This past weekend, I was in Vegas with my boyfriend and we had dinner booked at Okada, originally for Friday night but we had to reschedule for Sunday, our last night on vacation. That was no problem for them.
We arrived on time and were seated promptly. The restaurant is lovely - very spare. Our table wasn't next to the window but we had a great view of the waterfall outside. We were brought water and the drinks menu. So far, so good. Our server was a very nice young blond woman who recommended the sake flight to my boyfriend, answered a few of our questions, and suggested we get an order of edamame to snack on while deciding on our meals.
We made our choices, closed our menus, and started chatting. The next thing we knew, an older man with glasses appeared at our table and asked us how we were doing. He was Japanese, and nicely dressed, and for a moment we thought maybe he was the owner/manager going from table to table to greet the customers. We were wrong, unfortunately. He said something about "working together" (we assumed he meant he and the blond server) and said he would take our order.
My boyfriend is a vegetarian so his choices were somewhat limited, but he had found some items. He ordered the vegetable sushi roll, the cold soba noodles with the vegetable tempura (although now that I look at the online menu, it looks like it says "shrimp AND vegetable tempura," but we would both swear that it said "shrimp OR vegetable tempura" - we don't live in Vegas or I would check), a tofu from the robatayaki menu, and the Japanese mushroom salad. I ordered only from the robatayaki menu: beef tenderloin, asparagus with bacon, red & yellow pepper, potato, and rice ball. I asked our new server if I should get the organic chicken or the chicken meatball, and he recommended the meatball, so I said I'd have that. We were asked if we wanted things brought out as they were ready and we said yes.
The first item that came to our table was a plate of cucumber sushi rolls. We looked at each other, confused. The blond server passed by and we flagged her down to tell her that we'd ordered the vegetable rolls, not these. She apologized, said to keep this plate, and she would tell the kitchen about the vegetable rolls. We thought that was nice, so my boyfriend started eating one of them. Just then, the male server stops by and says, "Oh, you wanted the vegetable rolls? I'll just take these back, then." We explained that our waitress just said that we could keep them, so he left them with us. Hmmm...things were getting strange.
The next item that appeared was a serving of hot soba noodles. Luckily this was pretty obviously not what was ordered and we told the kitchen runner that we wanted the cold soba. He immediately took it away. Meanwhile the grilled tofu was delivered without issue. The cold soba noodles arrived soon after, though they were tepid, not cold, but whatever. Then a plate of tempura came - with shrimp. As I said, we both read shrimp *or* vegetable tempura, so maybe we were both crazy or maybe we were totally wrong, and if so I apologize. However, at the time we thought we'd ordered vegetable tempura and we told the kitchen runner that. He took the plate away, but came back shortly thereafter with the same plate. Now we were very confused and getting annoyed. Then the male server showed up and said they could just take away the shrimp. We thought that was odd if we'd ordered a plate of vegetable tempura and we were left with half an order. So we said no, we'd like an order of vegetable tempura, thanks. The kitchen runner came back not long after with a plate...clearly the same plate without the shrimp.
The oddest thing happened next. The male server stopped by and said to us, "I brought the other tempura thinking that the lady would like to have the shrimp," or something like that, making it sound like a favor that he had brought the shrimp tempura. Neither of us eat seafood and we hadn't asked for the shrimp tempura, so to us it just sounded like a very lame excuse.
Meanwhile, my robatayaki plate was delivered - and looked quite good. The only thing missing on it were the chicken meatballs, but we had said we'd take things as they were ready, so I figured it would show up later. My items were pretty good, especially the beef tenderloin and the asparagus, but the potato was dry and tasteless and the rice ball was somewhat disappointing...though maybe authentic.
We evidently didn't have much food and it wasn't long before we were done with what was in front of us - and then we realized that he'd never gotten his mushroom salad and I'd still never gotten my chicken meatballs. The blond server passed by and we asked her if we could cancel the salad (we were getting pretty fed up) but wondered if the meatballs were still on their way. She hadn't seen the meatballs on the order, but would cancel the salad. My meatballs showed up a few minutes later, having been forgotten. They were actually pretty good.
By now, we both agreed that for what was supposed to be a top restaurant, this experience was one of the worst we'd ever encountered and it seemed to be because of the male server.
When I finished my meatballs, we asked for the bill, and when it arrived we weren't all that surprised to see that the cucumber sushi rolls were indeed on it. That was the last straw. We pointed this out and said that our original server told us to keep them and we wouldn't be charged. Yes, it was only for $6, but at this point it was the principle of the thing. There was a discussion between the two servers *right near the table*! We thought this was uncalled for because it was so obvious. For whatever reason, she came back to us and said that it ended up on the bill because the other server had insisted that we *had* ordered it. That was probably the most unprofessional thing of all, on both of their parts. They presented us with a new bill, however.
The final indignity happened when I went to use the bathroom before leaving. I had brought a shawl, because it's always so cold inside of the hotels in Vegas, and was extremely surprised to find there were no hooks on the door or the walls inside of the bathroom stall.
So, there it is. Our meal ended up being quite affordable in the end, so there was a silver lining. Frankly, we had a much nicer meal at Circo the night before. Again, if it turns out that we were completely wrong about the tempura, I'm sorry.