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Jan 21, 2007 05:59 AM

Cafe Kati - Solid as Ever 1/07

It's been a few years since we've been, but we went last night and had another solid meal. The food was delicious and the service excellent.

Overall: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Decor: 7/10
Value: 8/10

We started with a the mango spring rolls and butternut squash soup before moving on to the black bass in a miso glaze and the "brick" chicken (although they don't call it that). Before staring with the appetizers, we devoured the herbed scones served with a side of butter and honey.

The portions were generous and everything was cooked quite well. The spring rolls were quite fresh and the soup had a nice kick of curry in it. The bass was carmelized nicely and I was pleasantly surprised that the brick chicken so tender and juicy.

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  1. how did you find the service?

    1. Service was awful last time I went. The chef interrupted the server as she was taking our order and pulled her away from us mid-sentence. I think that kitchen is having a melt-down.

      3 Replies
      1. re: hungrycaveman

        yes, the one and only time i went i found the service to be terrible as well, so i'm very interested to hear what the OP thought about it.

        1. re: artemis

          I think they're short-staffed. It's a great restaurant and the chef is creative, but for those prices you shouldn't feel like you're dining with a dysfunctional family.

        2. re: hungrycaveman

          The service was quite good - we talked with the chef, who told us they had a server meltdown ealrier this year, but they seem to have put it back together.

        3. I went to Cafe Kati a couple of weeks ago and I found that the food was still up to par. My dad had the filet mignon which was cooked right and had an excellent sides that created a pleasing earth tone to the dish. I had the black cod with the udon noodles which was excellent(maybe even a little better than the last time I had it there

          1. I tried. I really tried... 8:00 on a Tuesday evening and, finding myself alone for the evening, started wandering up Fillmore for some nosh. Remembering, Cafe Kati, I walked in and was surprised to find that all but two small two-tops were empty. The waitress asked if I had a reservation and I indicated I didn't but, being a single, I was more than happy to sit at their small counter. She graciously indicated I would be more comfortable at one of the available tables.

            I perused the menu and decided on an ahi tuna roll to start and the soy-marinated hanger steak (trying to pick something that would last for lunch the next day as I knew I couldn't eat it all alone). I was surprised by the wine list - some bottles costing as much as $500! I'm an admitted wine snob and since it was a close walk home, decided to buy a relatively pricey Rhone that I could continue to savor the next day.

            Five or ten minutes later, I was served two chunks of corn bread, studded with something spicy and a small bowl with butter and honey. I didn't want to fill up too much on corn bread but was patiently waiting to order my dinner.

            Twenty minutes later, I walked out - leaving a few dollars on my plate for the bite of bread. From what I could detect, there was one waitress, one busboy, and maybe one person in the kitchen (from the sounds of crashing plates, I am guessing).

            I can't fault the waitress. She was struggling to hold the room and doing an admirable job from what I could tell. When the last remaining available table was filled, the waitress had to instruct the busboy to give the new guests water -- he couldn't see it for himself. I would like to think it was simply an off night but there was definitely a need for a second server. Somehow I got the impression that there is only ever one server on week nights. The food I saw coming out looked good but at almost $30 for entrees and $15 for starters, adding a $100 bottle of wine, I was ready to spend considerable money. Instead, I walked around the corner to Chez Nous, had some French Onion soup, a Morrocan duck leg confit, frittes with aioli, pot de creme for dessert, and a lovely glass of Viognier for around $50. Ultimately, a better deal I think.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Carrie 218

              That's too bad you had that experience, Carrie. I'm surprised that in a neighborhood like that with so many dining options that Cafe Kati doesn't clean up its act. I would have left too. (Chez Nous is an excellent alternative.)

              1. re: singleguychef

                Thanks again, Single Guy. In retrospect, the most frustrating part was watching the poor waitress rush past me so often with others' drinks and food and never even acknowledge (with a word or a knowing glance) that I was not be served.

                It is okay if you are too busy to run a restaurant by yourself, but even a passing apology could have helped and made me more inclined to return another time. Now, I'm not so sure I'd care to...