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“Food is good, staff is childish” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Arigato Japanese Steak House - CLOSED

Arigato Japanese Steak House
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Countryside Blvd. and US 19
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
42 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Food is good, staff is childish”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

Food is good but not as great as I remembered but still worth going (but maybe not this location). From the moment we walked in the door the host stand was chaotic. They didn’t know where to direct people and they were goofing off. I understand that when you’re in High School and this is a job that your parents probably made you take, you probably don’t take it seriously. Which is fine whatever but when you are spending a lot of money to have an experience at these types of Japanese Steakhouse’s you don’t want the Host and Hostess running around like little children. At one point they were having a rubber band fight from the host stand to the kitchen. They were shooting rubber bands all over, outside, up at the host stand, down the stairs to the kitchen etc. Our table was the right in-between the host stand and the kitchen so we were the middle of this chaos. I was looking around for a manager as they were getting out of control (mind you I'm 27 and I know how to have fun but this wasn't the right setting). So, I looked around and there was the manager right behind me saying to one of the Hostess “oh I think I should get a hair cut”. Really, really, you think you should “get a hair cut”. He didn’t come around to any of the tables nor did he care that his staff was out of control. I bet the owner has no clue how the restaurant is being managed. Those actions actually make me not want to go back when the manager and staff don’t take pride in what they are doing. BTW I was a host and a waitress for many years so I know!

The other thing is our waitress was taking for ever to bring us drinks, salad and soup. It took 2 hours from the time we sat down from the time we got our check. I know that when you go to these types of places it should be expected to be long because you are in enjoying the atmosphere, culture and food but seriously she was not on top of it last night. Also, it is a little hard to enjoy the atmosphere when you have multiple staff members running around screaming “hehe, stop it” from a rubber band fight.

Over all I would not go to this location again.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank WorldTravelLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

58 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7
    18
    13
    8
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Clearwater, FL
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Worst Japanese Steakhouse Meal I've Ever Had”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2012

I have been to Japanese steakhouses all over the U.S., and I guess someone has to come in last. Seriously, from start to finish, this was by far the worst meal I have EVER had in a Japanese steakhouse. We were seated promptly and got our check promptly when we were done, but everything in between was not an experience I'd care to repeat.

The "soup" tasted like canned beef broth a couple slices of fresh mushroom, a few pieces of green onion and some carmelized onion. Not awful... but we kind of looked at each other and said, "Really?" That's OK. I knew from experiences with all the other Japanese steakhouses that next up would be a salad with delicious ginger dressing, right? Uh, no. I have no idea what that salad dressing was, or whether it had any ginger in it or not, but it was terrible. It was mostly tasteless, with some slight unpleasant and unidentifiable sour taste. I was actually wondering if it was "bad," and stopped eating it after the first couple of bites. Oh, well... the main meal should be good, right? I mean, I've never had a bad meal at a Japanese steakhouse. Little did I know.

For all the oil and sauces put on the vegetables during cooking, they had little flavor other than their own flavor, not that that's a terrible thing, but it didn't taste "oriental" and didn't taste like anything special. And no bean sprouts? Oh, well, that wasn't on the menu and so I can't complain too much about that. It's just that I got kind of used to getting a yummy pile of them at other hibachi dinner places. I tried to give the vegetables a little more flavor by trying them with the sauces provided to us. The dark one that I thought would be ginger had more of a tomato ketchup taste going on. Not sure what it was, but it reminded me of a bland cocktail sauce (like you'd put on shrimp). The pink one, which I swear I could smother my meal in at most Japanese steakhouses, had just about no taste. If I'm going to ingest a bunch of calories, I'm going to dang well enjoy them, but since it seemed to add no taste to the meal, I stopped using it after the first couple of dunks.

