What's cooking/capsule reviews 

What's cooking Osaka Japanese Steakhouse has opened in Hot Springs at 3954 Central Ave. Suite M, in a strip shopping center across from the new Wal-Mart Supercenter and behind a Starbucks Coffee. The owner is Thomas Le, who opened Osaka Japanese Restaurant on Highway 10 in West Little Rock at Dogwood Crossing. The same landlord, C.J. Cropper, owns Dogwood Landing center in Hot Springs that houses the steakhouse. In Hot Springs, Osaka has 10 hibachi tables along with sushi and kitchen menu. The phone number is 501-525-9888. McAlister’s Deli has also opened in Dogwood Landing in Hot Springs. Capsule review FROSTOP BURGERS AND SHAKES It was the guilty urge for fast food that made us swerve off JFK into this little dairy bar, but a love of lamb — and a menu that, surprisingly, included it — made us change our order. Frostop looks like a hamburger joint, and it is a hamburger joint, but this decade-defying eatery also features gyros sandwiches, gyros salads, spanakopita, pizza, Philly steaks, veggie burgers, muffalettas, chicken fried steak, foot-long coneys.… We can vouch for the quality of the gyros salad, which was laden with feta and spicy lamb chunks and tzatziki sauce on the side, though we’d rather have had it on iceberg than leaf lettuce for polite eating’s sake. It was $4.95. The vanilla milkshake we ordered — it’s just a slight exaggeration to say that we had our choice of about 200 flavors — was the most generous shake for the money we’ve gotten in a long time. For $2.45, we got a bucketful, almost more than can be finished by mortal shake slurpers. Breakfast is available here, too, in any form or fashion one can imagine. And there’s more! We chose to eat inside because we wanted to inspect all the non-food items for sale at Frostop, which included candles and Bibles and religious tracts and CDs. The floors are a tad sticky, but you can avoid them, and the unappetizing view of tomes by Pat Robertson, by using the drive-up window. Did we mention that there’s live music on certain Saturday nights? So what’s missing from this kitsch kitchen sink? Amazingly, given that the famous old Frostop’s famous old giant metal mug of root beer is in front, there was no root beer on the menu. That’s a good thing, really. Nobody served root beer — so cold it had thin sheets of ice floating in it — like the original Frostop, dead these 40 years or so, sadly replaced by a chain joint on the corner of Markham and Cedar streets. 4131 John F. Kennedy, NLR. No alcohol. CC $ 758-4535 BLD Mon.-Sat., LD Sun.


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