourth location as they have restaurants in Williamsport, PA, Toms River and Ocean.
The last two times I have done hibachi was, ironically, at Ichiban 18 on Route 18 in East Brunswick. I did not think it was really that good. The chicken was kind of rubbery. Good chef and quite theatric (he was unusually bubbly) but the food was mediocre. We had an all adult group, so they shot sake into our mouths from across the room in addition to the flying zucchini chunks which have become a mainstay. They do, however, have excellent sushi and a nice bar and lounge area, including some private booths that you can curtain off.
As for closer to where I live (Holmdel), there are a few places that serve hibachi, but only in style, not performance. I think Koi across from Costco has real hibachi. Never been there, but they have been around forever and are always packed. I would trust them. Same with Nemo. But you are just getting the plate of food, not the experience of sitting and watching.
While on the topic of Ichiban, here are some past pics from the Route 18 location:
A sake bomb to get started.
Classic Mai Tai. They don’t screw around with drinks, happy to say.
Great performer, subpar cook.
Not a bad looking plate of food, but the chicken was “meh”.
On an earlier visit, I had these Udon noodles at the bar. This was very good.
If you are bringing kids, I honestly would recommend something close by since the food won’t really differ much.
You have kanji, sawa, ichiban and I think the spot Greg mentioned in Hazlet/holmdel. There could be a few more. I am referring to places that do the whole “dog and pony” show for entertainment. So do you want entertainment or a better food value?
If given a blind taste test I doubt you could tell the difference. That is my opinion though.
If you simply want food cooked hibachi style and want to feed your kids this type of food, just go to the China buffet in Eatontown. They will cook up some decent food in front of you and it is all you can eat. You pick your meats, veggies, and sauce. I can elaborate if you let us know what you exactly want.
Def something with the show for the little ones., onion volcano, shrimp in the pocket, etc…Was thinking Ichiban as I read it was best of the mediocre bunch and also nearby.
Interesting news about Sunny Palace on Rt 18. Driving by it looks like Sunny Palace has incorporated Pho 18 into their location. The sign now reads Sunny Palace and Pho 18…
Can anyone confirm?
Well I’ve actually eaten at one of them, American Melts in Kennilworth! I have frequent business in the building that the American Melts is in the parking lot of. Lol too funny! Will be there next Wednesday Night, so that means dinner at La Griglia!
OK, it’s official, but it looks like Sunny Palace may be gone, replaced by Pho 18, albeit with some of the old menu as well.
Wait… isn’t Sunny Palace huge? Hard to fathom a Pho shop taking over a space so big.
Make that two…you’ve been to Linos.
The half bird platter is now 9.00 from 7.50
I have a feeling local smoke is going to jack prices up soon with their success. It will happen, I just don’t know when.
Oh I missed Lino’s on there!
Man seeing that list reminded me of how cheap food can be in different parts of the country. Baguette Delight made the list with their 5$ banh mi sandwiches… in California they are 2 bucks pretty much everywhere! (Which is just an absurd pricepoint for any food)
Sunny Palace is gigantic. I remember there being multiple levels of seating plus a bar and private dining area. Website is still active. Unless Pho 18 is sharing space, there’s no way…
From what I heard from a guy that goes there regularly for dim sum, Sunny Palace was bought out by a Vietnamese person. But they are continuing to serve Dim Sum. I am curious to see how Pho come into play along with the rest of menu.
I held my wedding banquet at SP; it would be quite funny if it turns into a Pho shop.
Quite a fancy interior for a Pho shop. Not downplaying Pho, but Sunny Palace is an enormous location and not really the right atmosphere for it. Plus the liquor license…they’d better sell a lot of noodles!
Peter Genovese has another one of his subjective lists for the 35 best boardwalk foods at the Jersey Shore. In Asbury Park, he loves the lemonade at Pucker, the dragonberry bowl at Playa Bowls, pork taco at MOGO, forbidden chicken sandwich at Hoagitos, and pork roll, egg, & cheese sandwich at Johnny’s Pork Roll truck. Number 1 was the sausage sandwich at Dentato’s Clam Bar, in Seaside Heights.
The pork tacos at MOGO are spectacular, imo. Hot pork with yummy spices, cool/creamy slaw…