I have been at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort for the past few days on business, and checked out this board for ideas on where to eat. I am glad I did, because that is what convinced me to fork over the dough to try Kai here in the hotel. I had the cheaper ($140, with wine) tasting menu, while my wife ordered off the menu. Without going through all of the food (all of which was first-rate), what really made the place remarkable was the choreographed service. It was like a piece of performance art. Dishes would wisk in place in unison, and, when empty, would disappear in a like manner. All of the motions were smooth as silk. Really remarkable. Although expensive, this was a real case of getting what you paid for, both in terms of the quality and variety of food and the table-side ballet.
As an aside, one notable feature of the place--and something my wife and I saw in France, but have never before seen in the U.S.--was how the restaurant dealt with the fact that my meal had about five (six? seven? I lost count) courses, while my wife's had two. They refused to just make her sit and wait while I ate. Each time I had an additional course, they would place some small, complementary morsel in front of her so she would have something while I was eating.
One more interesting note. The hotel's lounges' mixed drinks are pretty typical--and expensive. Lots of mixer, and nothing to write home about. (We had ordered the lounge's special Margarita. The bar tender used Patron Tequila and Contreau, and then proceeded to use his spray gun to add the mix!!!! Why would anyone ruin such first class ingredients like that?) Kai's drinks, while also expensive, are much better and more interesting.
All in all, a completely satisfying experience, and one that I would recommend to anyone.
Last night, looking to slum it a bit, we decided to go off the reservation (was that pun intended? I'm not really sure) and ate at Z'Tejas in Chandler. While it may be a slightly gimicky chain (albeit a regional one)--and waaay too noisy, it is really not bad. We may well have had the best restaurant Margaritas in my memory. If they used a mix, it was a pretty darned good one (I actually had the pomegranate version). Good food, good drinks--so what if we suffered hearing loss?
Oh yes, and one more food-related comment. You know how so many hotels put those little coffee makers and coffee pods in the rooms, but the coffee they generate is invariably vile? This hotel has the same coffee makers, but uses Starbucks coffee pods. The coffee that comes out actually tastes like Starbucks' coffee. While I am not a particular fan of the distinctive taste of Starbucks' coffee, it is far from vile. (I realize "far from vile" may not seem like much of a complement, but believe me when I say that, when my jet-lagged self awakens at 3:30 in the morning desparate for a cuppa coffee, that distinctive "far from vile" Starbucks flavor sure tastes good.)
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