Thank you for ruining my birthday and first day in Tokyo, Westin!
My first time in Japan, I decided to stay at the Westin. It has an old world feel to it. Everything looks ancient. Some people don't mind this, and like the style. I prefer something more modern, clean and neat. But that's nothing that would make me give a hotel one stars.
What made me really upset was that my fiance had called a month+ in advance to reserve a table at a popular sushi restaurant. They said they would call on our behalf and follow up with us if there were any issues. I finally arrive a month later, and to my shock and surprise, there was no record of that reservation. They, of course, say that may have made the reservation and just didn't write it down. They make us wait until 5pm the day of to figure out whether or not they even called. By 5pm, all the sushi restaurants I wanted to try was already fully booked. I'm only here for 4 days, so the chances of me making a reservation at any of them is slim. Why thank you for effing everything up. I will never come back here. Of course, we're at partial fault for not following up with them, but they didn't give us a contact email. We're not going to make a long distance call to Japan when we provided them with an email address to contact us at. Utter disappointment. Starwood, you call this platinum concierge service? Ridiculous.
Do yourself a favor, don't expect these people to help you plan things. They'll just end up sending you to touristy places that take your money. You can stay at this hotel for convenience, and have a local friend or someone help you with your plans. Thanks to the Westin, I had a terrible time in Tokyo.
UGH! No words can describe the disappointment I feel after eating here. I had expectations based on the Yelp reviews, but I was just smacked in the face with mediocrity!
I came here for no special occasion besides the fact that I wanted to try supposedly one of the best restaurants in Seattle. The fiance and I went with the 4 course meal, so all together we tried 8 items on the menu.
To start off the night, the waitress brought over an amuse bouche, which was lackluster. The best thing of the trio was probably the tater tot, but that's because I love potatoes.
For the first and second courses, we tried the hamachi, foie gras, crab dumplings, and prawns. Nothing was memorable. Heck, I had dinner here tonight, and I had to think really hard to remember what I ordered. For the main course, I ordered the Wagyu, and the fiance ordered the New York strip. This was probably stupid of me. I should've just gone to the Met to get my steak. Also, the truffle fries were kind of pathetic looking. They had the soft squishy flat look of McDonald's french fries, except a bit darker and covered with truffle oil. My poor fiance, who isn't nearly as picky as me, said the truffle fries were the best thing in the meal, which isn't saying much.
For dessert, the fiance had the fruit tart (he didn't like it), and I had the creme brulee, which I liked, but again, nothing special you can't get from a cheaper place. We also got macarons, which I thought the texture beneath the crust was not light enough, and just a little too chewy for my preference.
In terms of service, while the waitresses were nice, I thought they performed subpar. One of the waitresses spilled sparkling water onto the table and onto me. Also, the timing between courses was an utter joke. I've had a 15 course meal from Benu that finished in almost the same amount of time my 4 course meal at Canlis took.
Finally, what Canlis is probably best known for, the view. I thought that too was mediocre. There's nothing particularly breath taking about it. Sure, I'm on a hill overlooking a lake, but then there are cranes and what not in the background. This is not the fault of Canlis, but rather the city of Seattle for constantly being under construction these days.
Overall, I found Canlis to be highly overrated. I thought the dishes lacked creativity and any interesting flavor. They need to work on their timing in the kitchen. Additionally, I can't say I was impressed with the waitresses knowledge of the food. I felt like they were trying to be a Michelin star restaurant, and looked like they had the shell, but not the real substance.
Sad to say, the most impressive thing about Canlis was the valet, who didn't take down my name or give me a ticket, but just remembered my face and got my car immediately when I walked out. He's a keeper. Unfortunately, I won't see him again, since I have no desire to ever return here.06/06/2014 Thy,
Thank you for your review, I'm so sorry to hear of our disappointing experience! It sounds like… En savoir plus
I have stayed at this hotel on and off over the course of the last two years for work. I used to think it was one of the better hotels before, but now I have to seriously reconsider. I started my 3 month stint in Napa again, and booked this hotel for 2 of the 3 months. the first couple of weeks started okay, but I started noticing things that were quite disgusting.
1) I noticed that there was hair on my towels when I was about to take a shower. Hair that I know wasn't mine, because I'm not blonde. I found hair on my towels multiple times. This resulted in me starting to bring my own towel. No chance I'm going to risk that.
2) My remote, and phone were sticky. This is not okay. I seriously wonder if they clean door handles, and other things that people's hand touches.
3) The toilet had some hair on it before I even used it. Disgusting.
4) The elevator by the wing to the right of the concierge desk makes the strangest noises, and the light for the 2 button does not work. I had to guess if I pressed it or not. Once I heard the clanking elevator, I figured it must've registered.
5) The last week I was there, the AC broke over Wednesday night. I noticed when I woke up, the room was 80+ degrees. I left for work, thinking they'd fix it within a day, and that I'd be fine. When I got back my room was 84 degrees. There was no way I could sleep like that. I called the front desk, and they said they were working on it getting fixed, and they had no rooms to move me to. I didn't want to move, I just wanted an ETA on when the issue would be fixed. I did not want to sleep with the window open on the first floor facing a dark parking lot. But it was sweltering. It was the most uncomfortable night I've ever spent in a hotel. I couldn't fall asleep until about 2AM, when my body was just too tired to care. I slept a total of 4 hours sleep that night.
