BOSTON - The North Shore has never exactly been a go-to destination for restaurants that push envelopes. Say what you will about fusion bistros in the region being touted as the next big thing, but for every Opus, there are a dozen or so localvore cold spots that have failed to launch before they ever even had a chance at liftoff.
It’s not that the North Shore is necessarily adverse to change. It’s just staunchly loyal. Is there any particular reason why Billy Tse’s, Kowloon or The Continental have weathered decade after decade? It’s in the nature of an icon itself. Longevity takes precedence over any underlying substance. You know what to expect from an icon. Even if you can’t explain why.
Hilltop Steak House? That was an icon. But it is dead, Mistah Kurtz. Same with Weylu’s, Augustine’s, Bali Hai and Spud’s. You can argue all you want about the fact that they were in Saugus (more particularly, the fading homage to the mid-century modern territorial imperative that once was Rte. 1) and, subsequently well outside your definition of what constitutes the North Shore. Fine. Go argue about it over a few Trulys during your next round of 18-hole at the country club, Wenham. Just stay the hell out of my breadline.
Icons persist through equal parts nostalgia and equal parts naive idealization. No one wants to comprehend a morbidly obese Elvis croaking through a second-induced Vegas showcase. And no one wants to comprehend Revere without Bisuteki.
Can’t remember Bisuteki? You’re not necessarily part of the problem. But those who do not remember the past are condemned to paying $38 for an order of smoked trout roe and truffle honey nigiri simply because Time Out told you to. And sushi is not hibachi. Was Bisuteki the best hibachi north of Boston? Not by a long shot. But its rivals have also vanished just as mysteriously as they sprouted.
For over four decades, Bisuteki was a fundamental component of the auto detailer festooned junction constituting the Revere-Malden City Limits. You laugh, but it exists. And it’s not pleased with you at all. Bisuteki was the silent but trustworthy friend you never realized was behind you all the time. Call it the Shirley to Kowloon’s Laverne. When you saw it, you knew you were home. And at the end of the month, it’s gone for good. And no one can really tell you why.
Hibachi’s never really gone out of fashion since its statewide import in the 1960s. That’s because it’s transcended novelty, both here in Boston and elsewhere in the country. Benihana. It exists. It’s not just a 2 Chainz song. Ask your parents about it one of these days. Bisuteki’s sister location at the Marriott Courtyard is still turning a steady line of business. As is its offshoot, Tokyo Steakhouse, which currently operates four separate locations in Braintree, Chestnut Hill, Peabody, and Saugus. So why the sudden and unexplained shuttering of its Revere originator—quite possibly the Magne pater of hibachi on the North Shore?
Oh, yeah. There’s that failing $2.68 billion casino a few miles down the road. You know. The one that has a Dunkin’, a build your own burger bar and a Frank Sinatra themed restaurant in the very same complex - 2020 you never fail to astound me. What’s next—a Kowloon food truck? It’s a... curious time to be alive.
Bisuteki is located at the Sheraton Four Points at 407 Squire Rd in Revere. Hours are Sunday - Friday from 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm and Saturdays from 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm. For more information, visit Bisuteki.
Image via Yelp