Benihana - Santa Monica

4.0
2087 reviews
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$30 and under
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Japanese
Welcome to Benihana and a dining experience unlike any other! Our guests are seated at communal tables in groups, where your personal chef will perform the ancient art of Teppanyaki. Watch as we slice and dice, preparing a meal that will dazzle your eyes as well taste buds, whether you choose mouth-watering steak, tender chicken or succulent seafood. You can also enjoy sushi prepared by a talented sushi chef and indulge in a specialty cocktail. Located in downtown Santa Monica just one block off Third Street Promenade, Benihana is conveniently located near parking, movies, and the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Venture upstairs to the sushi bar and lounge where you can gaze down upon the showman theatrics of teppanyaki chefs while enjoying cocktails and appetizers as a prelude to your hibachi meal. Santa Monica is an international destination, famous for golden beaches and upscale shopping. Benihana is the perfect way to end your perfect Santa Monica day.
What 2087 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
4.2
food
3.7
service
3.8
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
72% of people would recommend it to a friend
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H
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 1

our server Kevin was good, but the food was mediocre.

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D
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was a good overall experience. Made sure we submitted a reservation as this location tends to have a wait for dinner. Would recommend.

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S
Miami
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We’ve been coming here for years. It’s always been old faithful but thins last experience made me wish I hadn’t gone. Poor service, food not prepared properly. Its just not what it used to be. They have run this place to the ground

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k
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Dagoberto was our cook and did a great job. The food was delicious. Our server was not very attentive. The restaurant needs an update as it looks dingy.

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e
Los Angeles
42 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

The waiter got the orders wrong for several in our party, ending up in undercooked entrees. The service was very slow as well.

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B
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food. Entertainment. Weekday now could you ask for. Ask for the cook named EDWIN. He's an older Asian guy. He was grrrrrrrrreat!

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B
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 1

This is the worst Benihana I’ve dined at. The service was polite and professional but that’s about all. The restaurant was not clean. The food was bad. I would not recommend anyone that has experienced a nice dinner at a real Benihana bother going here.

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d
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 1

Our waiter and chef were awesome. The only complaint is the floor was really dirty and the bathrooms were gross

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

It took us 20 minutes to be seated and then when we were seated it took 30/40 minutes for the chef to arrive to cook our food. Everybody at the table was extremely upset and hungry. Not cool at all

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MJ
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 5

Our order was wrong. We were given old chicken fried rice from the kitchen because the waitress forgot to add to the order. However when 2 people in our party finally received the rice it was mushy so I sent it back. They brought a fresh bathch out and it was fine. Over all the waitress was nice but I guess it was a bad night. I will explore other locations in the future.

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MR
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Was terribile the service terribile and top noise all’ si terrible

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LA
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great waiter Paul and chef. Food good. Very loud and waited quite awhile for a table.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 1

The restaurant front entrance floor and carpet was very dirty.

The front hostess was kind and friendly.

We sat near the door and our group was cold during the entire dinner service.

The female server had a lot of sassy and attitude. She forgot 1 of the appetizers. However she did great with
refilling our waters and drinks.

The chef we had was nice and the food was delicious.

The bathroom was terrible. It looked as if it wasn’t cleaned. all day.

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p
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Staff was excellent. We arrived early for our reservation and they got us in early. The facilities were clean enough to be healthy but it needs to be updated and revitalized. A visit to Benihana's is for the show, not necessarily for the fabulous quality of the food, this was true again. We visited as we had out of town guests and had been in the Santa Monica/Malibu area all day for sightseeing and thought this would be a topper to the day. It was enjoyable, everyone got what they wanted, so it met our needs.

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JL
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 2

Very disappointed. We planned this dinner for my gf's birthday for 8:30 pm. We had to wait until 9:50 before a cook could help us. We didn't leave the restaurant until 11pm. We were only offered ice cream for the delay. Not happy.

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FD
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and a fantastic time! Most people dining 3/6 were celebrating birthdays. The ambience is always fun and our table chef was awesome!

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BE
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Took 10 minutes for the hostess to even come out to greet us.
We were seated well past our reservation.
Had to personally get up to find our server for refills.
Restaurant only had 2 other tables with people dining, why was service SO slow?
Chef was good.

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S
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 1

We have been coming to Benihana for so long to celebrate our families birthdays. It has really gone down in service, quality of the experience and restaurant overall. The smell was terrible and you should really think about updating the restaurant. So disappointed in my daughters birthday experience.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 4ambience 4

The chef took way too long to arrive. Over 45 minutes. This is absolutely not the place for quick, or even reasonably paced dining.

The service member assisting me, Nick, was very helpful and courteous.

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OT
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

FABIAN is the BOMBBbb

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U
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

We made a reservation at 7pm, and weren’t seated until close to 8pm. What’s the point in making a reservation?!

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Great time! Love Benihana!

