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“More a Factory than a Restaurant”

The Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar
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Ranked #55 of 285 Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Sushi, Seafood
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed May 28, 2012

Too large, too noisy...well-prepared food. Sometimes the sushi sits at room temperature too long before being served....doesn't seem safe. Sushi bar is separate from hot kitchen, and dishes for the same table can come out at different times, so some dishes must wait until others are ready.

Outside seating on adjacent roof is terribly hot in summer. Food is good, but expensive. Just not a comfortable setting due to size and noise. Interesting decor, but not comfortable.

People waiting for tables must stand around - no lounge or seating. Seems like this place bit off more than it can chew.

1  Thank Chris C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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368 - 372 of 455 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2012

Beautiful restaurant, pleasant staff and very lovely owners. The service can be very slow because so many patrons eating sushi and such. Might not have to cook the food....but assembly required by chefs!

Thank JSR2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2012

The food was good but we found the menu to be a little pricey. They were, however, very accomodating. When we asked to be seated farther away from the musician so we could hear ourselves, they said they were full up. But then the manager came over and offered us another choice. We stayed put and he asked the musician to lower his volume a little.

Thank PattyH139
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2012

Started out kind of rough as the host sat us in a section far from the main section and the sushi bar. Def. request upstairs as the koi pond is a nice experience.
The service was great. Our waitress was very nice, patient, friendly, and knowledgable. They had live music on a Friday which was also nice.
We had 3 to 4 rolls and 2 very tasty martinis along with edamame.
It was too cold and foggy to sit outside but the deck looked really nice and fun.

Thank Mike G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2012

I was HORRIBLY disappointed when going to the Cultured Pearl tonight. I hadn't been since it was on Wilmington Avenue and thought about how amazing it was back then. Ive had reunions there, first dates, and formal dinners... Unfortunately I was wrong about this new location... While we sat at our table for over 20 minutes before a server came to us, the atmosphere was not as we remembered. The old Pearl was "upscale" & "classy"... This restaurant now was very loud, large-scale, and not the least bit "romantic" or "classy". The couple next to us was even in jeans and sweatshirts... Something that would be completely unacceptable at the "Pearl on Wilmington Avenue." As we were getting ready to walk out (just in time for the server to come to us) we were astounded by the noise of breaking glass (plates dropped by serves at least 3 times), waiters and waitresses behind a "server station" (a mock bamboo room) on their phones during service, and other tables also looking for their servers to help with empty drinks, no silverware, empty soy, or even just simply needing their check. It was comforting to know we were not alone in the "lack of service" area, but as a business person myself, I was quite embarrassed for the staff. At the "old pearl" there was never a waiter or waitress under the age of 30. They were all completely respectable, & were never sought after. The servers wore button down shirts, aprons, and showed respect for the patrons. Tonight our server (remind you, after 20 minutes of waiting) was not professional what so ever. They seemed in a rush, could care less about us, and we never even got a name which to call this person by. They came, got our drink order and another 15 minutes passed before we got these... Only to find our drink orders were completely wrong. At this point we were ready to leave ONCE AGAIN. Being it was later in the night, we decided to just stay, hoping the food would be better than the service. When we FINALLY ordered (50 minutes past our reservations-and we had tickets to a movie to catch-- which we ultimately missed) we were greeted quickly with delicious edamame which was Thai flavored. Then, after placing our sushi order, we were amazed. The rolls and sashimi were to die for. The rolls were packed with flavor... The tempura was crunchy, the taste was fantastic. The fish in both varieties was fresh, crisp, and you could tell it was not frozen- as we've found in a lot of places. But despite our FIRST CLASS food experience, the HORRIBLE service came into play once again. We wanted spicy mayonnaise... There was no server around to help us. Our soy was empty... There was no server around to help us. We needed more drinks... No server there, either. Once we were done our food, the server showed up again. My guess was that they had a phone call or had to go smoke (as they reeked of cigarettes when coming to our table again). We WERE going to stay longer for more drinks or dessert (which we weren't even offered) but decided to get our check so we weren't waiting for this HORRIBLE service any longer. 20 minutes later, we got our check an were out of there as quickly as possible. We even avoided paying with a credit card so we didn't have to wait any longer.

Moral of the story: the Cultured Pearl is in NO WAY the same as it used to be. When locations changed, management must have as well... We will NO LONGER look as it as a place to go for a "nice dinner." We will no longer plan "get togethers" or reccomend dates to go there. The service just plain SUCKS!!!!!!!!! The food is to die for, but the servers (all very unprofessional) are not respectable, wear scruffy clothes, are more worried about socializing, and BELONG AT APPLEBEE'S, FRIENDLYS, OR TGI FRIDAYS. HORRIBLE!!!!!!!

Great sushi. BAD service. Next time will be take out so we don't have to deal with this staff. I hope whoever owns it now will go back to the old owners on Wilmington Avenue and get some tips. The wait staff has to go. We will NEVER send anyone there, simply because of the horrible service experience.

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

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