After the last incident, I decided I couldn't do this anymore. I found a reasonable price at the Westin, and will be staying there the rest of June. For the price that Napa Valley Marriott charges, you'd think you'd be getting a cleaner room with better service.
If I rated French Laundry anything below 5-stars, it would probably be an insult. Maybe I was too excited and my expectations were too high.
1) Amuse Bouche - Gruyere ball and Salmon cone - delicious! The Gruyere ball kind of reminded me of the chowder ball I had at Meadowood, but the Chowder ball was much better. The Salmon cone also reminded me of the Poke cone I had at Spago, but Spago was also better.
2) Oysters and Pearls - yummy. probably my second favorite
3) Salad of French Laundry Garden Beets - nothing special. ingredients were fresh, but I didn't think much of it.
4) Pacific Yellowtail - the yellowtail was cooked perfectly, and crispy on the outside. It had a very nice texture.
5) Alaskan King Crab - here's where it got a bit dicey. While I thought this crab was nicely grilled, it was a bit on the salty side for my taste. I also didn't care for the slaw it came with or the cooked egg. Not a spectacular dish in any way.
6) Rabbit - Good, but again, a bit too salty for my palette
7) Wagyu - my favorite dish of the night. Melt in your mouth delicious.
8) Cheese - meh. good, but nothing I'd crave
9) Desserts - my favorite was the "fruit" and "ice cream" dessert. I didn't care for the chocolate or candies. But that's a personal preference, since I don't like chocolate (go ahead, judge me). The malasadas were amazing. The coffee was also one of the best coffee I've ever had. I was able to basically drink it black, which is rare for me.
Overall, it was a really enjoyable meal. I'm giving it 4 stars when compared to other Michelin rated restaurants. It would be 5 stars when compared to any other restaurant. But you're not paying this price at any other restaurant, are you? While I think that the dishes were all very well cooked, I thought it lacked creativity. But as Agnes C. said to me, Keller's restaurants always do classic and not necessarily creative. which I find to be true. He does simple extremely well.
Unfortunately, I can't say any of the dishes made me really want to go back again. It was definitely an experience I would have wanted. I can now cross this off my list.
I will say it, if nobody else will. This is hands down the best boba I can find in the greater Seattle area. Okay, now it's out there. So why not a perfect rating? I'll get to that. I'll start with the good first.
When I first moved to Seattle, I was pretty upset. I moved from LA, the land where you can find great boba in abundance. I was horrified that all I could find in Seattle when I first moved were places like Oasis. I've tried boba from Ambrosia, Gossip, Bobachine, Yunnie, WOW, Boiling Point, DTF, anything you could think of. Nothing would remotely satisfy my boba craving. If anything, I was almost ready to give up boba. Until that fateful day that Drive Thru Boba decided to open up again. What makes Drive Thru Boba my favorite so far is that they don't put anything artificial in it (at least I can't taste it), and its on the less sweet side, which I really like. The boba has a perfect consistency/chewiness that I like, which is hard to find. Most place either overcook it (too soft), or leave it out too long (too hard) and it becomes gritty. So far Drive Thru hasn't disappoint.
What I don't like about this place is that sometimes they run out of boba. I understand making the boba in small batches guarantees that I'll probably be getting a fresh batch all the time. But it really sucks when you get to the register and the cashier tells you they ran out and the conversation goes something like this:
Cashier: Sorry, we're out of boba until another 2 minutes.
Me: Okay, can I place an order for it now though?
Cashier: No, because we already filled up our pre-orders and I can't put in anymore orders for boba. But we have pudding and grass jelly.
Me: So it'll be ready in 2 minutes but you won't let me order now?
I mean, she was nice enough, and she was just doing what she was told. Don't get me wrong, service is great here, and the people are super nice. But I was fuming inside, because I could have been a total jerk and just said "I'll just stand here and hold up the line for 2 minutes then," which is what someone else did. I also saw a group that was ahead of me were told the same thing, and they had to get back in line, and wait all over again. I guess the problem I have with this policy is, you're penalizing customers who came in first and making them get back in line, but customers after them just made that mark, get lucky and have less of a wait time even though they came in later, while the earlier customer has to wait double now. There has to be a fairer way to do this, right?
The other gripe I have about Drive Thru Boba is, their menu is too simple. While I love their house milk tea, I would be ecstatic to see them add Almond Milk Tea as a permanent resident on the menu.
I didn't think my two complaints were worthy of more than a 1 star deduction. I just go early now to avoid the chance of them running out of boba. I also love the house milk tea, so I will survive with the small menu. Hopefully, they work out all their kinks soon, and manage to limit the boba shortage as much as possible. I mean, it's a bottleneck for their business as well, and I hope to see them thrive and continue to stay open to feed my boba cravings.
Long story short, thank you for opening Drive Thru! I'll definitely be a loyal customer.
