2940 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5540844.948654 -93.288511
Neighborhoods: Calhoun Isles, Lyn-Lake
Error still not fixed – UPDATE: I did receive the gift certificate, it was just a simple error. I originally posted the message below because I thought that our agreement, which was made over the phone, was not being upheld. Now it is clear to me that Moto-i thought it was sent, I want all to know that they indeed did do the right thing. To all, please note the good things I pointed out and please do note that they made everything right.
ORIGINAL:The food was good, the saki as well, but the problem I had was the treatment. I took my family to Moto-i on Sept 5th, a holiday. Upon arriving I asked if there were drink/food specials and was told by the waitress that the specials didn't start until later in the day. This would have been fine except when I got home we noted on their Facebook page that happy hour was on for the whole day. After calling the restaurant, letting them know that I was overcharged, the manager stated that she would be sending a gift certificate to make up the difference...I am still waiting almost two months later.
The overcharge was only $30 or so, not the end of the world. Being told the wrong info is forgivable. Being told by their management that they would make things right and then actually doing it is what irks me.
The best! – A little bit expensive but the bartenders are so nice, and the service was great. Not to mention i have a great time every time, and always go home with a drunken smile on face.
Meh – I just got back from living for four years in Japan so I thought I would check out the local Japanese restaurants/pubs in Minneapolis. When I got there around 10:00pm, it was crowded and busy. I sat at the bar with my friend. The sake I tried was OK. It was the Junmai Nama or something. Obviously it does not compare to real sake that I've been enjoying in Japan, so perhaps my judgement may be harsher than others. The crowd there was lot more yuppie than I expected, but than again that probably shouldn't have surprised me. The service is prompt and quick, however, the bartender, a blond man, was not the friendliest person, though he was extra friendly to a customer who came after and sat next to me. I am assuming she must be a regular or a friend of his and I assume his cold behavior towards me and my friend is a typical mid-west Minnesotan thing, but I prefer hospitable friendly service versus "I don't want anything to do with you but I guess I have to take your order" service. So, I probably won't be going back there, since I'm sure I can find better sake and friendlier service elsewhere in Minneapolis anyhow. Not a horrible experience, but not good enough for me to bother to go back. I tend to go back to places where I like the people and service.
Homophobic staff and chef. Utterly horrible treatment. – Went there this past summer for an early dinner with my Boyfriend, as we were celebrating our 20th anniversary.
We were eager to try their home brewed saki, and relax into a nice night of celebration as friends were coming to join us. Mark and I were talking, holding hands, and just enjoying our milestone. Our waitress came to our table, and shamed us for simply holding hands. ON OUR ANNIVERSARY! I asked what the problem was and she said that it was offensive to her. We demanded to see the manager. A blond haired guy claiming to be the chef came to our table. (Jason I think). We explained that we were sipping sake and waiting for our appetizers, holding hands and talking...he informed us that it was inappropriate to display affection publicly. we informed him we were not making out, just holding hands. He asked us to please stop, as it was making his staff "uncomfortable"! WTF? Seriously WTF! Our friends Micheal and Michelle arrived. We signaled that this was not the place for us...yet we were there at their recommendation. Within seconds the waitress followed by the blond "chef" came to our table informing us that were were not going to be served as we were being an annoyance. I remind you again that it was early in the day. We were the only table. It was our anniversary. Michelle asked them about a surprise they had arranged for us two. The waitress went into the kitchen grabbed it, literally tossed it on the table with our bill, and again told us to leave. It was flat out the rudest experience I have ever had. I own six restaurants in San Francisco. From what I remember of Minneapolis it is supposed to be a very gay friendly city. Yet given how they treated us for holding hands you would have thought these two were prison guards at Auschwitz. Thus I cannot recommend this place to anybody. They ruined a very special night amongst two old friends from college, and my husband. We should have sued the business for what they did to us. Instead we are never setting foot in Minnesota again. Jason you may claim to have worked with Grant Achatz (A gay man) yet given your disdain for gay people we find it very hard to believe that you were alloiwed to work in a wendy's. Please get out of this business or come out of the closet. The world is actually kind of nice. Please stay away from California. We accept people for who they are there.
It's a mixed bag – I do want to like this place. Been here on several occasions and have usually had decent service. We've always been greeted right away and the bartenders have lots of hustle. The happy hour is a good deal and it's definitely a good excuse to hang out and have a few. Lots of tasty options on the happy hour menu - we weren't disappointed with any of our choices (lettuce wraps & sweet potato fries were good). Dinner can get expensive in a hurry - especially if you're going for the sushi.
However, on our last visit, the server over-charged my card. When I checked my statement a couple of days later, I noticed the discrepancy & spoke to a manager over the phone. He promised to correct it but never did. Bottom line: Check your bank/credit card statements.
