Since we'll probably be eating out more now that we're living in Hillcrest (AKA Social Center) I'll probably be doing some restaurant reviews. This week (or month's) review is of....
The service was excellent at Pei Wei. The style of the restaurant is that you order and pay up front, then find yourself a table and they bring your food to you. Mostly self-serve which is nice because there is no tip required. Considering that you already paid, the girls who helped us went above and beyond. First, right when we got our food, a girl brought an extra plate of their special and said, "You ordered the sweet and sour right? This Orange Chicken is on the house for you to try." It was a full plate. We assumed it was because the girl at the counter had asked us if it was our first time at Pei Wei. Then, when I was dissatisfied with my original order, the girl who brought us our food was more than happy to exchange it for anything else on the menu. A+ on the service.
The food was so-so. Paul ordered the sweet and sour chicken and said it had an almost minty taste to it. I ordered the Pad Thai and it was so salty that I asked for another dish. But, the Lo Mein was really good, and the orange chicken was fairly good (though I still prefer Panda Express!) Overall, the food fell between a C+ and a B-.
The price was really good considering the amount of food we ate at the restaurant and still walked away with. We were full at only about 1/3 of the way into our plates and ended up leaving with 3 regular sized Chinese Takeout boxes. Each plate was approximately 7-8 dollars, but the portions were very generous. Price: A.
The location is great. It only took us about 5 minutes from our house to drive there, and nearby to Pei Wei is the mall, Target, a movie theater, and pretty much any other shopping or eating experience you could want. A+.
The atmosphere was pretty good. You could see the chefs cooking, which in my opinion is always a plus. However, because it was self seating after already ordering, I could see that some people were having a hard time finding places to sit and had to standing with their food waiting for a table.
Overall, I'd give the whole experience a B. Obviously the food matters more than the local and atmosphere, and based on what we ate, I can't honestly say I'd return there too quickly. But if you're looking for somewhere with fast and excellent service - Pei Wei is the way to go!