Recently, I had three different friends who don’t hang out in the same circles mention something about “that great teriyaki place by Target.” One friend talked about the excellent customer service. The second mentioned huge portion sizes for very reasonable prices. And the third spoke of tender teriyaki tri-tip and an amazing panko-crusted chicken.
A quick Yelp search later, I learned the name of this great teriyaki place: Kenji’s Teriyaki Grill, located in the new strip mall on the west end of the Bullard and Blackstone Target parking lot. I also learned that not only were my friends thrilled with Kenji’s, but Fresno Yelpers are, too!
Why the hype
Though Kenji’s hasn’t been open long, (the restaurant opened in August, 2017), there are 73 reviews, and the restaurant has earned a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
So, what’s everyone raving about at Kenji’s?
- The tender teriyaki tri-tip. One reviewer even goes so far as to say it’s the most tender and delicious tri-tip they’ve had in Fresno.
- The restaurant’s special Katsu Chicken Plate. Tender chicken breast lightly breaded in crispy panko crumbs, served with white rice, tempura vegetables, tempura dipping sauce, and teriyaki sauce.
- Kenji’s fast service. Several reviewers noted it’s a great place to go on a lunch break, even if you have limited time.
- Kenji’s décor. It’s pleasant and modern, and the staff is happy to let you watch what you like on their flat-screen TVs.
- Healthy options. If you’re trying to eat on the healthier side, Kenji’s grilled chicken teriyaki, steamed vegetables, and brown rice make for a filling and tasty meal.
- Generous portions. The portions of all meals are hearty—in most cases, you’ll have enough for two meals, and for around $10.
All of this was far too intriguing for me to resist, so of course I had to try Kenji’s for myself.
I went on my lunch last Thursday, and it got busy quick. I arrived just after noon, received friendly counter service, and my order was ready in under five minutes. The line quickly grew and every table was taken, but the staff seemed to not miss a beat.
The food was served piping hot and the portions were in fact very generous (I got two full meals out of mine.) I got the Katsu Chicken Plate, and was not disappointed.
The panko chicken breast was made from juicy, tender chicken and the panko was perfectly crisp without the slightest taste of greasiness or heaviness. The tempura was tasty, and the rice was good—not too dry, not too soggy.
I really enjoyed the spicy seasoning and teriyaki sauce (I always love spicy sauces) that were available in abundance at the condiment bar. It is a little tricky to get to the condiments when the restaurant is busy, as they are somewhat behind the soda fountain, but it’s worth the minor inconvenience.
Clearly my friends and Fresno Yelpers know what they’re talking about. Kenji’s Teriyaki Grill is a gem! Check it out; you’ll be glad you did.
Kenji’s Teriyaki Grill is a family-owned Japanese restaurant located at 5776 N. Blackstone Ave., Ste. 107 in Fresno. It serves lunch and dinner, and is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Follow Kenji’s on Facebook or visit their website to see their menu. Call (559) 374-6800 for more information.