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Kai

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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Kai

Desert Mint & White Sage Tea Marinated Duck Breast With Membrillo & Foie Gras Tart

© 2007 Judy Hedding

The Bottom Line

Dining at Kai is not for the weak of wallet. Soups and salads are in the $12 - $14 range, appetizers $17 to $50, main courses $34 to $50, and desserts $12 to $15. Wines is available by the glass, half bottle or bottle. Expect to pay between $60 and $100 per person, not including any beverages, tax, or gratuities.

Pros

  • Unique, flavorful cuisine
  • Superior attention to detail and service

Cons

  • Expensive

Description

  • Kai is the premiere dining choice at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort on the Gila River Indian Community reservation.
  • Kai is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
  • If weather permits, enjoy Kai on the patio. The sunsets are beautiful!
  • The dining room at Kai is rather small, so make reservations well in advance of your visit.
  • I don't recommend that you bring young children to Kai.
  • If you are a vegetarian, check with the chef about your options before your visit.
  • The dining room at Kai is decorated in earthy tones; it is understated and appropriate for a Native American experience.
  • The Chocolate Mousse dessert at Kai was wonderful but very different--spicy but not gooey or too sweet.
  • How do you say it? Kai rhymes with eye.
  • Order the book: New Native American Cuisine, Five-star Recipes from the Chefs of Arizona's Kai Restaurant! (Compare Prices)

Guide Review - Kai

There's nothing like Kai. Executive Chef Michael O'Dowd invented "Native American with Global Accents" for Kai at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. You won't find these dishes anywhere else. I admit that I can't explain the processes, ingredients, and amazing combinations that make the dishes at Kai so spectacular. The staff will, though, and you may certainly ask questions. Even if you find it difficult to focus on the uncommon spices and herbs, or the tribal distinctions among the dishes' ingredients, you can sit back and let Kai take you on its special journey.

Our visit to Kai began with Squash Puree ($12), a spicy, hearty hot soup. Next came the Braised Lobster Tail ($20) served with avocado mousse on fry bread, the Ceviche from the Sea of Cortez ($18) and the Baja Scallops ($18). Grilled Tenderloin Buffalo ($43), Rack of Lamb ($42), and the Marinated Duck Breast With Foie Gras Tart ($37) entrees preceded the lovely dessert course.

I won't expound on the dishes, other than to say that some are pungent, some are sweet, some are spicy, some are smoky. From the hand-painted menus, to the choice of citrus accents for your water, to the specially designed wine glasses (ask about them!), to the olives from a local Native American community (pressed locally) used to create an extra virgin olive oil in which to dip three varieties of special breads, to the silverware and dishes--not an opportunity is missed to accent the creative cuisine with exquisite touches and flavors.

A review of Kai would not be complete without mention of service. The manner in which guests are treated at Kai is both amazing and non-intrusive at the same time. I'll leave Kai's special touches as surprises for you!

Kai offers a seasonal menu, fine wines, and a tasting menu.

All prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.

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