Sayonara, Benihana!

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i95
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    Stylingirl
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/18 16:15:51 (permalink)
    I used to LOVE Benihana's! It was our fancy fun place for events- like my 8th grade graduation.
    #2
    ces1948
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/18 16:50:38 (permalink)
    They just recently reopened the one in Stuart, Fl after a complete remodel. It's not on my list currently as I understand dinner for two can easily ruin a $100 bill. I did enjoy it many years ago with of course the "show" being impressive.
    #3
    mr chips
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/18 22:35:42 (permalink)
    Domo, I-95 sama
    #4
    Foodbme
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/19 05:07:14 (permalink)
    I didn't realize that Benihana's owned Ra Sushi Bars. RA is pretty strong in The Valley. Benihana's is a concept whose time has passed. Concept chains must adjust to the changing times and tastes of their customers. If not, they die! Can you say The Magic Pan or Bennigans?
    Places like Mcdonalds who have made changes to the menus, store designs, promotions etc. continue to survive. The American consumer is a fickle animal.
    #5
    ann peeples
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/19 05:32:25 (permalink)
    Loved the Magic Pan. Hated Benihanas.Below average, at best.
    #6
    joerogo
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/19 08:44:51 (permalink)
    How could someone not enjoy the onion volcano?

    #7
    ann peeples
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/19 15:05:24 (permalink)
    Thats all I did enjoy, Joe.
    #8
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/19 15:20:27 (permalink)
    I went to what I think was the original USA Benihana in NYC, and have been many times to ones in Miami, and pretty much always enjoyed my visits.  I grew to prefer a competitor, Samurai.  Samurai, which is in a somewhat special japanese-looking building, has since been bought by Benihana.  The only reason we don't go anymore is because it is so popular.  Typical waits on weekends are one hour plus.
     
    Samurai

    #9
    ann peeples
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/19 16:37:04 (permalink)
    We went to a restaurant called Asiana recently for a b-day party. Going in I was skeptical because of my poor experiences at Benihana. I couldnt have been more wrong.The quality of the food was outstanding, and well executed.The tenderloin was very flavorful, not at all tough as I have had before at similar places. Appetizers were excellent, just the overall experience was great.Will go back.
    asianadining.com
    post edited by annpeeples - 2011/04/19 16:40:57
    #10
    EdSails
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/19 16:43:56 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    I didn't realize that Benihana's owned Ra Sushi Bars. RA is pretty strong in The Valley. Benihana's is a concept whose time has passed. Concept chains must adjust to the changing times and tastes of their customers.

     
    I was surprised to hear that too. The Poke Festival I went to and wrote about last week had RA Sushi as one of the competitors. I just thought they were another small sushi bar but their poke was creative and well done. I hope maybe they get sold off rather than going down with the ship. 
    Benihana did serve it's purpose-----years ago introducing people toJapanese STYLE food and giving a fun party atmosphere. They just didn't stay with the times. Two years ago, the last time I went there (not my choice, a kid's birthday request) it was a pretty poor imitation of itself. They just didn't stay with the times.
    #11
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/19 17:40:13 (permalink)
    Talk about leaving a restaurant still hungry, Benihana set that standard. That said, I wouldn't ever have wanted to get in a knife fight with any of their Chefs!
    #12
    WarToad
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/20 11:43:22 (permalink)
    Benihana.  An American creation of what someone thought Americans would like to see Japanese food to be.
     
    The "Teppanyaki" style cooking was created post-WWII as an attempt to feed and entertain non-Japanese in Japan.(ie: GIs)  It never caught hold in Japan and for all the years I lived there never came across a single place doing it.  It's pretty much pseudo-Japanese for non-Japanese.
     
    Going to Benihana for Japanese food is like going to Applebee's for real BBQ. 
     
    #13
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/20 13:35:04 (permalink)
    WarToad

    Benihana.  An American creation of what someone thought Americans would like to see Japanese food to be.

    The "Teppanyaki" style cooking was created post-WWII as an attempt to feed and entertain non-Japanese in Japan.(ie: GIs)  It never caught hold in Japan and for all the years I lived there never came across a single place doing it.  It's pretty much pseudo-Japanese for non-Japanese.

    Going to Benihana for Japanese food is like going to Applebee's for real BBQ. 

    Indubitably!

    #14
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/20 15:27:32 (permalink)
    Misono, the chain that invented teppanyaki in Japan, is still in business in Japan.
     
    I couldn't care less it is "authentic Japanese."
    #15
    WarToad
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/21 11:17:06 (permalink)
    Yes, and it was created to westernize Japanese food and offer something more familiar to foreigners than traditional Japanese food. 
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teppanyaki
     
    To my Japanese friends and ex-wife, ex-in-laws, they are a curiosity, an American-style import.  To the Japanese, it is distinctly not-Japanese.  They'd place it in the catagory of eating foreign ethnic.
     
    I'm not trying to detract from what it is.  It is entertaining, broadly Asian, familiar stir fry, fresh and hot.  The overall experience with family and friends is fun. 
     
    I equate it to going to http://www.meltingpot.com/.  It's not particularly Swiss or French,  but it is fun to go to. 
    post edited by WarToad - 2011/04/21 11:18:12
    #16
    ann peeples
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/21 12:54:56 (permalink)
    No offense, Wartoad, but if the food sucks, its not fun for me. I thought the Melting Pot ingredients were skimpy for the price.Now maybe had I had cocktails, it would have been better. I have no problem paying for good food, and both Benihana and Melting Pot were below average. And I, too, have wonderful friends from Japan( you should see the pearls they have bestowed on me) but they do not serve anything similar. However, for an American version of Japanese, they really liked the Asiana restaurant I mentioned earlier. Now that was FUN!!
    #17
    WarToad
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/21 14:44:48 (permalink)
    No, I agree Ann, the pricing at the Melting Pot is terrible for what you get, but the kids like it and it is unique.  You don't find fondue places just anywhere.  And my opinion of Benihana has already been made.  Sounds like we're on the same page.
    #18
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/21 15:20:35 (permalink)
    I like both!  Although I must confess it's been 15 years for Benihana, and 20+ for the Melting Pot (maybe it was being 35 with my new bride ).
    #19
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/24 11:31:14 (permalink)
    They just opened a new Benihana in the Legacy development in Plano.  I guess they have decided their prime market is where hicks have fat wallets.
    #20
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Sayonara, Benihana! 2011/04/24 11:34:02 (permalink)
    Since The Melting Pot was mentioned above ...
     
    Does any restaurant chain have a lower food cost as a % of revenue?  And, you get to cook it yourself!!!
    #21
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