Benihana – Monterey

136 Olivier St

Monterey, CA 93940

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

You would think that calling ahead for a reservation would guarantee you seating within a reasonable amount of time when you get to the restaurant right at the stated time. After arriving at the restaurant right on time for the reservation, we were forced to sit for another 10 minutes in order to be seated. Once we were finally called, we were brought to an empty hibachi grill table. At this point, we were quite confused about what took them so long. Upon review of the expansive expensive menu, the waitress took our order and later brought our drinks.

Today, we decided to order Rocky’s choice and the Samurai treat. Rocky’s treat comes with Hibachi steak and chicken breast. Samurai treat comes with Filet Mignon and colossal shrimp. Before the entree was cooked, we both got an onion soup that tasted pretty good and was not heavy. We also received a salad that looked quite fresh, but the dressing was not that good at all. Our chef then arrived and proceeded to cook some shrimp and vegetables on the grill in a decorated and skillful action. This included cutting off the tails of the shrimp and flipping them into his chef’s hat with his spatula. The waitress provided rice and later provided tea. The chef was quite funny during the cooking presentation and was friendly. The dipping sauces were not that good and did not add much to the meal. The hibachi steak tasted tender and flavorful and the chicken was juicy and not overcooked. The Filet Mignon melted in your mouth and was cooked perfectly. The colossal shrimp was much larger than the appetizer shrimp. The lemon and butter made the shrimp even more juicy. I liked how the chef cut up the vegetables, steak, and shrimp into bite-sized pieces. In the end, we also received yummy Haagen-Dazs ice cream that went well with the meal.

Overall, the food and food service was great and entertaining. However, initial service with the hostess was less than desirable and the prices of food were quite high. Due to the great service and entertainment from the chef, I was willing to tip over 18%, but I probably would not come back due to the inconsistent service. If you want to have the authentic Hibachi service, then Benihana would provide that service, but the price and bad hostess would turn you away. If you were in Monterey, I suggest you choose somewhere else to eat.

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