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“A Step Away From Reality”
Review of Kai Restaurant

Kai Restaurant
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Ranked #12 of 3,188 Restaurants in Phoenix
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, 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 Thomas Riordan and Chef de Cuisine Ryan Swanson 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.
Reviewed March 20, 2013

What an experience! And that's all you could call it. From the incredibly organized and orchestrated greeting through the food presentation and goodbye, this restaurant has surpassed all expectations. You enter another world when you leave your car with the valet. The greetings and welcoming smiles prepare you for your relaxing dinner. As we watched the sunset and were given a brief history of the Pima and Maricopa nations that make up this reservation, we chatted with the sommelier and our wait person. When I visited The Kai 6 years ago, I chose the "small tastings," which is still on the menu, but this time I opted for mouthwatering lamb. My friend chose the organic buffalo tenderloin. We started with indescribably artistic, yet delicious "salads", if you want to categorize them. The attention to detail throughout our service, and to our pleasure in dining there was only enhanced by the coffee presentation, for it truly was a dramatic finish. And to end the evening they even gifted us when we picked up the car!

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3  Thank Barbara W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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254 - 258 of 414 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2013

Magnificent Restaurant, best one in Arizona hands down. Every entree looks like a masterpiece "and cost like one" and taste like one! Not to mention the service is up to par, exceeded my expectations that's for sure. Enjoyed a seven course meal, the elk is what I remember was the most delightful. If you have an opportunity to dine here, there will be no disappointments.

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1  Thank William W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Kai restaurant is located in the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in the Gila River Indian Community near Chandler, Arizona.
It is an AAA Five Diamond Award Signature Restaurant, and deserves this high rating.
The food, loosely based on Native American ingredients, is remarkable. We did not have any missteps in the dishes we ordered. All were extremely creative in presentation, and taste.
We savored every morsel. We ordered the salad for our first course and it was delightfully presented as a garden: eggplant and tomato confit represented the soil which was covered with tiny lettuce plantings! The local Crow Dairy feta cheese and delicious spicy sweet pecans, were the accompaniments. The lobster degustation was a trio of treatments: lobster claw with avocado mousse, lobster panna cotta and mesquite bean and with cheesy lobster bits. For our main course, we had buffalo tenderloin. The taste of the buffalo was light and lean and really melted in your mouth. The dessert: chocolate mousse and chocolate ice cream - just the right ending. We were also treated to an amuse to start, a palate cleanser during the meal and chocolate truffles to end.
The service was impeccable with 2 attentive servers for our party of 2. I enjoyed watching a nearby table of 6 being served. Six servers came out with each course and each placed the dishes simultaneously at each guests place.
Can't say enough about such a sublime evening! Expensive, but worth every penny!

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Thank Snorkels_in_space
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

This restaurant comes highly recommended, and for a good reason. They try their hardest to be the best - and they are! We live nearby and visited one evening and we were pleasantly surprised by the unbelievable tasty food and the exceptional service. Try it and don't worry about the price - it's worth it! The view is fantastic, the atmosphere is great, and the emphasis on using local foods and seeds is impressive.

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1  Thank shanenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

Kai is quite possibly one of the finest restuarants in the Phoenix area. Its only real competitor is Binkley's in Cave Creek. They are on the same level, but completely different. I went here for dinner to celebrate a friend's graduation and received perhaps the best service I've ever had in my life. Everything was perfectly timed and the waitstaff was comprised of true professionals. Dinner for 4 (actually 5 because I ordered two of each course) with a couple drinks ran about $650, before tip. Definitely not bad considering the quality of food and service. This place is right on par with the best in other dining cities such as SF, NY, and LV.

1  Thank edlew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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