Pasadena >Restaurants >
Japanese >Ai Japanese Restaurant
1013 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110534.128411 -118.150324
Neighborhoods: East LA, South Arroyo
Great Food at Reasonable Prices – I like AI Japanese Restaurant, they serve great food at reasonable prices.
The service has been fine for me so far, no complaints here.
The sushi is fresh and tastes good. The tempura is also very good and the miso soup is greeat and so is the hot Japanese tea. They cover all the basis that I would expect to have at a great local Japanese Restaurant, great food, reasonable prices and a relaxed atmosphere.
I can understand how some may complain about slow service. Because of the reputation for great food and reasonable prices, the wait can get a bit long on the weekends.
It's not the restaurant, it's the customers. – South Pasadena, sorry to say, doesn't really get it. The people who would go to Ai don't know anything about Japanese food. Sure, you've been all over the world. Good for you. But you probably still rub your chopsticks together. This is rude. You probably pour a bunch of soy sauce into your ramakin and mix a hell of a lot of wasabe in it. You probably didn't know that suchi is the art of rice, not fish. So when these other reviews say the service is bad, they don't really understand how it's supposed to work. First of all, in Japan you take your time. Like in Europe. You wait. You talk. You also cannot be expected to be treated like royalty when you don't speak Japanese and you don't know what the restaurant is for. It's for people who can't pay a lot of money. Be thankfull it's there. I grew up in South Pasadena, and I am Japanese. This restaurant has always been the way it has been. And I applaud it for not bending to please the white idiots or the Citisearchers. If you don't like it, stay out. But if you can check your ego at the door, you'll find a decent place with reasonable prices. I don't even eat sushi here. I stick to the other stuff but I love the place just the same.
Personally I do not find the food bad and will return time and again because yoou aren't getting ripped off like you would somewhere else. Want service and sushi like you had in tokyo? Then go to R23 downtown.
Good food, terrible service – Funny - I hadn't read the review about Ai until now, but I couldn't agree more about the service. We'll go there for lunch sometimes because the prices are very reasonable and the food's pretty good. But we tried going there for dinner a few times, and the service was so bad that we refused to go back for dinner. The worst service was when we went in with our (then 2 year old) son - it was almost as if they actively ignore people who have kids, which we've since heard from other South Pasadenans, too.
Decent Food, Worst Customer Service Ever Seen – I have been going to Ai for years. The problem is, I love the food but I hate the service. Every time I go there I just s*ck it up and ignore the arrogant attitude of the waitresses. I don't even know how to describe it in words. The waitresses are surrounded by this aura of arrogance and attitude. If you ask them for too much they will snap at you. They have been working there for years (decades almost) and they know they won't get fired. I ONLY RECOMMEND Ai to those who are thick skinned. For everybody else, I do not recommend it. I gave this rating a 1.5 at "Below Average" only because the food is decent. That is the only reason.
Worst Service EVER! – Went here last week with my husband, and I am still in shock at how terrible the service is at this restaurant! Our waitress was rude and pushy and we were basically forgotten as soon as she dropped off our food (which took about 45 minutes to arrive) Although the food was OK, we have had WAAAAYYYYY better sushi with not even an ounce of the hassle we got from Ai Sushi. This was the worst sushi experience we have ever had and I strongly discourage everyone from ever going to this place. We're not the type of people who want to be coddled, but we're also not into being completely ignored and snubbed by the slow and rude wait staff. Perhaps if the food had been better, I might have changed my rating to a 1 instead of zero, but EVERYTHING about our meal was terrible! Please save yourself the time and money and do NOT go here!
service is bad – the service is SO SO SO BAD
can not believe it
have never been to a restaurant with that attitute
i spent money and made myself so engry
Good Teriyaki – My friend and I had the Chicken Teriyaki and the Beef Teriyaki. Soup, Rice and Tempura were included in the Meal. A Big Meal for a Small Price! There were no frills, but we didn't need any. We had left overs for lunch the next day!
SUSHI CHEF FROM HELL – Two of us (me & my friend, all girls ) were sitting at the sushi bar and we tried few times ignored the chef since he was trying to disturb our conversation by imitating the way we spoke our language. We didn't find it funny nor humorous so we ignored him. Then he started to throw sushi on our plates and he tried twice to put "unknown" pieces of fish/meat on our plates without explanation. Compared with the other customers sitting on the sushi bar, we were the only customers being treated like this and I felt like we were being fed like dogs! The situation was extremely awful and I've decided not coming back at all.
I've been to many sushi restaurants in US and Asia. But I've never had such terrible sushi bar experience like this one before!
No-Nonsense Japanese – The ambiance is no-nonsense - old booths lined up to fit in as many people as possible with terrible lighting. The service is no fuss and straightforward - they don't have time for niceties. If you need coddling, don't eat here. If you want yummy Japanese, do stop by. The sushi is decent, the nabeyaki udon is tasty and comforting.
A horid place – Waited 10 minutes before being seated, they didn't even bother to say, "be with you in a second." The service was bad, servers were bad, everything was bad. Poor menu design and explanations.
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