A let down..
If money is no object at all, the Thai food is high quality. But this is Minneapolis, not New York or L.A. and I can name you hundreds of places that meet or exceed that quality and authenticity at half the price.
As far as the "lounge" goes, unless you revel in pretension and watered-down pours, avoid at all costs. (yes they're long, because they water down the bottles!) The happy hour, not so happy.
Disgusting - seriously, don't do it!.
For the record, this is my first (and probably only) review I've EVER written on any restaurant, life's too busy for this sort of stuff, but I just had to take the time to forewarn the Twin Cities area on this one.
My wife, four daughters and I enjoyed a symphony concert at the Orchestra Hall and decided to grab some "good" thai food to round off the nice afternoon. We're not a very picky family and try to make the best of any and all situations, but I have to say that this was THE WORST food I've ever been served. The apps we ordered (spring rolls) were deep fat fried to obliteration... we ate them and didn't complain except amongst ourselves. Then came the main courses - I ordered a green curry coconut soup w/ chicken. Every other bite of chicken consisted of hitting a hard chunk of cartilage (still gives me the willies now, just thinking about it). My wife took a leap of faith and ordered the crab (some fried dish). It came out deeply deep fried - to the point where we had to say something to our server. He was kind enough and made a second attempt with the crab ... came out less fried this time, but had the odor (and taste so says my wife) of seafood that had been sitting out in 90 degree hit for a few hours. My young daughters ordered and shared the flagship dish of Pad thai. Thought for sure this would be a good one ... wrong again! It was flat out ridiculous.
Awful experience. Bad and Expencive. Lowest value. We went to King and I to celebrate college graduation. It started bad and went down the hill from there. It is a dying business with poor service, dirty bathrooms, mediocre food, and watered down overpriced drinks. I made a reservation for 7.30 on Friday. When we arrived, instead of a friendly host we were greeted by a young lady with sour expression on her face. Throughout entire experience there I haven't seen a smile, except for some maybe our server, who made forced attempts to smile. The room was half empty on FRIDAY NIGHT AT 7:30 !! At 9:30 it was totally deserted. Apparently people know not to go there. Staff was very rushed and not attentive. If we wanted something we had to tell someone to get out waiter. Then we ordered drinks. It was the WORST sake I ever had. $58 per bottle. I seriously doubt there was alcohol there at all. Did I say the drinks were overpriced? How about $16 martini?! It might be ok for a very upscale restaurant, but King and I is not ! I will talk about the bathroom later. Then appetizers - also overpriced and really tiny. Not particularly good either. The food was mediocre. You can get a much better food elsewhere. Main entree was priced reasonably, but didn't taste very good. Last time I went to this restaurant was 15 years ago. Back then it looked fancy to me, but I was a student back then. I don't think I am coming back any time soon. At the end I went to the restroom. CLEAN IT UP AND FIX IT !!!! It is all I can say. Someone needs to take care of the business - train the servers, replace the chef, straighten out your bar service (drinks are expensive and bad), and do your basic housekeeping, like cleaning your bathroom. And then people may start coming in and coming back. In the mean time, there are plenty of Thai restaurants that are better alternatives. Do you homework. I spent $400 for 4 adults and 2 kids yesterday. I wish I took my hard earned money elsewhere. Too late.
Poor Service, Awful Men's Bathroom.
I recently chose to eat at your restaurant for my birthday dinner. My finacee and I are under employed and I always considered King and I to have the feel of a more expensive restaurant at moderate prices.
The food, as usual, was excellent, though I have to major complaints. Firstly, the server was not very attentive nor very professional. For example, my fiancee ordered her entree by the dish's name, and the server rudely explained that we would have to order by number..."the kitchen only goes by the number." The server should be gracious and accommodating, instead of "training" the guest to order properly. He made it seem like it was not his job to match the dish names with the numbers and be our translator.
Secondly, the Men's bathroom was absolutely atrocious. Above the urinal, there was a rectangular glue mark where a frame was once placed. All of the walls were covered in graffiti. Overall, the bathroom would seem fit for a sleazy downtown bar, but it is unacceptable in a nice restaurant.
I've been coming to King and I since it was on Nicollet mall, but the service and atmosphere are no longer consistent with the prices. For entrees over $15, I expect much more class. Given my recent experience, I will not choose Kind and I anytime soon.
Excellent food, good service, peaceful atmosphere. A good friend treated me to dinner at this fine restaurant for my birthday. We shared the mock duck egg rolls, which were delicious, and while she opted for the spinach and peanut dish with chicken, I stayed with a solid staple: pad thai with mock duck. The portions were huge, so be sure to be prepared to take home your leftovers. We also celebrated with a nice cocktail that involved plum wine, a plum, and champagne! The service was excellent...we were looked after well without staff constantly doting on us: a nice balance. The atmosphere is tasteful with Thai art and nice lighting, although it can seem a bit crowded to those who suffer claustrophobia. However, there is the option of sitting outside on the patio...but the air conditioning enticed us to stay inside.
