Before you hatas gunna hate about Benihana not being “””real””” sushi (which is partially true), Benihana still brings a higher quality sushi than most other sushi restaurants in Buenos Aires, offering a wide(r) selection of fresh fish, US-style rolls, and a killer Buenos Aires happy hour that’s hard to beat. Where else are you going to get a decent spicy tuna roll for 25 pesos with a 12 peso beer and some jalapeño poppers on the side?! You ain’t! Here are more reasons why I love Benihana:
The Happy HourI could go on all day about Benihana’s happy hour. Everyday from 4pm – 8pm Benihana offers a complete menu with cocktails, beer, wine, appetizers, sushi and rolls for just about half price. It’s kinda the best. In fact, I only really go to Benihana for the happy hour — because I like to drink, eat and I’m cheap like that.Jalapeño poppyaz-in-da-face. They are fried, greasy, spicy, sweet stuffed with wondrous creamy filling. Chicken fried rice is another happy hour delight, especially for just 12 pesos.And the fresh sushi combo of salmon, tuna and white fish.Happyhappyhappy hours.
Lunch special is pretty on point. Starting at $39 (in 2012), you can get a bento box with options that include salad with lick-the-bowl-clean dressing, miso soup, shrimp and veggie tempura, white rice, sashimi, California roll, choice of grilled chicken/salmon/beef, orange slices and Freddo ice cream or coffee. Take a breath. Take a bite.
North Americanized tempurinated spicy dynamite teriyaki sauced rolls:
Rich, baked, sweet, tangy, fried, elaborate golden sauce deliciousness, if you are one of those poser-sushi eaters who love NorthAmericanized tempura-nated spicy dynamite golden sauced rolls like me, it is only fitting that you get your culo to Benihana.
Benihana’s ‘tuna’ is actually fresh tuna, and not tuna taken out of a can and mixed with mayo. If you are a BA virgin and recent transplant to the city, the thought of canned tuna in a sushi roll may horrify you. But if you take a look at the sushi menu, and you spot queso philadelphia in every roll, you can also almost always bet that if the roll says atún, it will come out with the canned shit.
No queso crema ejaculates in yo eye There aren’t many sushi restaurants in Buenos Aires that do good sushi, and even less that do elaborate rolls that don’t splurge a big white ejaculate of queso crema over the whole thing. While Benihana does have lots of rolls with the white cream of the Argie sushi lords (there’s the demand for it), there are options without cream cheese. They are also accommodating if you ask them to leave it out (ahem, I always say I’m allergic to Philadelphia cream cheese). I’ve been to other sushi restaurants who tell me if they didn’t put it in, the whole roll would fall apart and wouldn’t stick. Womp Womp.
Fresh FishThis one is obvio. Fish tastes fresh. There’s no fishy close-yo-legs odor. No chewy, oddly textured fish. They have a good fish source, so you can bet in any fish drought, Benihana will have the goods.
Tracy Morgan loves Benihana
Tracy Morgan loves Benihana, I love Tracy Morgan, so by the power of celebrity endorsements, Benihana rocks. Benihana is one of Morgan’s favorite restaurants, and has even been featured in an episode of 30 Rock. Rappers are also very fond of the hibachi spot, as it has been mentioned in all of these rap songs.
Benihana also has a prime location in the middle of Yanquilandia aka Alto Palermo, comfortably nestled between a TGIFridays, Starbucks, McDonalds and with Wendy’s and KFC just a few meters away.
And while the teppankyaki table is not my thang (RON of JAPAN golden sauce 4 Life), Benihana is also the only restaurant in the city with an interactive hibachi table, if you are into the communal tables, flaming onion towers and hearts made out of egg type deal.
So, if you good, authentic sushi recommendations in Buenos Aires — here are a bunch of my top picks to check out — but if you are looking for an affordable lunch special, happy hour and a Northamericanized take on sushi in Palermo, Benihana is your place to hit up.
Arenales 3310, Alto Palermo