Update: A couple of weeks later, another manager contacted me and sent me a refund for the difference as well as a giftcard to come back another time. I was impressed that they took the time & effort to do so. We're eager to give it another try.
Terrible – I have been to Moto-i about four times now. The first couple times I went there it was not so bad. I had a very nice server, who was able to help me with the menu. He was very nice and funny and was able to suggest some good items. I sat out on the roof top and enjoyed the city and it was decent. The food and the sake was nothing to brag about. I went back a couple of times in the past few months and it has been terrible. The server who I enjoyed so much the first couple of times was not there anymore and the people they had replaced him with were awful. My server smelt so bad that it was hard to concentrate on my meal. She had no manners and picked at her hair as she was advising me on what to get. The food was not good and I spent quite a bit of money to leave no full. I don't know what happened to this place, but it used to have potential, now it seems as though they have given up. I wanted this place to be good so badly because the roof top is so nice. I will not go back to Moto-i unless something changes and they get some staff who make the experience enjoyable.
good service, good sake, neat place – I feel it's important to write a review of Moto-i because so many have had such bad things to say about it.
While I wouldn't say or even suggest this was the best restaurant I've ever eaten at, I left Moto-i happy that I went and tried it out!
The ambiance was nice; not too loud, not too dark, trendy and cool.
Off the bat, I don't claim to be a sake connoisseur, but I do enjoy the stuff quite a bit and I know what tastes good to me. I ordered the Sake flight, which consists of three 2oz. pours of different, freshly brewed, sakes. For $12, you can't beat the experience of trying 3 different types - especially if you don't know much about sake to begin with (like me). It was neat to be able to taste the difference, rather than just getting a glass and enjoying it. Quite eye-opening.
For food, we tried several small plates, Moto-i's menu is mostly small plates, which is always fine by me. The prices were reasonable compared to many other 'tapas' style restaurants I've been to.
I wouldn't say the food is outstanding but it's not like you're eating dog food either; definitely some interesting plates and fun new things to try. The Buns were probably the favorite dish of the night.
Our waitress was very helpful and, as she was new, she made it a point to find out the answer to any question she couldn't answer. She had several recommendation and was quite helpful in explaining the sake options!
All in all, I probably wouldn't rush back to Moto-i, but I'd definitely stop in for sake or a bite if I'm in the area. It's at least worth trying, you never know what you might find!!
Icky,Icky-poo! – This place is a waste of a nice space,and also a waste of a good sound system.The sake tastes horrible,and after only 2 glasses,have been sick as a dog from it the next day.The food is poorly seasoned,the teriyaki sauce tastes like it was extracted from a cat's butt,the Tempura is just laughable.I don't know what they're doing,and quite frankly,I don't think they do either.Gross.
Roof Top Deck Closed For No Reason – Went to Moto-I last night to eat on their roof top deck. It was closed "due stormy skies". But for some reason, all the other roof top decks and patio were open, Stellas', and the Herkimer next door which is where we went, and sat outside. So if you go there to sit on the deck, make sure that there is not a cloud withing 1000 miles as the managment will close it down. Let's say it did rain a little, which is all it would have maybe done if they had bothered to look at the radar, everyone could have moved inside as there was more than enough empty tables.
Unique emphasis on sake – Six of us dined here Saturday evening 18 April. All of us give it a thumbs-up. Sake is brewed in the back room, visible from one dining area, and the menu provides a very useful tutorial on the different types and brewing styles. It's quite good and reasonably priced. The food is smallish in portion but also in price. The idea is that a table will order several different items and pass them around. The choices cast a wide Asian and faux Asian, not just Japanese, net: dumplings, noodles, buns, bulgogi, kimchee, green curry chicken, etc. We tried a rather large sample, and all were very satisfactory, some such as the bulgogi excellent. It seems diners are fully expected to place new orders on a rather continual basis, as opposed to the more standard first course, followed after a time by a salad, then after a time the entree. This wouldn't work unless the wait staff is really on its toes. Our particular server, a very friendly and almost ever-present woman, was so attentive that we never had to get her attention to put in another order; she asked us before we had a chance, correctly perceiving when we wanted more. It was an enjoyable evening, with the only complaint being a common one at so many restaurants: the loud ambience. Why do so many restaurateurs think this is a good thing? Is 100 decibles more conducive to "fun"? Suggestion: Have the host or hostess ask customers as they leave what their opinion is about the noise level. The results might be interesting. Still, a good place and a unique one for the Metro area. Oh yes, one other thing: One of our party was completely unfamiliar with Asian food. The diverse offerings and small plate approach were a good introduction for him and presumably would be for others in this category.
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