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“One of the Best in the United States” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kai Restaurant

Kai Restaurant
5594 W Wild Horse Pass Blvd, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort, Chandler, AZ 85070-4000
(602) 225-0100
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Ranked #1 of 531 Restaurants in Chandler
Price range: $0 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: I-10 and Wild Horse Pass Blvd
Description: Recipient of the Coveted AAA Five Diamond Award and Forbes Five-Star Award, KAI, meaning 'seed' in the Pima language, features a menu rich in creativity, history and Native American culture. Executive Chef Conor Favre and Chef de Cuisine Joshua Johnson incorporate the essence of the Pima and Maricopa tribes and locally farmed ingredients from the Gila River Indian Community to create unforgettable masterpieces. James Beard Award-winning Chef Janos Wilder is consulting chef for KAI and is renowned for creating unique and indigenous menu experiences. Open for dinner Tuesday - Saturday, reservations are strongly recommended. KAI maintains a smart business casual dress code. It prohibits hats, T-shirts, and shorts for both ladies and gentlemen, including open-toed sandals for men. Dress hats for ladies are acceptable. Denim is not preferred. As a courtesy to other diners, please refrain from using cell phones or laptops in the dining room.
Ahwatukee, Arizona, United States
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
103 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“One of the Best in the United States”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I have always felt that Kai on the Gila Indian Reservation was not only the best fine dining restaurant in Arizona, but also one of the best in the United States. We go to Kai 2 or 3 times a year and each visit is magical. Reservations are essential and the restaurant will call you prior to remind you of both the reservation and dress code. The welcome at the hostess stand and by the staff is very warm.

Once the ice-cold martinis are served, the black clothed waiter will present the menu along with an understanding of how the Pima Indian culture relates to both the food and the presentation. We tend to begin (Kai refers to it as "The Birth") with an incredible salad "that is inspired by the local farmers & children of the Gila Crossing School". Kai does a great job of using ingredients from both the reservation and parts of Arizona. The second course of the dinner is "The Beginning" which I always go for the Lobster Degustation. The sauces used with this course are perfect.

The selection of entrees do not change that frequently, which is just fine. The Grilled Tenderloin of Tribal Buffalo is out-of-this-world. The buffalo, I believe comes from a reservation outside of Arizona. My wife prefers the Saffron Poached Spanish Turbot, but as long as the buffalo is offered my choice will be made ahead of time.

The service is most noteworthy and it has always been perfect whether it has been just the two of us or when we hosted a party of 12 in their private room. Of their two main dining rooms, we prefer the one in the back. We did have a concern with the recent announcement that Executive Chef Michael O'Dowd would be leaving the restaurant (he made it what it is), yet knowing that this is a well managed business, that Kai will not loose it's perfection.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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250 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
La Grange, Illinois
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Good food and service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

The staff went out of their way to serve several desserts that were not on the menu. The food was very good. A little bit pricey...but good. We also had breakfast and it was served outside, which was wonderful.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“ever eaten at a place where your steak knife is pre-heated?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

we visited this place the week before Thanksgiving and given the perfect weather in the great south west this time of the year, we started off with drinks on the hotel patio to enjoy the spectacular sunset. Soon the hotel staff lit the mesquite in the fire pit about 20ft from us and the evening really got going!

After a few beers we made our way up to Kai inside the hotel that features upscale native American decor in a formal setting. As soon as we were seated, the head server helped set expectations by providing some additional information about the art in the restaurant, the menu and so forth.

The menu itself is pretty unique in many ways - it is in book format and the outside covers are made from real wood (yet another touch of class at this outstanding establishment) and there are four courses on the menu - I chose the duck to start off with and sticking with the poultry theme I had foie gras during round #2. For the third course I changed direction and was delighted to see that Kai offers TWO DIFFERENT varieties of venison. I love venison and settled on the bison steak, done medium rare.

We ordered white wine to start off with and then dove into a cab, served in the most unusual and elegant glass decanter/aerator I have ever seen. Our guests from back east were joking about trying to get "that thing" onto the plane back the next day.

Before my bison arrived, new cutlery was delivered and to my amazement the knife and fork were warmed up! The steak, like the preceding two courses, was flavorful and tender and went great with the cabernet.

The dessert menu featured delicious looking choices but alas, at this time we were against the ropes after 3 rounds of wonderful cuisine.

One of the guys at our table was vegetarian and a suitable meal was prepared for him which he claimed was wonderful but note that there are not any vegan/vegetarian main courses on the menu and the lack of the latter type of food is probably in tune with the native american theme of Kai

I will visit Kai again for any special occasion, business or otherwise!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“pretty amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

The service was so overly doting and formal, it made me nervous at first, but I got over it. Possibly the best meal of my life. I had the vennison.

Visited October 2012
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Top Contributor
246 reviews 246 reviews
190 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
160 helpful votes 160 helpful votes
“This is the place for special occasions, everything is over the top!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

If you want to take your special someone to a place that will knock your socks off - then look no further! The service is over the top from the handwritten note from your server when you leave and chocolates to the attention to every detail. The food is unique as it combines native American food and locally grown produce and raised meat. Our food was beautifully presented and aesthetically pleasing. This is a place you go dressed up. The views are beautiful we had reservations around sunset. Take time to walk around the resort grounds before or after. We came for our anniversary dinner and loved every minute!

Visited September 2012
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