Jan 17 2009
Secret iChef Returns for routine checkup on Ace’s health… (and some sake, suds, and sushi!)
As a follow up to my Ace Wasabi: How Important is the Waiter post I needed to check up on an old San Francisco treat—Ace Wasabi Rock and Roll Sushi.
Yes, the owner Ken Lowe called me and told me to tell him when I was coming so he could be there, yes he told me to introduce myself to the manager, and yes he sent me a gift certificate to make up for the disastrous experience I previously had.
No, I didn’t do any of these things including using the gift certificate—yet. You see I didn’t want special treatment on the revisit.
This needed to be a secret—like I was anyone off the street a regular customer (like I have been since 1994.) After all, I recommend this restaurant to my friends and family, I have a reputation! And unless they want whomever I send to call for a special meet and greet it better be great to the average Jane or Joe who walks through the door—or I’M GONNA STOP SENDING PEOPLE!
So How did Ace Wasabi Rock and Roll Sushi do on Thursday 1/8/09?
Let me set the table if you will…
We were sat right away way in the back—a table next to the table where the crime was committed some months ago. *There were still chalk outlines where our expectations were slain*
I asked the hostess in this coy, but obvious manner, “We won’t get lost back here, will we?”
“Oh, no,” she said, matter-of-factly.
And then we proceeded to be left alone. Not in a good way. Alone, to the point of craning neck signaling—something is a miss here, need some help please. I finally asked a busboy but that didn’t appear to help. No drinks, no nibbles, no food being prepared, blah blah, blah.
Oh, no Ken Lowe, please say it aint so!
I was catching up with a past colleague and friend, so that part was good, but I brought that part with me to the restaurant with my shoes for example. I wasn’t expecting the restaurant to provide that part, versus the food, drinks, and helpful and friendly service smile—I did expect that.
Let’s just say that when our waiter did report for duty,
Micheal B (as it said on the bottom of the check) was FANTASTIC! Helpful, friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable, attentive—what I expect!
The food that night, which has never been an issue, was as it always is—Fan-*Bleepin*-da-be-dosey—Tastic!
- Hot sake was hot—the right kind of hot, not the hot that shreds my rooftop or scorches my palate.
- Albacore Tataki—still the best I’ve ever had anywhere!
- Individual orders of sushi—salmon my favorite—couldn’t be fresher or more delicious!
- Salmon Tartare—Old School-style (and you have t ask for that because it’s not on the menu)
- Spider Roll—oh the spider roll… Mmm mm good!
- The Ozzy Roll—tuna and Jalapenos never tasted do good!
- The Steiner Roll—shrimp tempura, eel, and cukes—unbeatable combination!
My guest and I left very satisfied!
Recommendation to the diner:
Get yourself to Ace Wasabi Rock and Roll Sushi. Tell Ken Lowe I sent you!
Recommendation to management of Ace:
I still say there needs to be a strong VISIBLE management presence that can see problems (act versus react) as they are happening so you can minimize the issue for the people paying the bills—let’s face it this is the restaurant business there are going to be problems—the nature of the beast!
—it’s how how big you let those fires get and how you put those fires out—that will keep the people coming back!
—I’ll be back!
I might even introduce myself the next time… We’ll see!