One general rule for restaurants should be: Don’t place a collection of Yankee Candles on your hostess stand. From the moment we entered, all I could smell and taste was an overpowering potpourri that reminded me of the cheapest commercial grade bathroom cleaner. As we were leaving, I located the culprit, 2 giant Yankee Candles blazing away. I am not sure why the candles were necessary, but the scent severely undermined my dining experience.

I thought the interior was shabby. I can’t explain it, perhaps it all goes back to the scent, but I just got a bad vibe from the surroundings. I requested a wine list, and it had stains. All the little details just added up to a less than amazing impression.

As for the food, I think the main attraction here is the “Kobe,” but I was not in the mood for meat, so I opted for the vegetarian entree, which was surprisingly $2 more than the chicken. It did include tofu, a surprising find. I am sure that the food differs greatly from chef to chef, but everything was overseasoned with white pepper. I can handle a small dash of white pepper, but in large quantities, I do not care for the taste. Every item had a heavy dousing of white pepper, so I did not love anything. The chef did create a series of special sauces with sesame seeds, and they were pretty tasty, but the white pepper flavor was there too!

Our chef was nice, but I am not a fan of sexual innuendos while dining. Call me a prude! Our chef only made the occasional innuendo, but one was directed at me… gross! And, I saw the chef at the adjacent table shape the fried rice into a giant penis and sprinkle “hair” on top. This might be hilarious for some people, but I just think it is odd. Yeah, I am that girl that doesn’t appreciate penis jokes. However, I accept that some people find them clever.

This is a generous 3 stars simply because my husband enjoyed his salmon, and our waiter was nice. He brought me a new glass of wine when I thought the first one was spoiled. Plus, the white pepper thing may be a personal preference. There is also the possibility that the sushi is good, and they are open until 4am, which is worth at least one star.

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