Japanese for "fire bowl," a hibachi is just that — a small (generally cast-iron) container made for holding fuel (usually charcoal). A grill that sits on top of the bowl is used to cook various foods. Hibachis come in square, oblong and round models. Because of their compact size, they're completely portable.
© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.
Here's what I don't understand: if hibachis are just the little grills, why do we call Japanese steakhouses "hibachi" steakhouses? Am I just using the word incorrectly? Is somebody else? Or is the definition actually more broad?
Either way, I'm going to a Japanese steakhouse tonight, for the first time in a few years. I love these places - I have ever since my first lunchtime visit to the Sakura in Williamsburg my freshman year in college. I do love a fruity drink in a Buddha glass and a cheesy Japanese chef.