I've never been to Benihana, but when my fellow January friend Camille informed me the restaurant will send you a $30 gift card (seriously, go online and register) for your birthday, I was more than willing to take the plunge.
Here's Lola, meeting the giant door greeter cat.
Naturally, she stopped for some light conversation as we waited for our table.
The place was quite empty, with the exception of several fellow-Januaries taking advantage of the killer birthday deal. It's a good thing too, because two babies and a fire-breathing hibachi grill made for some serious squeals.
Lola was quite entranced by the action going on in front of her.
Not to be outdone by the hibachi guy, she quickly picked up her chopsticks and spoon in order to mimic his movements.
The food was exceptional.
Believe me, I ate enough for nine people despite the fact that my stomach was threatening to explode.
Maybe the Octomom was on to something...
And just when I thought I couldn't possibly eat another bite, out came the ice cream, accompanied by the tambourine-inspired "Happy Birthday" song.
The best part?
Our night of Japanese food, pyrotechnics and flying shrimp only set us back $23.
Thanks to the Wheatleys for including us in the double-birthday celebration.
I must include this picture of Lola attempting to say a prayer out of nowhere, because honestly, I almost died of cuteness overload.