less expensive il fornaio, nice place, most expensive nights, pretty fast service, best chef, simply love japanese steakhouse, great sushi
Delicious food!. I love this location a lot better than the one on La Cienga, it is definitely smaller but the food is simply delicious. I recommend the colassal shrimp and lobster, and an extra side of garlic butter, yummyyyyy!!! Great for birthday events. The servers are ALWAYS attentive and I have never had a bad chef...and you can top it off with a complimentary green tea at the end of the meal! I totally recommend!
Knife-wielding chefs put on a show at this communal Japanese grill..
Benihana started out as a tiny four-table restaurant in New York City's theater district before becoming an international chain. Diners sit around large tables where chefs ostentatiously chop, slice, stir-fry and grill. Entree options are simple--shrimp, chicken, steak and scallops--and preparation is uniform. Every entree comes with a similar stock of sides: rice, onion soup, shrimp appetizer, iceberg lettuce drizzled with dressing, sauteed vegetables and green tea.
Overcrowded and Low Class.
This was one of the most expensive nights out on which I recently took my family, and I thought that because this particular Benihana had just been renovated, and because I had been to many a Japanese steakhouse without ever having actually been to the ORIGINAL Japanese steakhouse, that this would be better than the rest.
There was a long wait, first of all. When finally seated after an hours' wait we were set at a table elbow to elbow not just with the people at our own table (they put 9 people at our table (they comfortably sit 8 perhaps), and the table right next to us (with whom, I on the end, was literally rubbing elbows with), they had 10 adults!
We went with our kids - well the table next to us was a bunch of hard drinking partiers, and the other FAMILY at our table, even though they had 3 minor children with them, were sh*tfaced within minutes and never stopped drinking hard alcohol the whole time, buying drinks for the partiers next to us too. Sweet! All the tables around us were loud and obnoxious.
The heat from all the hibachis made the place smoky - I don't even know where to start it was so bad.
The worst part (aside form having a really unskilled cook whose cooking theatrics all failed, and the long wait and the fact that it took FOREVER to actually get food) was that at one point the manager came over, I thought he was going to ask our guests to take it easy on the alcohol, etc, and to be respectful of other guests. Instead he gave one of those homeboy handshakes to our rowdy and completely drunken father at our table, while they conversed in Spanish amicably. I knew any complaints would have fallen on deaf ears.
Oh and it all cost like $150 (two adults two kids).
I wrote to Benihana - they don't care. Stay away.
McCormick and Schmicks / Il Fornaio would have been less expensive, much classier and enjoyable...even for kids!
Good food and good entertainment. The food may seem a bit on the expensive side, but you do get a lot of it. Dinner starts out with the clear onion soup, then a salad, then an appetizer of hibachi shrimp and vegetables, and then the main dish. You get an entire bowl of rice along with the beef/chicken/seafood dish that you order (get the fried rice!). The chef cooks right in front of you, and depending on who you get, it can be quite a show. Anselmo is the best chef. If you don't care about the onion volcano or the shrimp tail-flipping, then sit at Kim's table. He doesn't do any tricks, or even really talk. All of the dishes are good here, and you can't really go wrong. The combos come with dessert. The service is pretty fast and they tend to refill your drinks on time. The downsides are having to share a table with strangers (especially lame when you and a companion are seated with six other people who are all friends/family and are loud and obnoxious), the parking can be problematic, the wait to be seated can be long, and after you leave the restaurant, your hair and clothes smell of smoky/hibachi/fried food. All in all, it's a neat experience and highly recommended. Chou and Nancy are great waitresses!
I love this place!. I simply love this Japanese steakhouse. More than the food, I like watching the chef preparing seafood and meat right in front of my eyes. It's little expensive but definitely worth it if you are looking for a restaurant to have a great time. They make about 8 people to sit around a table. Therefore, it will be a perfect place for a party of around 8 people unless you don't mind sitting around strangers.
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