A great concept and I've been to these types of restaurants in the past that have done it right. Here it's about the details that give or take away. When you first walk in it seems ok, energy, decor,etc but look more closely and things turn bad quick.
First it's not clean. A place like this can get messy very quickly if you don't stay on top of it, and they don't. There is a salad bar type setup where you fill a provided bowl with meat and veggies then take to the grill so they can cook it for you. Inevitably there are some spills and messes as people serve themselves. They were not cleaned up, also in some place there was so much food dropped into other bins that I didn't know what was actually supposed to be in there, lettuce? Spinach? Mixed veggies? Got me wondering about the meat.... Lots of food on the floor too. One thing that I didn't get was it looked like there were two sides to the food bar but tonight they were only using one so the line was long to get through. Maybe they were short staffed (Saturday night?) but it did remind me of those open bar parties where they make you wait a long time for a watered down drink to stretch the budget.
A side note on the bowls and utensils - they were I guess washed since they were wet still and never really dried off before being put back out. Think of a salad bar where you grab a plate from the stack and it's still wet from the dishwasher. My bowl was not only wet but there were specks of food as well-gross.
The grilling process was thorough though, I've seen other people say their food was overdone but in this case I was thankful to minimize any problems with the meat. You pick your type of rice or noodles to accompany your food. Walking back to your table is a challenge since the tables are very close together and in a self serve place like this it makes no sense.
It seems like everywhere you turn they are trying to squeeze a buck. The tables are cheap as well as the chairs. There are more pages on the menu dedicated to fancy drinks than food. But its most evident in the food prices. When you get your bowl back from the grill look at it at decide if it was worth $10.99, for me it it really missed the mark. A pleasant surprise was when I unwrapped the napkin and found a metal fork instead of a plastic one.
The wait staff seemed half engaged. They were more interested in socializing with each other and their school buddies who came in that night. Brings me to my final point that this place is more for the staff and their friends to hang out than a decent place for a meal. The only other people I saw were ones working the system where they would pile high their bowls of meat with a leaf of lettuce on top.
So if you are a high school kid with a friend that works here I'm sure you will love it, otherwise you will probably be happier going to chipotle next door where it's clean, food is fresher, staff attentive and the value much better!
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