A combination of impeccable service and executive chef Michael O'Dowd's sophisticated, Native American-inspired cuisine have helped Kai win AAA's top restaurant rating, the Five Diamond Award, for the fifth time. This puts the fine dining spot, located at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, among a very elite circle of eateries -- and the only one in Arizona.
Also on the list of 2011 ratings recipients are 27 Arizona restaurants who've received the next highest rating, the Four Diamond Award, including six first-timers: Binkley's, Cork, Noca, Prado, Quiessence, and Core Kitchen & Wine Bar at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, near Tucson.
For 26 years, AAA has been rating thousands of establishments across North America, based on stringent criteria about the food, service, decor and ambiance.
What does it take to get top honors? Here's the definition for food preparation, straight from the rule book:
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Among other things, the food preparation execution of all methods is flawless and meticulous. All menu items are prepared from scratch in-house. With the exception of classic dishes, food is prepared in a manner that is highly imaginative and adventurous.
Need any more excuse to go to Kai? I don't. (Well, actually, I've been there and it really is exquisite.)