Like method acting, sushi is raw, an acquired taste, and nicely supported by the works of E.E. Cummings. Enjoy a meal with character with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of sushi and Japanese fare from Benten Traditional Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar.
Recently celebrating its 25th anniversary, this family-owned eatery serves up sizable slabs of sushi and steaming plates of traditional Japanese fare. Adventurous appetites can creep up on panko-fried spider rolls—tightly wound webs of lettuce and flying fish roe ($8.95)— or the California Crumble, which finds crab sticks, avocado, and barbecued eel playfully rolling in crispy tempura crumbs, much to their mothers' shock and horror ($7.25). Vegans can quell stomach squeaks with a Soy Yammy, featuring strips of yam tempura wrapped in colorful soy paper beside avocados and macadamia nuts ($7.95). Non-sushi sustenance includes the hijiki salad—black seaweed, lotus root, bell peppers, and chilies in a sweet vinegar dressing ($4.95)—and the chicken cutlet curry dinner ($14.25). Benten also offers creative desserts such as the crunchy and creamy tempura cheesecake, bringing two disparate elements together like a circus production of Death of a Salesman($4.95).
Downtown Santa Cruz
1541-B Pacific Ave.
Santa Cruz, California 95060Get Directions