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Oct 29, 2007 04:52 PM

Japanese hibachi in San Diego

A friend at work is having a birthday and has always wanted to go to Benihana, so we figured we would take him next week. But apparently the Benihana in Mission Valley is closed for remodeling. My next thought was Hayama (?sp) but apparently they are closed too. Any suggestions for something in a similar style? Thanks!

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  1. I think what you mean is teppanyaki, though the places that do that here fall too heavily towards the "schtick" developed for the American market when Rocky Akoi developed his Benihana concept. Samurai in Solana Beach has two teppan stations. They may actually do it with less of the theatre and fanfare there, which may or may not be good depending on what you are looking for... It's been a long, long time since I was last there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cgfan

      Don't go to Samurai in Solana Beach. We did teppanyaki for lunch there last week. I don't go there for the "show" but I was hoping for good food. It was mediocre at best.

    2. Try Shogun in Clairemont (it's right by the Clairemont Mesa Blvd. exit on the 163). I'm usually not a big fan of teppanyaki, but I thought the food was pretty good. The whole knife-flipping, onion-ring volcano thing is done there, so it's pretty similar to Benihana.

      2 Replies
      1. re: geekyfoodie

        If your friend wants to go to Benihana, he'll be happy with Shogun. The food is pretty good.. the "show" depends on your "chef", but it's the same as Benihana.

        1. re: leanneabe

          Thanks for the suggestion... I neglected to post that Shogun is out of consideration due to one of the folks in our party experiencing a really bad health violation there.

          My apologies.

      2. I have seen a Benihana in Carlsbad, no idea what it's like though.

        1. I don't know what part of the County you are in, but there is also Katsu in Old California Restaurant Row in San Marcos. I found their teppan food to be a bit better than Benihana's. They also have a full sushi bar, which you can order from when dining at the teppan stations. Reservations are needed, but they have three or four teppan stations.

          1. Fuji, which replaced Hayama I believe claims to have teppanyaki. I haven't tried them nor have I heard anything about them, though. My last experience at Shogon Kobe was so bad I can't imagine returning, but it's been several years, so maybe they've gotten better.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mikec

              Wow, I'm surprised to hear that. My visit wasn't anything noteworthy, but between evilipoo's friend's health violation and your experience, I'm wondering if perhaps I was lucky to be there on a decent day.

              1. re: geekyfoodie

                I've only been to Shogun about once a year, on average, for the last few years (someone's birthday, request from out of town guests, etc) but I've never had a bad meal or terrible experience. Okay, once, we had a group of 8 show up with no reservation and we had to wait 40 minutes for a table, but I think that's to be expected. It sounds more probable that the people with bad experiences just had the bad luck to show up that one night.

              2. re: mikec

                Ah, Fuji sounds interesting. I will see what I can find out about them, Thanks! We like to keep it around Kearny Mesa/ I-8 corridor just so everyone can get there easily from work. I commute to Serra Mesa from Alpine, so a trip to North County after work might put me home around... 1am. :-)

                1. re: evilipoo

                  I went to Fuji in Mission Valley this past weekend and had a great hibachi meal. I haven't been to this Benihana, but have been to others and Shogun. The fried rice at Fuji was the best I've had in San Diego (I'm from NJ/NYC) and the shrimp were cooked perfectly. Shogun's fried rice was very greasy. I have to give a nod to Shiki in Middletown, NJ which is my benchmark for all Japanese steakhouse comparisons if you're ever in the area. Their soup, salad dressing, fried rice, and ginger sauce are tough to beat, but Fuji comes close.