Is it just me or does the service blow here?. Where to start? Well, first of all the Pad Thai here is amazing, best I've had in the twin cities. Overall the food here is nothing to complain about. If you're planning on indulging in some of their delicious food I recommend takeout because the service here is the worst I've ever experienced. I can't comment on the bar staff because I go get drinks from them when 30 minutes have gone by and I haven't seen my server. However, the servers, hostesses and apparently management could care less about customer service. The wait to order drinks, food and pay is obnoxiously long compared to the competition. I've given this restaurant 4 tries of in house dining and have been disappointed each time. This will continue to be a takeout restaurant for me because they lack the know how to be a full service restaurant.
Awesome drink! But....
I used to live at One Ten Grant, and I've been going to the King and I for years. I was there again last night. Not much has changed and I still like it.
First off, let me say that the King's punch is every bit as good as I remember it. It is worth a trip JUST for the King's Punch. The Mojito however was pretty disappointing, somehow simultaneously watery and too sweet.
The food is very reliable and much of it is quite good, there are a few "hit or miss" items on the appetizer list.
The decor seems to be aging in not such a nice way. I wonder if it might be time to remodel the dining room. There is also a funky smell in the bar that conjures up images of something hidden and growing that is a bit unworldly. This can't be good.
I hope the place can remedy these few problems.
Still the best !!.
I've been frequenting the K&I for ten years and it has always been and remains to be of stellar service. I find it hard to believe anyone who is looking for an all around good night out fails to find it in its lounge/bar. Those that cannot (like, ahem, a certain previous overly-nostalgic reviewer) obviously have some control issues or must be living sadly to the tune of purposely finding the "bad" in everything, perhaps to the ruin of self-fulfilling prophesy. Eh, more for those of us that are addicted to it! All the bar staff, which are only a handful, are very courteous, attentive, and talented (especially blondie guy! How lame is that to personally attack someone in a review?).
But of course, I do believe good service is a privilege, not a right. If you are respectful to a place like this, the people in it are VERY good to you, ten-fold...dare I say "royal" treatment? With an err of court-jestery-ness no doubt.
It brings a certain elegant decadence to the table (literally) reflected not only in the service mentioned, but also in the atmosphere and especially the food.
The the eclecticly genred local dj's it features late give it a neighborhood cred while making it a place to be all week for newcomers. It's laid back vibe makes it comfortable any circumstance, whether after work happy hour, by yourself, date night, or a group of friends (I swear, there must be a birthday party there like every night). The downstairs enclosure feel, accented with dark mood lighting, makes it feel hidden, like a local secret. An inviting warm womb in the winter and a cool dark escape from muggy summer months.
The aforementioned exquisite indulgence is most evident in it's large portioned dishes. All the curries are to die for, the 34 red pepper sauce dish is good with any protein, and there are many others but hint: you can enjoy the spicy basil sauce (also used in an entree or rice dish) in the cheaper mussels appetizer, which are giants individually as well. Make sure and ask for a wheel-of-fire Thai chili spice tray with anything mild, if you like the burn! Chef Bou is amazing!
Not what it used to be.
This used to be a regular destination for me and many of my neighbors when I lived in Loring. K&I had amazing happy hours, great company, awesome bartenders, perfect mood making DJ sets. Sadly, those days are long gone. I recently came in with a few friends to show them my former 'cheers' bar and all we got was attitude attitude attitude from the spikey haired blond bartender. I didnt recognize him from the old days he seemed like he would not be out of place pouring drinks downtown but this is Loring Park and not what i want to pay for.
We ordered some astronomically priced curry dishes which were pretty tasty but still, I didn't feel very welcome this time around. Along with the upbeat neighborhood feeling, also gone is the Wednesday 2-for-1 special. Possibly worst of all to anyone who likes to close a bar, the place now closes at 1am. The DJ sound was garbage too. With so many other choices in the neighborhood (Market Barbecue, the 19, and the thrilling new Indonesian treat Bali) I don't see myself returning to "The King" any time soon.
Several cuts above most Thai restaurants. My wife and I dined here last night, 14 February. It was our first time and I hope not our last. We have many years' experience at Thai restaurants, and this was one of the best, based on this one visit. We had: King's special egg roll to start. As some reviewers have noted, it was a bit pricey at $9.25 but was quite good as were the accompanying sauces. For entrees, we had Thai-style sweet and sour with a dozen large shrimp and a very tasty and complex broth. Excellent and definitely not over-priced at $19.50, and Gaeng Puk, a red curry prep with tofu (chicken optional). This was wonderful and also not overpriced at $17.50. A large bowl of rice is included with the meal. Aside from the excellent quality, the quantity exceeded our stomach capacities by a long shot. For dessert we split a small and inexpensive mango cake and mango ice cream. Very nice and refreshing. The staff, from the hostess to our server was very friendly, the server particularly so, in addition to being very efficient. The ambience is quite pleasant and several degrees nicer than most Thai restaurants. Those who complain about the food here being overpriced either (a) don't get out much or fail to take into account (b) the higher costs of downtown venues, (c) the quality of the aesthetics of this restaurant, (d) the quality and quantity of the preparations, or (e) all of the above. It was our first visit, admittedly; perhaps a second would be less positive. Of course, many of the critics of this restaurant probably had dined here only once as well.
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