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Nov 5, 2007 06:56 AM

Kudos for Kubo

A few times in the past when I have dared mention Kubo as a suggestion on this Board there have been quite a number of negative comments posted about extremely poor service. I couldn't remember the service I had there one way or the other, and was very curious to see if I would be ignored or treated poorly as others have mentioned experiencing.

A friend and I had the opportunity to be there on Friday and dare I say, the service and treatment from all of the staff couldn't have been better. I was there about 5 minutes before my friend. The person who sat me was outgoing and friendly. I said I was waiting and she brought me a glass of water (unsolicited, which rare;y happens to me)and a little glass of their mango sakitini to try. When my friend came she took our drink order and was exceptionally helpful,attentive and patient (we took a while to order).

We ordered the $22 prix fixe and every time the chef/cook brought a dish to us he throughly explained it in detail and answered any questions we may have had.

I took a look around the restaurant to see if it was just us experiencing this level of service, but it seemed to be everyone. It was full/busy with people ranging from young twenty-somethings to a few people looking mid-fifties and everyone seemed to be getting great service.

The food at Kubo is what it is, but the thai curry I had was surprisingly spicy and flavourful, the snow peas were garlicky and delicious and the cocktails were great. For a place I consider to be more for fun cocktails, I could not complain.I bought one of their lovely looking cupcakes on the way out for my hubby. The packaging was great and he said it was fantastic.

I'm not sure if they are responding to negative publicity on poor service, realizing the increased competition in the area, or if this was a fortuitous exception. I would be interested to know if anyone experiencing poor service in the past would notice a difference.

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  1. I'm glad to hear that it looks like they may be improving their service. As for me, though, after my last delivery experience with them, I would never consider giving them another chance:

    1. I've always had good serive there - for brunch and dinner - and the little samples of the martinis? excellent idea - I always end up ordering a full one after my sampler.

      2 Replies
      1. re: shana

        can anyone tell me how the drinks are? Sakitinis? that sounds intriguing. how about these martinis? i knwo they have a wide range of asian drinks/beers. i haven't returned to Kubo after my horrible experiences there (yes, more than one), but if other ppl are saying that it's better, maybe it is worth another shot.

        1. re: chalenegirl

          I can't remember all of the drinks, because when I tried the sample of the mango sakitini, I was sold, it was really good. Really, really fresh tasting mango with the saki, not sure what else was in it.. All of their martinis seem to be saki based, but my friend ordered the mango one and asked for vodka instead, and they were happy to make that for her.

          They also seemed to focus on a lot of Sakis, which I know little about. The had saki "flights" with about 3 kinds of saki, and a saki menu as I recall. And in the back of mind they did have all different kinds of saki martinis.

          If you go I really hope the service has improved and this was not a one off--though a few others have mentioned good service.

      2. Kubo is one of the closest restaurants to my home. I hope they've improved, since I want independent businesses on Queen E to prosper. But the only thing that might cause me to return is a well publicized change of ownership followed by a plethora of great reviews on this board from people whose palates and opinions I trust.

        3 Replies
        1. re: embee

          As far as a "plethora of great reviews on this board from people whose palates and opinions I trust",I was only offering my opinion of the experience I had there in light of all of the negative reviews and severe criticisms this place consistently receives. embee, it certainly does not effect me one way or the other if people choose to go there or not, but thought perhaps someone may want to give it a another chance and see if in fact it had changed.

          1. re: mindyt


            Thank you for your comprehensive comments and review. I am inspired to try Kubo based on your feedback.

            1. re: mindyt

              It does seem, on rereading, that I was indicating distrust of your opinion. I do appreciate your review. No such implication was intended :-)

              My point was that my experiences at Kubo - the food, the service, the attitude - have been so awful, in so many ways, that it would take new owners to get me back. I know more than a few others who have had the identical experiences. I believe my experiences demonstrate the values of the management, and I'm
              pleased to accommodate them by staying away. But I do hope that they succeed at whatever they are trying to do.

              (I have gagged on stale "babycakes", and telling them elicited a shrug. Perhaps they have taken all of the criticism to heart. We'll see.)

          2. Ate there recently as well. The room wasn't particularly crowded, and the servers were never far from view, or long without asking how things were. In particular, one fellow described how he had been working there for a few years, enjoyed the environment, and was excited about the new businesses they were opening up.

            On the service front, the staff were knowledgeable, quick, and generally offered free pours if you had a question about something on the bar list. The bar list was fairly impressive, with a lot of thought going into the selections and training. The food was good to very good, and definitely good value. Pan-asian with the clear feeling that everything was made fresh, not from packages; and no fear about adding heat. Wasn't dumbed down for the pale folk. Very good dessert list as well.

            We hadn't read the reviews, and tried it without preformed opinions. Definitely something to try again.