Kota Wood Fire Grill


Although I go to some tried-and-true places around the St. Louis area, nothing excites me more than trying a place that’s relatively new. I love being able to visit a place without any expectations one way or the other. I get a strange thrill out of it.

With that said, I KNEW I had to visit Kota Wood Fire Grill, and soon. It opened just a few months ago, and I hadn’t heard much feedback about the place.

Me and my boyfriend went on a Friday night. I made reservations for 7pm, and it was a good thing I did — there were so many people here that were heading to The Fox theatre afterwards for the show! So keep that in mind if you come on a Friday or Saturday night. Those without reservations had a 20 to 30 minute wait.

Our waitress was very bubbly and friendly, but she was rather incompetent. More on that later. She seated us, brought us water, and handed us our menus.

I looked through the drink menu, and the milkshakes with booze really caught my eye. YUM! I went with the caramel milkshake. It’s not on their online menu, so I’m going from memory here; it had caramel sauce and some sort of really yummy liqueur. It was served in a pretty martini glass, and it was absolutely delicious. So rich and tasty; it felt like dessert! Before dinner! Naughty Stephanie 🙂

Foodwise, we started with the Kota BBQ Duck and Wild Mushroom Quesadilla as an appetizer. The menu described it as a quesadilla with monterey jack cheese and cilantro cream. Oh, it was REALLY good. The duck was tender and juicy, and they definitely didn’t skimp on how much they stuffed into the quesadilla! The cilantro cream sauce was SO good, and this is coming from someone who typically hates cilantro. Wowza!

For the entree, I went with the Voodoo Shrimp Pasta; it had squid ink fettucini, jalapeno cream sauce, and a few other things that I don’t remember. But it was very tasty.

Finally, for dessert, I had…BREAD PUDDING! Mm. It was verrrry good, and almost tasted a bit like a cinnamon roll. It was warm, gooey, and the caramel sauce surrounding it was so rich and buttery and GOOD. Dare I say this was better than Cyrano’s? Hmm. Better not go there. 🙂

Now onto the bad. It pains me to say this, because the food was really so good, but the service was SO bad. Our waitress, like I said before, was super friendly, but she was extremely incompetent. Why, you might ask? Well…here’s a list for your reading pleasure:

1. When she brought out our milkshakes, they were filled so high that they were overflowing. It was a gooey, sticky mess on the outside of our glasses. And you know what? That would have been okay if she apologized or tried to make it better. But she set our overflowing drinks on the table and quickly walked away. I had to wait until she came out minutes later to flag her down and ask for some napkins to clean up the mess. Ridiculous.

2. Bread! The tables to our left and right both received bread, and we didn’t. Mind you, it was the same waitress serving all three tables. Why didn’t she bring us bread? We flagged her down after finishing our appetizer and asked for bread. She didn’t apologize for forgetting, and instead promised to bring it out ASAP. The bread didn’t come out until AFTER our entree arrived. While the bread was tasty (yummy cheddar biscuits!), it would have been nice to receive it at the beginning of our meal like the other guests in the establishment.

3. Our food was brought out cold. Once again, she placed it in front of us, ran away, and didn’t come back until the meal was nearly finished to ask us how everything was. Hmm.

Now I understand that we came on a Friday night, and it was busy. But that’s no reason to receive sub-par service and cold food. The food was delicious anyway, but I can only imagine how awesome it would have been if it had been served hot.

Overall Scores?

Food: 4 stars (out of 5)

Ambiance: 5 stars

Service: 1 star

Value: 3 stars

Despite the poor service, I’ll be back. I want to try more things on the menu. And next time, I’ll come on an off night.