I found out something really, really awesome.
Benihana is offering a meal for 2 for $20.05!!!
Yes, I'm a dork.
Anyway, I saw an ad in SF Weekly for "Benihana's New Years Special"
which is good until 2/28/05 (excluding Valentine's Day) and only
Monday-Thursday at the following locations:
SF, Burlingame (score!), and Cupertino
It's good for Hibachi chicken and teriyaki steak for 2, and comes with
soup, salad, shrimp appetizer, steamed rice, and Japanese green tea.
I checked it out last night, and promptly avoided the ridiculous valet set-up at the Burlingame location. Look, the restaurant has a huge parking lot. Why would anyone need valet? The offer isn't listed anywhere on the menu - you just need to mention it to your server. I wouldn't pay regular prices to eat at Benihana, but $20 to feed 2 people is definitely worth it.
The meat could have been better, but was still tasty enough - especially with the sauces. (Ordering filet mignon doesn't improve upon the meat all that much - I tried it at our department's Christmas party at Benhihana last month, and was underwhelmed.) The shrimp appetizer was the highlight with simply grilled shrimp that were nicely flavorful. My boyfriend tried shrimp for the very first time last night! (Can you say picky eater?) And he cleaned his plate of shrimp before I did.
At a teppanyaki grill you never know who your tablemates will be. We happened to sit with a whole family celebrating an 11 year old girl's birthday, so we had a really good time, and the chef did a few extra tricks.