My nephew recently reached the milestone of age 9 and after racking my brain, we finally ended up going to the South Orange Country branch of Benihana. (My family lives in OC.) The kids loved it and so did most of the adults, especially the infamous shrimp tail in hat trick.
It was much better than I expected, especially since the meat was cooked as requested: rare, medium rare, medium, and well at one table. A little bland, not particularly "Japanese," but all in all a success for picky eaters, fearful palates, and the chowhound alike.
Special pleasure: watching my nephew tell every waitperson "arigato" ever time they served him. The server was Hispanic but was nice about it.
Gripe: .pdf of menu was out-of-date and all prices were $1-3 higher which translated into 30% higher prices for the children.
Finally, because the kids are getting older I would appreciate some suggestions of where to take them to train them up to chowhoundliness. Their parents aren't any help. I don't think their table manners are up to snuff otherwise I would just take them to my restaurants. *sigh* I am looking for some bridge suggestions to address both issues. Many thanks.