In Japan, a hibachi is a traditional heating device that is designed to hold burning charcoal. But with the waves of Asian immigration to America, hibachi-style cooking has taken on a life of its own.   

Today, hibachi restaurants often feature chefs preparing food right in front of customers with skill, theatrics, fiery antics and a personal flair. Slicing and dicing rice, meats and vegetables, hibachi chefs aim to entertain as well as serve the customer.    

Brownwood’s Sawa Japanese Sushi & Steak House offers the hibachi experience to Brown County customers for special occasions and weekday lunches alike.   

Jenny Wang is the interim manager at Sawa. She reached out to the Bulletin after last month’s article about the Budget Inn & Suites, which mentioned her restaurant. Wang wants Brown County to know that Sawa, under new ownership since last year, is a clean, fun and tasty place to enjoy lunch or dinner.   

“The health department came and inspected Sawa in May, and we passed with a good score,” Wang said. “Our chefs here have a whole hibachi show. They’re funny. In Brownwood, there’s no better place to get hibachi or sushi.”   

Wang said the Sawa sushi bar was installed last year and includes both raw and cooked rolls for all tastes. Sawa’s other specialties include steak, chicken, shrimp, salmon and vegetables.   

Sawa also has a large wine and beer menu, with daily happy hours from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to close.   

Area resident Drenda Willis, who dined at Sawa on Tuesday, said the restaurant has always treated her “royally.”   

“They try to personalize the [cooking] if it’s a birthday or whatever. They have always been so, so friendly, and each family they try to … zero in on them and make them feel important,” Willis said.   

She said each cook she’s been served by has been expertly trained by the Sawa staff, delivering a unique experience and a good meal.   

Wang encouraged locals to look up Sawa on Yelp and Google, and to leave reviews after dining. Sawa Japanese Suchi & Steak House is located at 515 E. Commerce St. and can be reached at 325-646-7292.   

The hours of operation and menu can be viewed online at www.sawasushisteakhouse.com.