The restaurant says it opens at 11:00am so we leave early because I'm still searching for my new car (see my review on Mel Rapton Honda). I figured we would see where the restaurant was located and then go kill some time by looking at a dealer nearby.
We arrive at 10:40am and as I drive into the parking lot in front of the Koi Restaurant I'm saying, "Holly Sardines Batman" the place is already packed? What I didn't figure was this being "Labor Day" and the restaurant opened at 10:00am instead of the usual time of 11:00am to accommodate arriving customers.
This restaurant is located upstairs with other restaurants opened downstairs but there isn't anyone inside of any of them?! That's because, they're all upstairs at the Koi Restaurant! For first time customers, including myself, there a stairwell and an escalator to the second floor which helps when you're done "stuffing your face and waddling out the door like a stuffed duck", the escalator comes in handy.
So we enter, or least try to because it's already crowded inside just trying to get your name on the list. I finally get to the front and tell the gal that it's a table for three because my wife's visiting her friend for the week. We're #22 and was told the wait time was about 20 minutes. I'm thinking that's pretty reasonable considering how popular the place is.
They also have a "monitor" above the cash register that shows assigned numbers of guests checking in. The seating capacity is 268 with customers out the front door and mingling all over the place like ants. I mean the place started to pack outside soon after we arrived.
40 minutes later, were back inside with the crowd and the "numbers monitor" because they called customer #21. The next thing I know, there calling #39? Now, I've graduated from schools along my way and I'm pretty sure 39 doesn't come after 21? Then again, maybe something else is going on, because I hear thank you so much, blah, blah, blah.... I'm thinking no problem; let's give preferential treatment to family members and friends just arriving. Something fishy is definitely going on in Chinatown.
Wow, I'm having an "Andy Rooney moment (60 minutes) 5 minutes later our number is called. Anticipation is growing with a growing crowd; this dim sum has to be good. It's funny, this place is called the Koi Restaurant and the word "Koi" is Japanese for "carp". "Now, stay with me, if you have ever fed these fish in large numbers, they are all opening their mouths at the same time....." "That's what this place looked like, a bunch of hungry people waiting at their tables for dim sum to arrive!"
Anyway, just as I'm sitting down my phone rings and I'm thinking not now. It's my alarm company calling me to say that they received an alarm activation at my home and want to know if they want the police to respond.... ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! I've waited almost an hour for this and I'm not leaving now! I tell them not to send the police and cross my fingers (no entry was made).
So now I'm thinking, crisis averted for now, where's the carts with the dim sum? Then I realize we have a menu where you pick your dim sum? Whaaaa? I grab a waiter who clarified that we can pick from either the menu or from the carts. "OK, that's a no brainer, cart please!"
So I wave down one of the girls who comes over with a few plates of dim sum to choose from. She starts speaking "Chinese" at me and I'm like, "I know I look Asian but I don't speak Chinese" and when I reply back in English, the look she gave me..., I thought she was going to kill me! She gave me a dirty look, pointed to the dim sum, I nodded my head, she marked my dim sum slip and went on her way!
My kids and I just stared at each other in disbelief. "Wow." This went on several more times and I just overlooked the dirty looks. We had a variety of dim sum to try and although it was very good it wasn't worth waiting like I was going to a Raiders game! We still enjoyed our meal and had to ask for a doggie bag for our left over sticky rice.
I would've given the place five stars ***** but the long wait, funny numbers game at reservations, and the dirty looks from the servers didn't help.
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