It’s no secret that I just recently celebrated my 26th birthday. What you all may not know is that The Boy’s birthday is just 17 days after mine! According to this blog, I’ve been consumed with my own birthday, but little do you all know I have been obsessing over The Boy’s! This year he will celebrate the big dirty 30 and I’ve been preparing since May to be sure his birthday is unforgettable.
Because we will be spending his actual birthday in Cancun, I wanted to be sure to have some kind of celebration with friends and family at home. This time of the year always gets tricky because of the holidays, but I was determined to make something work. I decided a surprise birthday dinner at our favorite Japanese steakhouse, Kobe’s Steakhouse, would fit the bill.
So under the guise that we were going to a birthday dinner for my mom (her birthday is just 3 days before his), we planned to skip our usual Sunday routine and head to Kobe’s. When the time came to head to restaurant, I told him my mom was running late and would just meet us there. As we drove out to Westport Plaza, 15 of our dearest friends and family were laying in wait. As we stepped off the elevator he complained about my mother’s tardiness and had no clue what was waiting. He didn’t even pick up on anything when the hostess asked if we were with the large party! The highlight of the night was the look on his face when he saw his friend and family. He couldn’t believe that I had kept a secret so big from him for two whole weeks! Unfortunately, despite the occasion, the restaurant kind of let us down.
The Environment. Kobe’s is on the top floor of a building in West Port plaza. This makes for pretty scenic views of the area, which is always nice. Because of the restaurant’s popularity, I was VERY concerned about their ability to accommodate such a large party. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived and our guests had already been seated. We were in a middle room, with no other diners, which allowed us to move about and talk to everyone. As to be expected, I was super excited to watch my food being cooked in front of me (this is pretty much the primary reason for going here).
The Food. The food is the primary reason I was disappointed with our experience. We had a combination platter that included filet mignon, lobster tail, and our choice of shrimp or scallops. My scallops and lobster tail were nothing spectacular. They weren’t bad, but they also weren’t good. The steak is where the problem was. We both asked the chef to make them medium well, with a thin line of pink. To put it simply, the chef overcooked out steak. I mean it was cooked BEYOND well-done, like flirting with burnt. What was most frustrating is that I asked the chef to remove the steak from the grill when I knew it was cooked beyond medium-well, but he left it there for another several minutes. The combination of my lack luster lobster tail/shrimp and burned steak, I was sorely disappointed.
The Service. I want to start by first commending the staff for accommodating our large party. We were seated and given beverages in a timely manner. The chefs even got started before we could finish our soup and salad! Unfortunately, our chef wasn’t very good. He started down an unending downward spiral when he accidentally broke an egg prematurely, which resulted in egg shells in our rice. He was a bit clumsy, his tools and food remnants ended up in places they didn’t belong.The restaurant is also known for the cool tricks/performance by the chefs. This chef’s performance wasn’t entertaining and the food he prepared was not good. When the checks finally came, there was an error (which I expected because of our party size). There was a very prompt attempt to resolve the issue, but ultimately it took at least 10 minutes to get things straight (the waitress had done the math wrong the first time). Despite the mistakes, the staff was really nice and made notable efforts to correct everything other than the food.
All in all, I was disappointed with our experience and do not think I will be returning any time soon. I’m not going to write them off completely because we’ve gone and had great food and service on numerous other occasions. I really hope the restaurant will invest in the chef we had and help him build his skills. Lastly, I can’t deny that we still managed to have a great time and The Boy’s reaction made the entire night worth it. While I wish things had gone differently, I don’t regret the decision to kick off The Boy’s birthday week at Kobe’s. His birthday is actually tomorrow and we will be heading to Cancun! Stay tuned to hear all about our trip next week!
How do you feel about surprises? What’s your favorite restaurant for special occasions?