My one and only Benihana experience was in HNL. The food was great, as were the random table mates, and the cooking of it was very entertaining. It was one of the few times that I didn't have a local beer, preferring the Asahi over Bud. Funny though that the Americans at the table had the Bud tinnies (which IIRC were limited editions - maybe Superbowl or the like) and asked whether I wanted to keep the empty can - what the?
So my "Where I have been eating lately…" recommendation is Shadow Restaurant/Cafe Old Sultanahmet area, Istanbul. I asked for a recommendation for the main meal (after having a trio of dips with turkish bread as starters with Jnr#2) and the meal was fantastic. It was a beef dish - number 72 from the menu. We had a great experience at this place and the more interaction you have with the staff, the better your night will be.
Had dinner last month at Oscillate Wildly in Newtown, Sydney. Awesome 8 course degustation and as it was a Tuesday night they allow BYO. Took a bottle of 1985 Bests Bin 0. The smile on my face when the wine was fantastic and enjoyed it with the great food.
Mr Wong is a regular haunt here as it is plain awesome. Love love the caramelised pork hock!
Other go to's are Bridge Room (outstanding), Bentley's (in the Radison, used to be Surry Hills) and Sake (in the Rocks - Japanese).
Overseas - I ate recently at Central in Lima which took out Number 4 spot in the SP Top 100. 17 course degustation! Was exhausting and brilliant, and only a few courses I'd class as a miss.
I gave up a reservation at Borago in Santiago on our last night as we were exhausted and it was cold and bucketing with rain outside.
I am a big fan of Scott's in Bristol in Costa Mesa California opposite South Coast Plaza shopping centre. I get a Caesar Salad and then the Chilean Sea Bass (once I am all shopped out). Scott's has valet parking and is owned by an Australian.
Scotts at Bristol in South Coast Plaza Costa Mesa California has closed after 26 years. In fact the wrecking ball was pulling it down when I was there last.
The valet parking put me off going there but I was wrong about thinking any place with valet parking must be too expensive.