Wow-I went back to Benihana's after 20+ years and the food and service left much to be desired. My family and I went there for a late lunch and it was still very crowded. So-here I am very much looking forward to having a great meal and while I was waiting for service, I started observing the lack of cleanliness in the restaurant, the cramped seating at the hibachi table and the staff, most of which were not Oriental. Then my afternoon only got worse. Our server took about 10 minutes just to take the drink order (language barrier?). He didn't re-surface for another 10 minutes, but at least he came with the drinks. Twenty minutes have passed by and he still hasn't taken our food order. We were seated next to four super-sized young ladies. The "ladies" gave him explicit directions of what they wanted in their stir fry, so when it came time to taking our orders, he just wasn't with it. I ordered a soup and a salad-I didn't receive my salad until the chef started cooking and dishing out the hot food. As for the chef-he was of some Hispanic descent-absolutely no personality, not entertaining-very bland. These girls started "roughing up" the chef as to exactly what they wanted in their food and whatever he made went back. In fact, 1 of the young ladies literally walked away from her seat with her plate of food-back to the kitchen because he still didn't cook her meal the way she wanted it. Now whether she did it for show and wanted the restaurant to comp the meal-I don't know. I thought the food was average, at best-nothing great, but not to where I would return it. I have had better. I found that the ginger and shrimp sauce were way too salty. My father ordered some type of noodle dish and when the "chef" asked him if he wanted sesame seeds and my father said yes, he just took a heaping spoonful and laid it on top of the food. I would imagine that it would have been a bit tastier, had he mixed it in with the other ingredients. The prices are high for the lack of quality in the food and presentation. In addition, sake for $9.50 is a bit ridiculous. I will not be returning to Benihana ever again. It's a good thing that we have an excellent Japanese restaurant in Melbourne, Florida that beats the crap out of this one-in both food and service!
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