When Spartan announced a surprise birthday VT Meeting for his lovely bride, Laruie Jeanne at Benihana in Carlsbad I was happy to join for two reasons, first to see everyone and second to have dinner at Benihana! I hadn't tried the Carlsbad location but found it to be as nice and charming as the San Diego location in Hotel Circle.
At Benihana, each "table" which seats up to eight people, has it's own grill. All the the chopping and dicing of meats and vegetables for the meal and the cooking of most food is done, right in front of you, at your table by clever, talented and sometimes very funny cooks. Clapping and tipping are accepted when you especially enjoy the show he puts on.
Of course, if you don't travel with a large party and are anti-social you may not like the set-up, because all seats at a table are filled--within a reasonable amount of time--before the cooking begins. That's right, you may be sharing a table with complete strangers! Though it might sound weird, the truth is that you'll most likely have fun.
This was my first time at the Carlsbad location and I came with my own group. So, I didn't meet any strangers.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish depends on my mood. However, I always order hot Sake to drink and a spicy Tijuana Roll appetizer.
Unfortunately this location does not offer the spicy Tijuana Roll, so I ordered the California Roll instead. Usually I have Teriyaki chicken or one of the shrimp dishes.
Here you see oldmonk92129 on his fourth or fifth sushi order and he's still happy, that should give you a clue how good the food is.
Photo Courtesy of a kind and generous Yubert!
The Benihana concept began as a family business on the streets of New York in 1964, and has grown to every corner of the world. The atmosphere is light, exciting, fun and most of all brings people together for a delightful time out dining. From the chefs who cook your meals right in front of you (with tricks to boot), to the greeters who belt out "Happy Birthday" in Japanese, it's a fun time had by all.
Favorite Dish: This was a birthday surprise (as well as a mini-VT get together) for LJ...and she really had a great time. Once everyone arrived, we were seated at our hibachi table (teppanyaki cooking) and the fun began. I'd like to thank Keith, Dion, Ganesh, Yubert and Linda for helping us celebrate the special day.
LJ and Linda (lmkluque) decided to order Benihana Hot Sake/Shochikubai in order to start the birthday celebration. After that, we ordered the Crunchy Roll appetizer (shrimp tempura, avocado, crab and cucumber. For dinner, I ordered the Splash "N" Meadow entrée (steak and shrimp) while LJ had the Land "N" Sea entrée (tenderloin and scallops)...all of the meals came with Japanese Onion Soup, Benihana Salad, Shrimp Appetizer, Hibachi Vegetables, Fried Rice and Japanese Hot Green Tea.
For dessert, we had ice cream and Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake (a layer of pecan pie topped with a layer of pumpkin cheesecake baked in a graham cracker crust and finished with glazed pecan halves and whipped cream rosettes) from The Cheesecake Factory.