Gut Reaction for May 2, 2013

For Weekly SurgeApril 29, 2013 

This 10-year-old building in Surfside Beach was built for Jimmy Miller when he opened Ichiban, and now he has returned with his second Jimmyz location. Photo by Becky Billingsley for Weekly Surge.

PICASA

The new Jimmyz is at 670 U.S. 17 Business S. in Surfside Beach, and it’s open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The number is 238-8008.

Setting the Table

Roughly a decade ago a new restaurant was constructed at 670 U.S. 17 S. in Surfside Beach, and now after a series of different restuarants and cuisines have occupied its space, the original occupant has returned.

The building’s owner, Robert Shelley, gave the façade Asian flair for the first operator – Jimmy Miller – who made a name for himself in Myrtle Beach with Jimmy’s Japanese Hibachi at 3401 N. Kings Highway. Miller sold the concept in 2002 to Will Barnes and came to the brand-new Surfside Beach location to open Ichiban, a more upscale Asian eatery.

But Ichiban didn’t last, and the space has housed a succession of restaurants including two more Asian restaurants – Yokoso and Sake – a Mexican restaurant called La Cabana, an Italian restaurant called Sopprafino and a restaurant/bar/burlesque club named Cool Daddy’s.

In the meantime, Will Barnes sold Jimmy’s Japanese Hibachi to Tony Bennett (not the famous crooner), who by 2008 had four Jimmy’s Japanese Hibachi locations, but the original one at 3401 N. Kings Highway had closed. By early December 2009 Bennett had three remaining Jimmy’s Japanese Hibachi locations, but they were all closed at the same time (signs were put on the doors saying they were closed for renovations and repairs), and Bennett left town. They never reopened.

Wanting to redeem the Jimmy’s name and return to what he does best, in 2009 Miller opened The Original Jimmyz Hibachi House at 6108 N. King Highway in Myrtle Beach. Appreciative diners kept it busy, and now Miller has opened a second location in the old Ichiban location in Surfside Beach.

Did you follow all of that?

This time the ambiance is casual – just like the Jimmyz in Myrtle Beach. It’s a jeans, shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops kind of place. Out front are a pair of rock waterfalls with a Japanese-style bridge crossing them and several picnic tables, and inside are several two- and four-top tables plus counter seating. Order food and pay for it at the cash register, and then a server will bring orders to your table.

Down the Hatch

A lunch menu served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ranges from $1.95 to $8, with most choices at $5.50. Lunch plates with rice and vegetables (mostly zucchini and onions) have a choice of teriyaki chicken, hibachi steak, hibachi shrimp or hibachi vegetable.

Fried Rice Bowls, Hibachi Salads or Hibachi Wraps can be topped/filled with chicken, steak or shrimp. Low Carb Veggie Lunch Bowls include onions, zucchini, mushrooms, green peppers, celery, carrots and tomatoes. Two soup choices are Clear or Miso.

The dinner menu kicks in from 3-11 p.m. with appetizers ($2-$6.50) of Vegetable Spring Rolls, Panko Popcorn Chicken, Popcorn Shrimp and Jimmyz Special Chicken Wings, which are crunchy and served with a side of sweet and sour Thai dipping sauce. Yakitori Skewers are $4.75-$5.50 and are threaded with steak, shrimp or chicken.

Dinner Rice Bowls and Noodle Bowls are $6.25-$7.25 and can be topped with teriyaki chicken, steak or shrimp.

Jimmyz has five basic sushi rolls for $4.25-$6.75: California, Tuna, Spicy Tuna, Crazy and Volcano. The Mr. and I tried Spicy Tuna and Volcano, and both were flavorful and held together well.

Dinner plates are $8-$13.75 and are served in huge portions with rice and veggies. My husband is a salmon lover, so I recommended he try the Jimmyz version, which has a light and sweet glaze with delectably crunchy edges. He devoured it.

I’ve always been a fan of Jimmyz Korean Bulgogi – his mama’s recipe – and was not disappointed with the tender beef chunks.

A few more hibachi dinner choices include sea scallops, filet mignon, tuna and mahi-mahi. Extra a la carte side dishes are white or fried rice, garlic soy noodles, zucchini with onions, a bottle of mayonnaise-base seafood sauce, sweet potato fries, side salad and sour cream with chive fries.

Check, please

Two desserts are Fried Cheesecake with raspberry sauce ($4.50) or soft-serve chocolate or vanilla ice cream ($3.50).

Alcoholic beverages are not served, and Miller has no plans to apply for a liquor license. He says he wants to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere.

The Myrtle Beach Jimmyz delivers, and so does this new one. The southern delivery boundary is Inlet Square Mall, and to the north to Ocean Lakes Campground.

Becky Billingsley serves up fresh news daily at MyrtleBeachRestaurantNews.com.

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