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Cook your own beef on a hot rock at Zentan

One wouldn't think a chef would trust mere patrons to prepare a piece of premium beef. But one of the new menu offerings at Zentan, the subject of Tom Sietsema's review this week, are cook-it-yourself slices of Miyazaki beef.

It's a thing you should try not only because the beef is delicious, but because faux-cooking at your table is always, always fun. (See: fondue.) And eating meat off of unexpected objects is also always fun. (See: Swords at Fogo de Chao.) Zentan's cooking implement is a smooth, hot river rock, and the $21-per-ounce beef sizzles pleasingly when it makes contact.

Zentan's Miyazaki beef, cooked on a hot rock (Photo courtesy Scott Suchman).

It's also pretty foolproof, which is probably why chef Jennifer Nguyen can put it blithely in the hands of her customers.The Miyazaki beef, similar to Kobe, is sliced thinly and only needs a few seconds on the rock to reach desired doneness. "I want diners to experience what we do in the kitchen," Nguyen told Sietsema. "I love the sound of food hitting a hot pan." Or, in this case, a hot piece of stone.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts.
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