In Vegas for CES, I was lucky enough to be invited out for a little lunch at Benihana at the Hilton of Las Vegas. I had never heard of anyone going to Benihana for lunch (outside of The Office), but I wasn’t about to turn it down. If you don’t know Benihana, you’ve probably been living under a rock, but as a Japanese steakhouse, they cook in the teppanyaki style, which involves cooking on a huge griddle that also happens to be part of the table. For lunch they were cooking up steak, chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, onions and peppers, plus a salad for a set price of $24.99. This was actually a really good price for both Benihana and Vegas in general, so after ordering a Sapporo, I was ready to eat.
Kobe Beef is a world renowned form of meat that seems to have taken upon mythical status. It is exotic, yet signs for Kobe beef can be found everywhere. Technically speaking, most of the “Kobe Beef” outside of Japan isn’t really Kobe beef at all. The correct term for this is Kobe-style beef, which employs similar concepts but isn’t quite the same. Many restaurants just say Kobe beef because no one really knows the difference and to tell customers the difference would scare off potential buyers. True Kobe beef is only made in the Hyogo prefecture in Japan, which the city of Kobe is the capital of.
The best way to get real Kobe beef is to go straight to the source, Kobe, Japan. I was lucky enough to find myself in Kobe one day, so I didn’t have to add a thousand dollar plane ticket onto what would already be the most expensive steak of my life.