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Benihana Restaurant Review: For numerous baby boomers, the national chain of Benihana restaurants, started by entrepreneur Rocky Aoki in 1964, was their first introduction to the food of Japan. It was---and still is---a totally unintimidating initiation for diners of all ages and sophistication levels, thanks to the fun formula of dinner that’s a show. A limited menu of accessible eats (steak, chicken and seafood, stir-fried teppanyaki-style on a steel griddle built into diners’ own tables) is cooked by knife-wielding showmen who slice ‘n’ dice, juggle salt-and-pepper shakers, flip shrimp into their hats, and otherwise play with their food. No worrisome choices necessary, either, since meals are complete; entrées include onion soup, salad with ginger vinaigrette, shrimp appetizer, hibachi veggies and green tea. In an attempt to appeal to younger diners, there is an à la carte sushi menu, too, featuring reliably fresh (though non-local) fish. But it’s the time-tested formula of non-adventuresome but tasty teppanyaki meals, prepared with circus-like flair, that continues to draw and dazzle diners.