Mr. Jade turned 40 years old yesterday; in our house, when it's your birthday you get whatever you want for dinner. He chose Benihana, a teppanyaki restaurant near our apartment. We enjoy teppanyaki, both for the food and for the experience.
On one of our first vacations together we went on a road trip through Arizona and California. We stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona and stayed a few days. While there, I had my first teppanyaki experience. That was when I discovered that I love sushi, and having a chef cook for you at your table is among the best dining experiences ever.
Last night didn't disappoint at all. I had a combination steak/chicken meal; Mr. J had the "land and sea" - scallops and steak. All combinations include onion soup, which is an excellent light broth with green onions, mushrooms, and french-fried onions; also included was salad, and a shrimp appetizer. I don't normally care for most seafood, including shrimp, but the way it was prepared was delicious and well-worth eating. We also got a dragon roll; I usually use unagi as my measure for how good sushi is, but we wanted something different last night. It was very good, though we had so much food it was a little overwhelming. Dessert was green tea ice-cream, another item I had never had but now love.
There were many birthdays last night. The staff sang two versions of "happy birthday" - in English, and in Japanese. They brought out little candles and took your photograph. Mr. J declined to acknowledge his birthday, but someone else at our table was also having a birthday so we embarrassed her instead.
All the singing aside, it was a great meal with excellent ambiance. Meals appeared to average around twenty dollars a plate. I highly recommend teppanyaki, and Benihana.