Yay! I'm a fan!
I just dropped by for a late dinner today. I walked in at 8:50PM when they posted that they close at 9:00PM. I was glad that they didn't kick me out because I would've gone hulk from being hangry!
I ordered the broken rice dish with egg cake, shredded pork skin, and grilled pork. I thought it was definitely a solid dish. I liked my egg cake. It wasn't too salty like some places. My grilled pork was also perfectly marinated and not overpowered by lemongrass.
Service was also terrific. The man who took our order brought our check over at around 9:30PM. He made sure to tell us not to hurry and to take our time eating. Honestly, I've never been to such a pleasant Chinese/Vietnamese establishment. I mean, lets be honest with ourselves. Half the time when we walk into restaurants like these, we kind of expect crappy service. But not here!
Overall, had a very positive experience here. It's also located right next to Purple Kow. Bubble tea dessert anyone!?
Buttermilk fried chicken.. OH-EM-GEE. My friend dragged me here on a Monday night because they only serve fried chicken once a month on a random Monday. It was hands down the best fried chicken I ever had. I went into it thinking, how good can fried chicken be? Well, Thomas Keller basically gave me a smack in the face and told me just how amazing it could be. The crispy crust was super crunchy. The chicken was juicy, not one bit dry, even the white meat portions. The flavor was locked into the chicken. Gosh, typing this is making me salivate.
The other side dishes, including the wedge salad, the biscuits and gravy, the dessert, everything was amazing. And the price of $52 for a pre-fixe meal at a Thomas Keller restaurant was more than reasonable. I'd highly recommend calling ahead of time to figure out when they're serving the chicken and coming then. It's worth it!
I'm going to tell you up front that I am a snotty picky eater, who has eaten her way around NY, SF, and LA. Ever since I've moved to Seattle, I've been complaining my boyfriend's ear off about how the food here is not up to par with any of those other three cities. Mind you, I still have a lot of exploring to do. But I can honestly say, I love this place, and gives me hope that I've just been going to the wrong places.
I've had the pleasure of trying the New York Style Cheesecake, Green Tea Tiramisu, the Honey Cheese Mango Bavarian, and the Souffle Cheesecake (Don't judge me, this was over multiple visits). My favorite was obviously the popular Green Tea Tiramisu. The ratio of cake and mascarpone cream was just right for my taste. The other cakes were also perfectly creamy and not overly sweet.
I saw another Yelper point out that they used graham cracker crust in their New York style cheesecake, and said that that's not really a "New York" style. Here's my food snob side coming out, but I just wanted to come to the defense of Hiroki. I'm pretty sure there's nothing in the New York Cheesecake Bro Code that says you can't use a graham cracker crust. Signature characteristics of a NY style cheesecake is that it's basically your no BS cheesecake, i.e., no adding anything that would take away from the cheese or diminish the calories. It is rich, dense and intense in flavor and tends to be taller in height. Famous NY bakeries use a variety of crusts. Eileen's, Two Little Red Hens, and S&S use graham cracker crusts in their classic NY cheesecakes. Juniors has a thin layer of sponge cake crust at the bottom. Lady M uses shortcake crust. Long story short. Hiroki can use whatever crust they want and still call it a NY style cheesecake.
Okay, I should shut up before you all hate me. But here's a tip. Drop by before 3:00pm on weekends if you want to be able to choose from the awesome selection. The cakes go fast. I showed up an hour before they closed once and there was about 2 slices of the NY style cheesecake left.
Just to preface my review, this is only for the hot chocolate. I came here on Wednesday on a rainy afternoon for a cup of hot chocolate to warm me up. I got the 8 ounce cup topped with delicious whip cream and chocolate chips. It was SO good. It tasted like they melted a giant bar of chocolate and milk together. It didn't taste like the watery hot chocolate I got elsewhere. I was so addicted that I came back again 2 days later. At almost $4 for an 8 ounce cup, it's kind of pricey, but screw it. I don't care!
I came here for dinner on a Friday night. I probably should've known by the lack of a crowd that this place was only okay. The service was pretty crappy, but what do you expect from a hole in the wall restaurant. Generally my theory is that the crappy service means you're in an authentic Chinese restaurant. Unfortunately, it was a mediocre "authentic" restaurant. Also, when I touched my tea cup, it was sticky. I love hole in the walls, but c'mon now!
I got the BBQ combo, which I thought was A-OK. The honey roasted pork needed some extra flavor, but was pretty good. The bbq pork with crispy skin was kind of dry. The roasted spare ribs was mostly bone, and had absolutely no meat on it. I literally chewed and spit some back out. We also ordered the sweet and sour spare ribs. Sorry excuse for the name. It was mostly sweet, not sour. It also took forever to get an order in or to get our check to leave.
Unfortunately, my encounter with Kau Kau does not end after I left the restaurant. I woke up at around 3AM same night from my stomach doing kicks and turns. I ended up spending some time on the toilet. I still didn't feel better, and ended up throwing up some more, and I could taste the food I had from Kau Kau coming back out. My boyfriend also got sick. Needless to say, I'm NEVER coming back here.