The rice? Ugh. Gummy, flavorless (despite a lot of oil and flavor sauces getting poured on it during cooking) and plain. Again, guess I've been spoiled by other places having vegetables in the rice and adding egg during the cooking. Oh wait, my husband did find one pea in his, so I guess there were indeed vegetables. My husband asked what happened to the egg that used to go into the rice (he had been there some years ago). The chef's response was, "We don't do that anymore. If you don't like, talk to the manager." Well, uh, OK. I guess eggs are pretty pricey these days, eh?

The chef did a pretty good job at the "performance" part of the cooking, especially since we had a pretty tough table for which to perform. Out of the nine people at the table, there were really only four of us watching him. One couple was engrossed in their smart phones the entire time... I mean seriously, the entire time. Three other women were deep in their own conversation. He kept trying to pull them into the performance, but it was a struggle. I kind of felt bad for the guy.

About that time, a hostess or server stopped by and gave the chef a "talking to" about something he dropped on the floor because he didn't call someone over to take care of it right away. Very professional, airing the dirty laundry in front of the customers. If you see it, you take care of it and you talk to the employee later. You don't bawl them out in front of the customers. Awkward!

We had the sukiyaki steak for our meat. Tender, but again... somewhat tasteless. That may have been more of an issue than usual because I didn't like the sauces there, and I am usually one who makes very generous use of the sauces. Seeing the meats that others ordered, I think the folks with the filet may have made out the best, though I have no idea how it tasted... just looked like a much higher quality of meat than what we got, even though ours was supposedly choice sirloin. It looked like the chef cooked the heck out of the chicken and the scallops, so I was glad I didn't order those.

Check brought promptly with no question as to whether we wanted coffee or dessert. Perhaps that was for the best. In summary, a pricey, pricey meal, especially for the low quality and lack of taste. I left thinking of all the great restaurants nearby where I could have gone and eaten great food and had excellent service for what we paid. According to my husband, the place used to be great, but I'm afraid its days of glory are over.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank GulfCoastVagabonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Treated poorly due to Groupon use.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2011

Arigato, 26508 US Hwy 19, Clearwater, Florida . When we first got there the server asked if we had groupons. We gave her ours and she preceded to say that the early bird menu was not included in the groupon. I then told her that the early bird question was asked on the groupon from at least 2 people. The answer was yes it did. It was just like a gift certificate. I told her this and she did not beleive me. I had to actually bring the groupon up and show her where the question was asked and answered at least two times. She said she would have to tell her manager about this. She then reluctantly "allowed" us to order off the early bird menu. From that point on you could tell she did not like the fact that we used a groupon for early bird, even though it was in fact allowed and encouraged during the groupon sale. She did not ask us if we wanted boxes but rather put them on the table when we were about 2/3rds of the way finished. She then brought the check and did not even ask us if we wanted desert or coffee. If an establishment sells groupons they should honor and respect the patrons that use them. The food was OK but very salty. Not a pleasant experience.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank bigridgecarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Largo, Florida
Level Contributor
56 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good Japanese Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2011

Have been back...Lived in Japan for 41/2 yrs. so that's why I didn't rate it Excellent.

Helpful?
1 Thank Leon47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Will never go to Arigatos again.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2011

Not that they care but going to comment anyway. Had reservation for 5 pm reservation for 13. So around 5:30 I asked what was the hold up. They said they already showed us seated and apologized. Then they could not seat us together as the tables can only hold 10, something they neglected to mention when reservation was made. After we were seated we waited a while just for drinks. Then they mixed up the tables orders (as we were at two different tables) and the drink orders and food kept getting screwed up. Then we ordered and again waited 15 min then they tried to start cooking main course and had not brought soup or salad. We told them again they had it backwards and asked for manager. He said they had tables backward and said will be fixed. 10 min later they brought a special order white rice for someone else we were sitting w to wrong table again. We talked with people at our table & one group had reservation for 5:30 & one was 6:00 and we had 5:00 and was seated together. Very poor service all around & food was bland at times and bottom line I will never go back there ever again.

    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Hoolee66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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