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Benihana Restaurant Review: When the first Benihana opened in New York circa 1964, it introduced a new concept; instead of the traditional dinner and a show, it made dinner the show. With its numerous locations across the country, Benihana remains popular for its teppanyaki-style cooking and festive, communal dining. At the Carlsbad outpost, the surrounding suburban sprawl leads to a lively, bustling atmosphere packed with families. A favorite for children’s birthdays, it not only condones playing with your food, it encourages it. The wine list and cocktail menu ensure adults need not feel left out; the mango saketini will prompt ordering seconds. Seated at the hibachi table, watch as combination dinners like the "land and sea" (filet and scallops) are prepared by your personal chef and entertainer. All dinners entail five courses and provide more food than one could ever hope to eat. However, appetizers like fluffy yet crisp shrimp tempura and the seared beef sashimi shouldn’t be missed. Sushi is also offered, like the spicy tuna hand roll and caterpillar roll (eel, cucumber, avocado and roasted sesame seeds).