Houston >Food & Dining > Benihana
1318 Louisiana St., Houston, TX | Directions 7700229.756012 -95.369674
M-Th 11-2:30, 5-9:30, F 11-2:30, 5-10:30, Sa 5-10:30, Su 5-9
Neighborhoods: Central, Downtown
Such an awesome experience! – Benihana has been around for a while, and I hope they stick around. It can be a little slow, but you go there not just for the food but for the experience! The chefs are always great and well trained, and the staff have always been very nice. Will be here again!
Amazing First Time Experience! Chef's Table Subscriber – Thank you Benihana for an awesome Birthday! Being part of the "Chef's Table" e-subscription helped us have an awesome time while saving money! We had the Trio with Filet Mignon, Chicken Breast and Colossal Shrimp. It was Delicious. It was awesome learning how they cook the food. I even picked up some tips for the grill! Our Chef Leon gave an awesome Presentation and Judy gave us great service and General Manager Michael Ching made the evening more energetic. He worked well with his employees and made sure we had the best service. They even took a photo of my wife and I and handed it to us free in minutes. Thank you Benihaha on 1318 Louisiana st. Houston, Tx. We WILL be back to see Michael and his awesome team.
If you have 3 hours to waist!!! – We went to the restaurant for my friends birthday. She made reservations for 7:30. We arrived on time, well not all of us. The rest of the party of nine arrived by 8:00. However, we did not eat until way into the evening. As we waited and played musical chairs with other patrons, we consistently asked where we were on the list.
In my heart of hearts, I truly believe the young lady working as the hostess didn't know what she was doing. At 9:15 I saw my friend looking very disappointed. She had her heart set on eating at Benihana. I didn't want her birthday ruined. I asked for the manager. He told me that we had a large party, and he was waiting on other guest get up from their table. I walked back to my friends and explained what he said. They reminded me that a party of eight was seated before us, and arrived after we did. I went back to the manager and explained this to him. Five minutes later we were seated.
Unfortunately, even though we were seated our waitress was horrible. We had to wait 20 min for water, she had most of our drink orders wrong, and the chief didn't come to our table until 9:45. Needless to say it was almost 11:00 P.M. when we left. This was such a horrible experience for my friend and all of her guest. This was my first and last time at this restaurant.
Would not go back – We went to because our hotel was literally steps away and it was too cold to head to our favorite vietnamesese restaurant 15mins away by walking. It was lunch time and we thought of order the lunch portions as we didn't know how good or bad the food would be (after having read bad reviews about this restaurant). When we entered we were asked which area we wanted to stay - one with tepanyaki tables where the chef cooks the food right before your eyes or usual tables. We stayed at the usual tables because I didn't want smelling like tepanyaki. When we entered the area, it smelled of pee! We had to move ourselves to the corner of the room but we could still smell it (maybe a child peed on the carpet)? I was too hungry to complain and I didn't want to move to a tepanyaki table. I ordered the lunch combination (chicken and shrimp), my husband ordered the same (but wth beef and scallops). Both came with salads, rice and vegetables. The chicken, scallops and beef were dry and obviously overcooked (over-grilled) and almost tasteless. I guess either they didn't marinate or didn't put enough seasoning. I didn't like the sauces on the side either. The salad and mixed veggies (onions and zucchini) were okay. The sashimi was good though (sampler with tuna, salmon and yellow tail fish).
I've been to fancier japanese restaurants and actually one that was a casual-dining japanese restaurant (bordering fast food) and have had a better experience (great tasting tepanyaki, teriyaki, tofu and seafood dishes). I would not come back to Benihana. They are overpriced anyway.
Atmosphere is like a McDonalds with Hatchets! – 5 of us arrived and sat in the cafeteria looking louge for 30 minutes even though we had a reservation. No one offered us anything. We were apparently waiting to be seated until they had enough people to fill one of their hibachi tables. When they finally walked us to our table they took us through this dark, dank room with low ceilings and filled with greasey smoke. The noise level was really high and the chefs knifes were clamoring at each table. There were tons of kids. I felt like I was in a McDonalds with hatchets. They turned on the light to sit us down at our dank table in the back corner. The room was freezing. Every ounce of me wanted to bolt out of the restuarant as soon as I saw the dining area and by the time we reached our table all of my dining companions agreed. We left quickly before we saw what other horrors were in store for us and went to Osaka on lower Westheimer. Which was Great!!
Knife-wielding chefs put on a show at this communal Japanese grill. – In Short
Benihana started out as a tiny four-table restaurant in New York City's theater district before becoming an international chain. Diners sit around large tables where chefs ostentatiously chop, slice, stir-fry and grill. Entree options are simple--shrimp, chicken, steak and scallops--and preparation is uniform. Every entree comes with a similar stock of sides: rice, onion soup, shrimp appetizer, iceberg lettuce drizzled with dressing, sauteed vegetables and green tea.
Avoid it at all cost – This was the worst dining experience I ever encountered. The night was to begin at 7:00p with reservations; however we were not seated until well after 8p after customers who came in without reservations. This was supposed to be a birthday dinner for a dear friend and after watching the chef wipe sweat from his forehead and continue to cook our food, several of us were cautious about the hygiene standards of the restaurant. We were never offered the sherbet that was to be a final cap to our overpriced meal even when mentioned to the waitress, who was delighted to assist another table other than ours for some reason. To cap off our experience several of our party including the pregnant birthday girl endured 3 days of extreme abdominal discomfort. When I contacted management several days later to alert them of the food illness suffered they could care less and offered no apology. I highly recommend that you choose another one of Houston?s fine downtown restaurant other than this one.
Traditional Hibachi Cooking – Benihana's Downtown serves a nice assortment of Hibachi dinners cooked tableside, while offering a nice escape from the Downtown hustle and bustle outside the doors. The decor has become a little too dated, and it would be nice if they could raise the ceiling height; feels a little claustrophobic inside. However the tableside cooking was superb, and the selection of wine and beer is extensive. Service could be a little faster.
Bad service - average food - avoid and save yourself time and heart burn! – Host was rude rolled her eyes as she couldn't understand English every well. Took 10 mins to get served after being seated. Took 40 mins after this to get a less than average meal which we had to leave most of due to length of time everything took. Also I ended up smelling of fat all day at work.
Unoriginal and Overpriced – After waiting 15 minutes for a table to fill up to dine with complete strangers. The food itself was bland and unoriginal (something almost anyone could cook in their own house) and as far as the "show" was concerned, let's just say that our particular sous chef was washed up (it was actually kind of embarassing). The people we dined with were nice but quite frankly I hate eating with strangers. One would think that with a restaurant employee standing right in front of you that it would be easy to get drink refills but, as I found out, it was quite presumptuous for me to think that. Perhaps this is all excusable, but once you receive the bill it all becomes quite clear, YOU'VE BEEN HAD. Don't buy the hype, this restaurant is a waste of money and time.
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