My wife and I just enjoyed a rare, kid free night at Empire. For starters, the hostess was subpar for a few reasons. We had an 8 PM reservation for two on a Tuesday night and when I had called to make the reservation, the gentleman on the phone made it very clear that there was plenty of availability. I called again at 7:40 PM to say that we had decided, on our walk there, to stop in and grab a quick mezcal cocktail at a nearby mexican joint and that we would be running a few minutes late. The hostess was insistent on knowing specifically what time we would be getting there - was it 8:15, 8:30, 8:45? We settled on 8:15 but I was sort of confused why it mattered. When we arrived at 8:20 we awkwardly waited several minutes while she decided which of the 100 free tables she would eventually seat us at before she finally selected a table set for 4 next to a large and somewhat boisterous party of ~20 who were a few bottles into some good wine. The other TA reviews I had read all mentioned the open floor plan so I wasn’t surprised but my wife and I did briefly consider requesting a different table that was a bit further away from all the action. Reminder - the restaurant easily has 100 plus tables and was probably operating at 1/4 capacity.
Next we ordered some drinks and spicy edamame to nibble on. When the drinks arrived we ordered some hot and sour soup (really yummy) and a lot of sushi. The soup arrived a few minutes later and, as we were wrapping up, we asked about the edamame - whoops, she had forgotten to put that order in.
Things got better after that. The large party cleared out, the sushi arrived and we finished our meal which was pretty good. The who experience reminded us of eating at a PF Chang’s with a slightly higher end clientele. The people watching was good and the view of the kitchen in the center of the restaurant was pretty cool. While we probably wont go back here again anytime soon, the food was good and I think our kids would like it if we had a family night out in the city. If this review helps, don’t forget to upvote by clicking on the helpful icon.
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