Maybe I am a little masochistic, but I will always visit a restaurant where I do not have a good experience at least twice to see if I maybe I just hit a bad day. … or not. After two absolutely terrible experiences with wretched service and inexperienced teppanyaki chefs at Yamato’s I had pretty much decided there was nothing to recommend this place to anyone. Then friends invited us to dinner. They wanted to try it and had made reservations. So, one more time it was off to Yamato’s, and one of my worst dining experiences ever. What follows is only a sampling of the experience we suffered through.
The teppanyaki chef’s idea of entertainment was to shoot tequila out of a squeeze bottle into the open mouths of two of the patrons at our table. . (Honest to goodness, this really happened. I have witnesses!). This, I regret to say, was the apex of his cooking skills. While the sauces (prepared by someone else beforehand) were good, the food itself was overcooked and the seafood was like rubber.
When I asked our server for chopstick rests she casually remarked, “We don’t have any of those.” This IS supposed to be a ‘Japanese’ steakhouse, isn’t it?
Then my wife wanted salt. When the waitress made her next appearance about ten minutes later I asked her for some salt. She pointed to the tequila cowboys at the other end of the table and told me I could go over there and get the salt shaker which rested between them. “Do you suppose I could get my own shaker?” She patted me on the shoulder and said “I’ll see what I can do.” It was almost at the end of the meal when, without a word, a busboy plopped a salt shaker on the bar between my wife and me.
When it came time to settle our bill, which was between $40 and $45 including the forced 18% gratuity, I put a $50. bill on the table. As she picked up my bill slip and money the server looked me in the eye, smiled and asked, “Do you want change?” I gotta hand it to her, she has guts!
Will I ever return? Will I ever recommend this place? To quote Poe, “Nevermore!”
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