Off to a bad start, I arrived at the side street entrance by the BIG Insignia highway sign and was turned away as they do not let you enter there. We had to go back on the highway in order to make a u turn to use the highway entrance for valet parking. Entering the restaurant, I pondered how many 9 ft tall people would enter their two sets of 10 ft tall doors.
At the table, the waiter informed us that it was “Half-price Wine Wednesday”, that wines over $100 were half priced (but I did confirm that a $90 bottle was still $90. Huh?) Two appetizers, scallops and crab cake, arrived barely warm. Tasty enough though, but should have been hotter. The venison and Kobe mini burgers were interesting, but not remarkable.
After a very long wait (I mean, very long), the main course arrived. I ordered the 45-day aged Wagyu steak for $95 as recommended by the waiter, just to see what a $95 steak would be like. Expecting it to be the best steak of my life, it arrived plain, on a metal plate, not sizzling, no juices and no garnish (a sprig of something would have been nice). IMHO, if the steak started off as 18oz as advertised, it arrived kinda light after grilling. Furthermore, the cut was about a quarter of inedible grizzle. The meat I could eat tasted good and juicy, but not the best steak in the world, or my life. My friend had the 100 day aged Wagyu steak for $115, and indicated that it was good, not great. The two people who had the lamb said the chops were fatty. The mashed potato and creamed spinach sides were warm, not hot, and tasted like mashed potatoes and creamed spinach, nothing more; and the “table servings” were small. The French fried onions were excellent, though salty. So, was the Sapporo draft beer. One of had the halibut and one had the sushi; they both enjoyed them.
Just after dinner, the restaurant pumped in some loud music, for no apparent reason. Desserts appeared very interesting on the menu, and when they showed up, they certainly looked wonderful on the plates. Tasting the Insignia house special dessert and the pumpkin mousse revealed that they looked better than tasted. Not bad, but we expected to be knocked out by them.
Sorry Insignia. Is it just the growing pains of a new establishment? I would think that the experience of the owner would produce a restaurant that could hit the ground running. Sorry again, Insignia. Keep the A+ pretension to yourself and just give us good food with better service. It should have been GREAT, for the price paid…you missed the mark.