Last night 4 of us went for dinner at Shiro. We'd never been and were hoping for a pleasant Japanese meal. It was very crowded - there was a large party around the hibachi table and most of the tables were filled. We figured this was a good thing; it's clearly a popular place. We were promptly seated then left with menus for about 15 minutes.
We had to flag down a waiter so we could put in our drinks order. We asked for tea and he announced in a condescending voice that there would be a charge for tea. He then turned to leave and we had to shout out the final order for a sake martini. It took another 15 minutes for the drinks to come. The martini was great but the tea nearly flavorless.
After another 15 minutes or so, a member of the waitstaff helped us find our waiter so we could order some food. At this point, we had been sitting over a half hour. But then the real waiting began. Our waiter clearly avoided our table, and finally after flagging him down, he had another member of the waitstaff bring us fresh cups of tea.
Once we had been there over an hour, a member of our party asked a passing waiter to have the manager come to our table. Our waiter then came with a broad smile on his face asking if there was anything he could do (like yeah, bring our food!). We told him we wanted to see the manager. A pleasant woman came and apologized profusely. Our appetizers soon appeared - gyoza, shumai, and sushi roll. All were fine and we ate them quickly, given our hunger at that moment. Then nothing.
One of us went up to the manager again and complained; the rest of us at the table made a quick decision that we wanted to leave. At this point we were all a bit fumed and the evening was basically wrecked. The manager pleaded for us to stay and told us that dinner would be on the house. So we stayed and ate - a shrimp tempura platter, a grilled eel with rice, and a mixed tempura platter. The main courses were truly mediocre. The oil for the tempura had not been hot enough and the fish and vegetables were sodden and greasy. We decided to not complain about the soup, salads, and extra rice that were supposed to come with our meals, given that the whole thing was free.
Towards the end of the meal, one member of our party bit into a vegetable and kept pulling out a long strand that we eventually realized was a long white hair. This pretty much concluded the meal. We then left, never to see our waiter again.
That night, one of our party became quite ill (I think you'll get the picture...)
If we had had to pay for this, the whole bill would have come to about $100. Main courses range from about $17.95 to $24.95 which seems too expensive even in the best of circumstances for a restaurant of this caliber.
So that is our Shiro horror story. We'll never be back, but I'll be curious to know other diners' reports of this restaurant.