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JK
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We come here a lot, usually if we can get some kind of fis discount deal (birthday, gift cards, etc) it's good food, usually fun and a decent value.

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K
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

The waiters were extremely slow to take orders and bring out drinks. When I mentioned to manager about my experience he just stared at me like I was crazy. Chef and food were on point as always.

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r
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

After a 45 minute AND having a reservation, I’m not sure what the point of a reservation is?? I suppose to avoid a 2 hour wait??..even with a reservation it was a stupid long wait - once u get inside, the food is fine and service is good

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My son loves celebrating his birthday here. He loves watching the chefs cook and the tricks they do.

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M
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

This location is where my friends and I celebrate birthdays, but we've had similar issues at every Benihana location we've been to. We often have to wait half an hour or more past our reservation time to be seated (when our entire party was there on time). We tell the waiters when we sit down that we're going to want the banana tempura dessert, because we know they close the kitchen early and we want to make sure they get our order in. More than half the time they don't do this and we don't get our dessert. It's not one specific waiter, apparently it's Benihana corporate policy. The service is unbelievably slow, and we frequently can't find our waiter. It's bittersweet to have a great dinner show with tasty food but no drinks, and after our meal takes twice as long as it should (usually around 3 hours due to slow service), we're told that it's too late for the dessert we ordered when we sat down. The managers usually do their best to make it up with free appetizer and dessert vouchers, but I honestly just want one birthday dinner with an attentive, prompt waiter and the dessert I ordered.

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DC
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I had a wonderful time with four of my former coworkers/friends. Benihana’s is not the easiest place to catch up with people you haven’t seen but the service was fantastic. The food was great and our waitress was very attentive. Haven’t been to a Benihana in a few years so this was definitely fun and I really enjoyed myself.

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DS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The place is overly crowded and very noisy from drunken diners. The service is acceptable. The food comes out on the dry side. The presentation is very fun to watch.

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HW
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

It's going downhill fast. Been going to this location for years. The plates are getting smaller and it's getting way more expensive. Because this location is so crowded the service sucks. Now the food is being either burnt or not cooked enough. No seasoning on anything. This last time they didn't even have rice cooked.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

This was the worst experience I had at Benihanas. It was my friends first time here and he will never be back. We had reservations at 9.. by the time they came to us was 10. The wood was dry and over cooked with no flavor.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Food and Chef were both great! Waitress was MIA for about 20-30 minutes!

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r
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Seating was quick ... as it was a weekday.
pretty good service and fun. It took awhile for our cook to arrive (we had to wait at least 20 minutes for that). but the cook was good. Food pretty good.
Probably should get the Filet mignon rather than the basic steak as its only a few dollars more. I mistakenly ordered the regular cut of meat and it was a bit tough. Salad is great as is the chicken fried rice.

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LS
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Check-in was friendly, but we waited 15-20 minutes past our reservations time. Then we sat at the table for a long time before a waiter/waitress came over to us. Food was great, cook was funny/engaging and awesome. Then at the end, we waited a long time for our check.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Terrible, filthy, kids loved it.

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JA
Los Angeles
375 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

My niece and nephew had never been to Benihana‘s so we went for lunch. Our waitress was very nice but not very good. She was good at refilling water but she didn’t get the order is correct. We had all order dinners which come with both soup and salad and we corrected her and told her that. Even though we told her that she never corrected her check so the cook was upset when we told him and he didn’t have the correct ingredients yes. Three people at our table ordered steak and lobster which is on the dinner menu, not the lunch menu. I don’t know how she got that wrong. I was also disappointed with the chef. Although he was Asian, which is unusual at Benihana now days, he was a little cranky and did not put on a show like some of the other chefs. I don’t think he should have confronted the customers about the order being incorrect and telling us to tell the waitress. I love Benihana’s but it wasn’t as good as it usually is. I was disappointed

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k
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

The waiters/guest service was really bad. The waiters werent on the same page as the cooks, they seem too laid back. I had a reservation and still waited 30 min to be seated.

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k
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 2

We had reservations at 6.15 and weren't seated until an hour later. We tried to get a drink at the bar while we waited and there was no bartender. Eventually when we ended up getting drinks, the bartender took 20 mins to just run my card. The most frustrating experience since our family was visiting from out of town to celebrate our daughter's birthday. They did nothing in return for all the inconvenience.

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DF
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

We had a 6 o’clock reservation and were kept waiting for 45 minutes . We were there celebrating a granddaughter ‘s 9th Birthday. There was really no where to wait. The kids were getting hungry and it ruined the evening.

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PJ
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 5

We love Benihanas. However we always seem to have a problem at the Santa Monica restaurant. We got there at 8:10 for our 8:15 reservation. At about 8:45 I went to ask how behind they were. She looked at me like I was crazy. She had us down as partially there. Our whole party came in one car. They sat us right away at a table that is probably for 6. We had another couple at the table. There was no room. We were very uncomfortable.

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