Exceptionalism is a quality that is rare to find and even harder to achieve. It requires consistency, continuous effort to improve, extraordinary attention to detail, leadership, awareness, empathy and a bit of je ne sais quoi--A thing that can't be measured or described, but the magic that ties everything together. An exceptional restaurant maintains all of these factors, in addition to the small and large operational details, at once. It's a massive syncopated team effort.
All of the activity going on behind the scenes from the sourcing days before, cleaning and innovative preparation of the food, to the order of the attendants serving a table, to the cleanliness of the washrooms and demeanor of the table captain, is orchestrated in such a precise way to forge memorable experiences. To do it at a level that receives praise and attention from customers again and again takes exceptionalism. This has been our experience at Kai Restaurant.
Sitting in the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort, Kai Restaurant in Chandler, Arizona is where Treatmo had its kickoff dinner in 2014, and is the place where cofounder, Spiro, has been gaining inspiration for nearly ten years during his days of working in the semiconductor industry before joining the Treatmo team. This is the same location where the New England Patriots stayed and left with a Superbowl 2015 win.
Kai--which means 'Seed' in the Pima language--sources local ingredients from the Gila River Indian Community. Menu items are seasonably based and inspired by the Pima and Maricopa tribes who reside and farm in the surrounding area. The care and attention brought to the food from start to finish, reflects respect for the traditions and hospitality standards of great restaurants.
Exceptionalism presents itself in the responses to special requests. Attentive and knowledgeable service captain, Feliciano Vazquez, adeptly satisfies diner wishes for vegan or vegetarian dishes through clear communication to the Chef (Joshua Johnson at the time of this visit - photo above) whose unwavering level of quality and creativity doesn't stop short of extending to every diner and dish.
At Treatmo the experiences our founding team has had at Kai, elevate expectations for excellent food that is thoughtfully sourced and inspire everyone to seek and eat the best and bring the best to the Treatmo Market. From an operational standpoint it's a model for our high standards. Even after spending over 20 years combined working at Fortune 500 companies, the Treatmo founders find more resonance with restaurants like Kai: work hard, deliver outstanding product, performance and customer service day in and day out. The hard work goes on behind the scenes so when it's presented it looks effortless.
Our Shoutout Monday goes to the Kai for inspiring us! Congratulations on being listed by Open Table as one of the top 3 restaurants in the U.S. for 2015. Kai is also the only AAA Five Diamond/Forbes Five Star in Arizona and is led by Executive Chef Thomas Riordan and Chef de Cuisine, Ryan Swanson. Also a big shoutout to rising star Cord Chatham, Executive Chef at Che-Ah-Chi, Enchanted Resort in Arizona, previously with Kai and a friend of ours on Instagram.