Sad day today. Rocky Aoki has passed. He is the founder of Benihana and was apparently quite an unusual character. Olympic wrestler, insider trader, wives and mistresses, speedboat accident, suing his children...Do a quick google search.
Why mention this? Well you see, my hunny and I have a history with Benihana. For some reason he has always LOVED this restaurant. Doesn't matter that it is not really Japanese food. His uncles blamed it on the fact that he spent many summers in Hawaii thanks to IBM Golden Circles and his mother's art shows (tough life, huh?). Who knows really. But Benihana is where we went on our first date -- I should have know something when the maitre-d greeted him by name. Apparently, I wasn't the first woman he charmed with flying knives and raw meat. In fact, the other day my daughter and I were talking about Dad's love of "Chop Chop" as the kids call it. I mentioned that I married his VISA debt from Benihana. She was shocked, "You had to pay for Dad taking out other women?" Ah, love...
Here we are the summer after Denise and I graduated. He had another year left of architecture school. Gotta love that Miami Vice jacket and gold bracelet. No wonder he stole my heart.
We have celebrated birthdays, new jobs, anniversaries, times when the kids were babysat at Church so we could Christmas shop-- but we went to Benihana with friends instead... Now to be fair, it is not always Benihana, sometimes it is a local mom and pop teppanyaki restaurant, but it all started with Benihana. Twenty years, 4 kids and many friends later -- it's not too bad a start.