By: Dan I. Cook
Inevitably, it had to happen: my first bad review for a restaurant. This week I visited Benihana in Coral Springs.
I am the biggest fan of Benihana, so when my daughter asked to go here for her birthday with friends of ours, I was like, “Hell yes.” Now let me point out, I’ve been to this location over a dozen of times either eating sushi or at the hibachi, and each time I’ve had a good experience with no major complaints. To be fair, I’ve written about this on Yelp.
I haven’t been here in a year, but seriously, how much could a place change? A lot.
Restaurant and Lounge. Literally.
Checking in was a breeze for our party of six. We got seated and gave my daughter her gifts. The server took our drink orders and everything was great until I looked to my right and I saw a person sleeping in a dining area that wasn’t being used. The person, who I’ll refer to as Rip Van Winkle, was lying down on like four chairs in this darkened space.
At first didn’t think much of it, however, in the back of my mind I felt that maybe this employee was working two, maybe three jobs, and was just tired. I also figured the manager would see “Rip,” and either close the partition, or tell him to wake up.
I turned my attention to the menu, and if you’ve never been here, let me warn you that Benihana is far from cheap. I ordered my main course for about $30 dollars and change, then we got our soups. It’s their standard clear onion soup which is more like a clear broth. Nothing fancy about it, but it’s good.
We then got our salads, which is your typical mixed greens, a couple of cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, and a ginger dressing. Again, standard fare at Benihana and not fancy at all. However, as I was eating it, I discovered a large salad core inside. I’m like, WTF is this? I took it out and showed it to the waiter who apologized yet never asked if I wanted a new salad.
I look back over to my right and Rip Van Winkle is still sleeping nearby. My feelings shifted from being sympathetic, to nobody gives a crap in this restaurant.
No manager in sight.
When I used to eat here, the manager would stop by all of the tables and ask how your meal was.
Not this time.
So midway through our dinner, Rip Van Winkle gets up and walks towards the kitchen. There was no doubt that he worked here. I also notice that some of the servers were also sitting in this dark dining area like it’s a break room. Something is wrong here.
The Honeymoon is Over.
The food was just OK, and the service was OK but nothing really mind-blowing. Honestly, it should blow me away when I pay approximately $238.00 with tip for just three adults and a teenager in our party.
Here is my problem, my total experience was not worth the money. On this visit I received a small salad with the core in it, a small soup, standard main course portions, an employee sleeping, and others just hanging out in view of customers with no manager in sight.
Poor job. At this time I’m not recommending this joint. One beer.
Benihana Coral Springs
1695 N University Dr
Coral Springs, FL 33071