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“Everything was a disappointment”
Review of Jia - CLOSED

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Jia
Cuisines: Chinese
Restaurant details
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Everything was a disappointment”
Reviewed February 12, 2014

First I arrived to a very flippant waiter and it didn't get better. It would be hard to imagine anyone LESS interested in my comfort and food order. I just wanted a quiet dinner. So, the inattentive waiter took my order for crab rangoon, fried shrimp and garlic shrimp entree. When the crab rangoon arrived it was nice and crispy, reasonable amount of filling that tasted like nothing but cream cheese, that was it. To compound the issue, the sweet and sour sauce on the table had a nice little baby cockroach floating in it. I could tell that the hot mustard on the table wasn't fresh, either. The fried shrimp was fried but just plain old shrimp nothing special, no seasoning or sauce.
When I'd ordered the garlic shrimp I had stated 3 times that I wanted NO bell pepper. However, the waiter was so spectacularly uninterested and busy entertaining himself with his own witty banter with himself that he didn't notice? So, my entree came out with bell peppers. Since the waiter (and keep in mind there isn't another soul in the place other than a few take out customers wandering in and out) didn't bother to check on me or my food. Finally, I got his attention to point out the bell pepper issue. In only a couple of minutes, not long enough to cook a new dish, I had another order. I could still smell and taste the bell peppers in it so I took it to the counter after once again being unable to get the waiter's attention. At this time there were two other tables. Now, I'll grant there were two other tables by now and overall only the waiter could speak English so he had the full responsibility for all phone orders, ringing them up and taking payment as well as working the floor. This was awful. I've spend decades in the restaurant business and I'm really not picky. I know how hard it is, that things aren't always perfect and I am very forgiving. This was truly dreadful. I took the third order of garlic shrimp home but it also wasn't correct.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RubyMoon711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

9 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Adrian, Missouri, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“wonderful staff”
Reviewed August 6, 2013

The décor was stuffy, but quaint. The staff flirted with my baby girl. They made us feel welcome. They explained the menu. The food was delicious, but not as spicy as we are used to. No complaints.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Becky S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
83 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A conundrum of opposites”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

There are many first-impression items that I think most of us judge a restuarant by. I had all of those on this visit, and yet, am still finding myself thinking this may be my new favorite chinese restaurant. I used to have a place on the other side of the city and drove 25 minutes, regularly, for high-quality fresh chinese cuisine. No buffet; strip mall decor; and made when you order, and I CRAVED it. The owner finally retired after many years, and for the last year, I have been longing for something better than the buffet-for-the-masses slop. I think I have finally found it in Jia.

Now that you know the background, let me explain my conundrum. We were out running errands and just happened to be south of the city on State Line. We saw the strip mall signage and pulled in, because I had again been craving chinese. Perhaps chinese food is like an instruction manual, poor is better than none at all. First impression was not good, as only Jia and the dry cleaners a few doors door were open on a Saturday. The parking lot was bare with only 4 vehicles parked in front of Jia, and then us. Not good I said, loudly.

Walk in and find painted drop ceiling, cheap contractor grade ceiling fans, standard vinyl booths, etc. Not good I said, this time to myself as a very polite smiling woman gave us our choice of places to sit. 3 tables occupied (one large family, one couple, and a table of teenagers - the teenagers appeared to have actually thrown food on the floor). No odor as one reviewer noted previously. I read them all before writing this, and they do range from bad to good. The table had the standard condiments, including those cheap little plastic tubs with a cover notched for plastic spoons - you close your eyes and you can see the mustard and pink sweet/sour sauce, can't you? I had, by this point, resigned myself to disappointment once again.

And everything changed. For all the standard blah up to this point, the menu was sizable and lengthy, with clear, concise lunch specials at a reasonable price. The first half of the menu devoted to standard chinese fare, with the second half devoted to sushi. The menu was not sticky or worn. The hot tea arrived piping hot and within a minute. Water delivered, too, without asking. Though the spoons in the condiments were cheap plastic, the containers themselves looked brand spanking new. No fingerprints, no overruns or spills, no stickiness. What is up with this? A chinese restaurant clean, and impressive in how they keep it so? Yes.

I love sweet and sour soup, dining partner always has egg drop. Mine was outstanding. The portion a bit small, perhaps, but the white bowl and plate appealing. The soup was exactly the right consistency, the mushrooms fresh! Ever had soup that had been cooking all day, or perhaps left over from the day before? If so, you know this was not it. The soup had been obviously been made for the lunch that day, as the mushrooms were still "crunchy". You know the perfect texture I mean... I could have eaten a meal of that soup.

Lunch special arrived for both us exactly as ordered, one white rice, one fried. Piping hot, fresh egg rolls. My sauce was perfect, chicken fresh and light. Companions mongolian with "easy on onions" was just that - and the better of the two so I was already picking at both plates greedily. The plates are stylish, square, and the plating of the food was clean and lovely to behold. At that point I wanted to try three or four more things on the menu, but knew if I ordered them I would be stuffed. I nearly licked my plate clean as I wondered what twilight zone of strip mall dining I had fallen into.

Now you know my conundrum. The standard strip mall appearance, with great food at a great price. I am looking forward to a second visit, likely for dinner to see how they hold up. I may have found my replacement for my favorite chinese restuarant, but alas now another 20 minute trip each time that craving hits. Shame on me for blaming a "book" by it's cover? Yes, but have been down disappointment avenue too many times with other places to not be judgemental. Jia has blown me away and I hope those nearby realize what they have available to them.

I will continue to review them as I go and let you know.
I do have one serious concern. They have installed some sort of discount hand blower in the men's room and taken away any towel dispenser. The darn thing wouldn't stay on, causing hand drying to take umpteen attempts and it became very frustrating. The restrooms were clean, and no odor, which also says a lot about a restaurant, but the hand drying adventure kept me from giving an excellent rating.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A nice place for lunch”
Reviewed October 9, 2012 via mobile

Overall Jia is an average place to grab a quick bite. I had the orange chicken lunch special which included rice, an egg roll and soup. I also had an order of California rolls and a soda. All of which came to 12 dollars, very reasonable and quite a good meal. However, the decor is mediocre, and the space is small. My biggest problem is that there is a strange odor within the restaurant, stinky fish maybe, which does not instill a lot of confidence in a sushi serving establishment (hence why I went with a Cali roll as opposed to something raw). To end on a positive note, the service was great, and even with the lunch portion I have enough to take home for leftovers!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alwyzonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leawood, Kansas
Level Contributor
54 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Cheap lunch, close to home.”
Reviewed September 24, 2012 via mobile

I've been to Jai about 6 times both with family and friends. We typically order a lot of appetizers and just a couple entrees. We enjoy that they have our favorite Chinese food and sushi rolls. The good is pretty good.

The staff is friendly even when we bring our young children.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Justinbabbitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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