It's February. That means Drew's birthday, followed by my birthday 11 days later. That means free stuff from lots of restaurants. We eat very well all month long.
Benihana's birthday gift is $30 towards dinner. The coupon can be redeemed on weekdays only. So we headed out tonight. At Benihana, as at most Japanese teppanyaki restaurants, your meal also serves as your entertainment. The hibachi grill is set into the dinner table, which you share with other diners. The waitress brings drinks (Drew really likes the saki sangria), soup (a clear broth with mushrooms) and salad (I dislike the ginger dressing, so requested oil and vinegar instead). And then comes the fun part. The chef comes to the table. He smiles. Chats with the diners. Juggles his knives. Then begins to cook. He slices and dices with remarkable speed and accuracy. First comes the shrimp appetizer -- and the applause as he tosses shrimp tails into his chef's hat. Next come the vegetables, including the volcano made from onion slices. Fried rice is molded into the shape of a heart. . . Then it's serious cooking time, as he concentrates on the various entrees. Afterwards the waitress bring green tea and takes dessert orders. Tonight I ordered an appetizer from the sushi bar - a crunch roll, whose main ingedient is shrimp tempura. Excellent! Drew ordered the hibachi steak and lobster tail, I ordered the hibachi steak and collosal shrimp. As always, both were cooked to perfection and served with two dipping sauces -- ginger and mustard. Because we were celebrating Drew's birthday, there was a candle in his ice cream sundae, and the staff serenaded him. Another great dining experience, and with plenty of leftovers for lunch. . .