Having been to the previous Wasabi 88 location and enjoyed the food and service, we were excited to check out the new one this weekend. It was a Sunday around 7:30 and they were pretty full, which is usually a good sign.
We waited a few minutes for a table but were seated pretty quickly at a four-top in the center of a big, bright dining room lined with booths on one side and a small service bar on the other. It's hard to describe the feel of the feel of this place, but it is not welcoming or comfortable. Unlike the old location, which was smaller, cozier and a the decor a little dated, it feels like you're eating at a food court in a mall -- cold, impersonal, and like the objective is to move as many people in and out quickly as possible. We were crammed between two other tables, and clearly heard every word of non-stop chatter from the woman at the table behind us.
We ordered our drinks, then a few minutes later, a couple of appetizers. Our appetizer arrived before our drinks - always a little irritating. We had a sampler platter of spring rolls and dumplings which were okay, then some maki rolls and sushi. My husband ordered a glass of sparkling wine and the server brought it out half full, saying they had had a really busy night and there was no more so it would be comped. He ordered the other sparkler on the wine list and she said they were out of that one too.
It was a birthday, so just for the occasion we asked for a dessert menu. The server said "we don't really have a dessert menu. We do have a few desserts, but we're out of most of them." ??? We asked if she would tell us what they did have (um, duh) and were informed of two choices, which she recited with no description or encouragement. Hmm. My friend ordered one, and it was a standard pre-made chocolate cheesecake, not bad, just your typical previously-frozen Sara Lee-type dessert, decent plate presentation with a chocolate drizzle and whipped cream. Honestly, we were a little concerned after her strange attitude that maybe we SHOULDN"T order it - but it was fine for what it was.
The check came and the sparkling wine was on the bill - we asked to have it removed and it was. All in all it was just a strange, not very pleasant experience. We were confused by the server's lack of interest in making us happy. She wasn't rude. Just not at all helpful or interested. It was as if she was not at all excited by the place herself, and it showed.
Bottom line: The "Asian" menu items (some Japanese, some Chinese, some Thai) are very average, nothing innovative, and pretty pricey for garden-variety Asian fare. The sashimi and sushi are okay too, but not good enough to make up for the lack of ambience, the price, and mostly the poor service. Our group of four spent $110 on dinner before tip, with soft drinks, two glasses of wine and one dessert. I like good food and am happy spending a lot more than $25-30 per person for a great meal, but I'll be looking for a new place for sushi rather than hitting Wasabi 88 again.
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