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“Stands Out” 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 507 Restaurants in Chandler
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Doing business, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
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.
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
419 reviews
292 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Stands Out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

Dined here with a group recently. A great experience. Native American gourmet influence. Exotic and delicious food, serene setting, and service orchestrated to perfection. Located in Sheraton Resort.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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295 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“sublime experience for the senses”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014 via mobile

It's always difficult to say something is the "best" of anything. Everybody has opinions and everybody is biased. This restaurant achieves to be excellent and that alone gives it merit. There are so many things that made this dining experience near perfect, I couldn't start to name them all. I dined there tonight and I'm still in awe of the place, despite seeing Charo afterwards, and I think she outdid them(imagine that!!!). But we won't go there. From the moment you are greeted in person at the front desk to discovering notes, chocolate, and bottled water in your car for the ride home, this place is a jem! Just go in with an open atttitude and with the realization that you are going to spend a lot of money(this restaurant is not inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination). If you have a good attitude, an open mind and an inquisitive palate, you will do well and survive. There are many things that occur during the dining experience that may amaze you and may numb your senses(the wine prices are expensive!), but the dining experience is almost other-worldly and totally intoxicating.
Ok, you want some dirt, here we go....
The waitstaff is incredibly trained and intelligent. They actually orchestrate and practice their moves. When descending on a table, they(either three or four at a time) slyly surround your table and simulaniously remove your "dirty" plates, silverware and napkins.
My elderly father left the table several times to "take a break" during our two hour repast, and every time he returned they escorted him to the table, properly seated him and arranged his napkin on his lap with precision and discretion.
Should I go on......... or are you already booking a table!
Ok, about the food. My Sous Vide Roots Salad was absolutely the best salad I have ever eaten in a dining establishment. Hands down. I have a feeling most people may not like or enjoy this particular arrangment of legumes. But for me it was perfect, and my compliments to whoever in the kitchen that came up with this ingenious collage. The aged blue cheese balls exploded in my mouth, capping the salad course with a sort of fireworks ending.
I'm sorry because I seem to be losing a signal and I want to secure this review and end it soon, despite wanted to write more.
To conclude, use your own judgement. Any dining efficiando needs to go to Kai, run to Kai and book a table, you will not be disappointed-trust me!

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apache Junction, Arizona
Level Contributor
57 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Best food and service ever.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

I have been to Kai twice and plan to go again. No detail to quality is missed. I've recommended it to others and their experience was excellent as well. The only downside for me is that they close for August, so unable to go for our anniversary! I consider it an excellent value for the experience. It is our first choice for celebrating a special event.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
75 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“If I hadn't read the reviews, I would have been impressed ...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

... but I did read the reviews, so I was a bit under-whelmed. We live in Phoenix, and were celebrating a special event, so I picked Kai based on the 'wow' factor that I have perceived by the local press and the reviews on Tripadvisor.

The sun had just set when we arrived, so maybe the dining room feels more inviting when you can see views to the west through the french doors, but when the sun sets, and it is dark outside, the restaurant looks and feels like any other.

I will admit I am not a 'foodie' and do not get excited about being doted on by wait staff (who were all excellent, friendly and attentive). I just like a nice meal, nice surroundings and being tended to when appropriate. I do not need to be called 'sir' or Mr. "XXX", for every question. I understand that this is the atmosphere that the Kai is, and a majority of the people who dine at Kai are expecting to be treated that way. I do not, so eventually, it becomes a bit of a put off. This is not a fault of the restaurant or it's staff at all, just an issue with "expensive" restaurants. I only write this because that treatment is not my 'cup of tea', but I did not choose the restaurant for me, I chose it for my wife, who I knew would appreciate that kind of ambiance - and she did! But I am the one writing the review, so I admittedly have a bit of an unfair bias.

My wife loved the presentation of the food and loved the suggestions by our waiter for her salad. For her, unfortunately, the salad was the best part of the meal. She ordered some seafood melody that was OK, but not 5 star (and yes, I know we live in the desert - but the ocean is only a 1 hour flight [or six hour drive] away).

My ribeye, on the other hand, was worthy of 5 stars, and after tasting my meal, my wife wished she had ordered the steak.

We had considered ordering the "Journey" tasting menu, but at over $300 per person (!) including wine - we figured a la carte was a better route for us.

The breads are great too, just as good at other restaurants we have eaten. And I suppose that was my overall impression of Kai. The presentation was great - but I'm not into the over-the-top treatment. My food was great too, but not better than other restaurants I've eaten at, and from my wife's impression of her main course, other restaurants were certainly better,

So I can recommend Kai, especially if you live on that side of the Phoenix metro-plex. For us it was a 'we are glad we went once' kind of place, however, with the wide range of other restaurants in the Phoenix area, and the underwhelming overall experience, I doubt we would return.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lives Up To It's Reputation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

When visiting Arizona you quickly become aware of how much space there is and how everything is spread out. This space and quiet is carried indoors at Kai. You have a wonderfully quiet space where no on is shouting and pleasent conversation takes place. The total experience was perfect. The service is professional. The setting is soothing. The cocktails are exciting (one week later my wife is still talking about her drink). And the food exquisite. We had a wonderful, memorable meal. Of course this comes at a cost. If you are not prepared to spend over $100/person, don't come here. Otherwise you will have a very enjoyable evening.
One last point, my 10 year old daughter was treated with respect. When the head waiter saw she was challenged by the menu he mentioned a more basic menu from the sister restaurant at the hotel. Nevertheless she ordered buffalo filet off the main menu, ate it all and was proud of her evening.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 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.

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