Genjigo touts fresh, convenient hibachi bowls at Westerville Square

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group
Darrell van Ligten, Genjigo chief executive officer, stands in front of a mural at the new Westerville location, 14 E. Schrock Road.

Those looking for fresh hibachi bowls might consider the recently opened Genjigo, 14 E. Schrock Road, at Westerville Square.

The new location marks the seventh for Genjigo, a Columbus-based, fast-casual hibachi concept, serving fresh, convenient hibachi bowls. 

“We are very excited to open this new Genjigo location to serve hibachi fans in Westerville,” said Darrell van Ligten, chief executive officer. “Our new store design, created by Floresta Partners, enables socially distant dine-in and no-contact carryout and has been well-received by the community.”

He said he’s pleased with the response since the Westerville location opened Dec. 10.

The store was uniquely designed, van Ligten said, keeping in mind COVID-19 coronavirus restrictions.

Two doors were chosen purposefully, allowing a no-contact entry for pickup orders, he said.

All booths also have partitions to meet proper social-distancing requirements.

Before the coronavirus, the restaurant would have offered a community table in the middle of the seating area for 10 to 12 customers.

Booths currently provide seating for 28 that allows appropriate distancing.

“We have custom decals (for COVID-19 restrictions),” van Ligten said. “We take it seriously. It has been a challenge. We’re pleased how our customers have responded.”

Westerville residents Taylor Griffiths and Riley Nolder are regular customers.

“We love this place,” Griffiths said. “We come here all the time.”

She said she likes the chicken and fried-rice bowl with zucchini, onions and the made-in-house version of Yum Yum Sauce. 

Nolder said she and Griffiths were there on opening day.

“It’s in a great location,” she said. “The Yum Yum Sauce is the best.”

Nolder said she also appreciates the store’s cleanliness.

The most popular bowl is the chicken bowl, followed by the combo bowl with chicken and shrimp or chicken and steak, van Ligten said.

Along with favorites, the Westerville location offers additional vegetarian options with tofu bowls and side salads.

The restaurant also offers a house-made ginger sauce and such beverages as Mango Raspberry Cooler, Shiso Sweet Tea and Yuzu Ginger Lemonade.

Genjigo employee Jacob Sheridan of Delaware said the restaurant is great.

He said it’s like going to a Japanese steakhouse, but you don’t have the wait. 

“It’s always hot and fresh,” he said. 

Genjigo employee Jacob Sheridan of Delaware prepares a combination chicken and shrimp bowl with fried rice, onion, zucchini and bean sprouts.

The restaurant’s concept was born from the idea that amazing hibachi-style Japanese food could be offered without the usual wait required at a traditional Japanese steakhouse, according to its website: genjigo.com.

Other central Ohio locations are at 6535 E. Main St. in Reynoldsburg; 1217 Hill Road North in Pickerington; 321 S. Hamilton Road in Gahanna; 6943 E. Broad St. in Columbus (temporarily closed); 4210 Buckeye Parkway in Grove City; and 8599 Columbus Pike in Lewis Center.

Genjigo, 14 E. Schrock Road at Westerville Square in Westerville, is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

An eighth location is expected to open by April 1at Gay and Third streets in Columbus, van Ligten said.

All locations are open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

Online orders may be placed at genjigo.com for no-contact carryout orders and Doordash delivery.

For special offers, follow the business on Facebook at @genjigohibachi.

Westerville’s location can be reached at 614-392-4543.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla