When you got to Benihana, it's not just a place to eat. It's also an experience. I'm no food critic, and as such don't particularly like review restaurants or food for that matter. I mean, for one thing, the taste of food is so subjective. Some people like it sour and some people like it sweet. I'm not nearly the magician at reviewing food and restaurants as other lunchers such as devora (she's number one there for a reason), but I do enjoy heading out to the restaurants every now and then. Benihana, however, is a very unique experience.
No doubt there are other restaurants that have a similar style to Benihana (The Hibachi Steakhouse comes to mind), but Benihana is among the best of them (but I would recommend The Hibachi Steakhouse as well).
Here is what makes Benihana a good experience to partake in at least once. As you get there and get seated, around a table with the grill in the center, you make your order and get your choice of fried rice or steamed rice, as well as a drink. Afterwards, the waitresses come around with some onion soup which is hot, but you'll be able to sip on it. It doesn't quite stop there. A salad also comes around for you to dig into. You'll get your choice of using chopsticks or a fork to eat your food. And while you're digging into this, the chef will make his way to your table, ready to cook the food you've ordered right in front of you. This is why one should check it out at least once. The Chefs put on quite a show by first cooking the Fried Rice for anyone who ordered it. But it's not so simple as watching them. They make it fun by being entertaining. Sometimes by flipping shrimp or by doing some awesome moves with their knives and other utensils. Depending on what you order your experience may vary. Different foods are, of course, cooked in different ways.
The Chef makes anywhere from three or so to eight meals all in one fell swoop. But watching them at work can be amusing. Youtube, as of this moment, doesn't have any good videos. Even so, the experience is something you'd have to see for yourself.
All the show means nothing if the food is no good. It's a good thing, then, that the food is good. Along with cooking your mea. you'll also get Zucchini and grilled onions. By the time you're actually done eating when you go to Benihana, you'll probably be full. The soup, salad, fried rice and main course meal are enough to keep you full for quite a while. And if you think this is all going to be cheap you've got another thing coming. The food is expensive, but it's good. Anyone can find something on the menu. From simple steak and chicken to various sea foods. If you feel like having a drink--and I don't mean a Pepsi--then there are plenty of alcoholic beverages on the menu as well.
It may be expensive, but it has good tasting food, and watching the chefs in action is a pretty fun experience. I can't go every week or anything like that, but I always enjoy it when I go. You won't always get the best chef. As with so much like this, your milage will vary. If you've got kids, they just might get more out of Benihana than an adult will, because they've got a good haul of jokes at their disposal that are appropriate for everyone. So go on, check it out... and enjoy.