After the first time of getting my orders placed wrong and charged double for what I actually ate... I decided to still give them another try. But to my expectations, it was worse than ever.
Service: Only fair. I understand that their English isn't the best, but overall they are friendly. They don't have attentive service, as they only come to you to place your order and give you the bill. But in between, you get no service at all. And the worst is... THEY REPEATEDLY PLACE THE WRONG ORDERS... and CHARGE YOU DOUBLE FOR WHAT YOU ACTUALLY ORDER. That was absolutely horrible. It happened BOTH times when I went here. They don't listen and look carefully when you POINT to the menu indicating what you want. Then they bring double orders or make you wait 45mins for one chicken skewer, and at the end, they charge you double for everything. I had to literally raise my voice to get my bill properly settled.
Food: As any other Izakaya, their food is very similar. It's tapas style with some drinks to go along. They specialize in robatas, but I think their robatas are overrated. For the quality and price, I'd rate Guu, Gyoza King, and Zakkushi all the same. No real difference in terms of food. It's what you expect.
Ambiance: This was HORRIBLE. The first time, the atmosphere of the chefs and customers talking was fine. It was normal as any expected Izakaya... warm, cozy, relaxing. Nothing out of the ordinary, a friendly vibe.
But the second time I went, I was disgusted. They had a group of 20+ young teenagers who ordered maybe over 30 pitches of alcohol to drink. And they were swearing, shouting, screaming, and causing a riot. What is MOST UNEXPECTED is that the chefs and waiters actually hang out with the group of teenagers. One of the waiters were drinking with the kids as he served them, paying no attention to the other customers. And the chef who made the robatas allowed a young teenage girl to walk over his robata stove and hug him while taking a photo. This kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable at a restaurant.
1) Why didn't they open a private room for these 20+ young teenagers who are going to swear, scream and even take of their clothes and throw it on the floor? Don't they think this will disturb other customer's appetites? Didn't they know in ADVANCE that there will be a big group coming to eat? This is a problem of service at Zakkushi.
2) A restaurant should not repeatedly place the wrong orders... and then even charge you double the amount of $ when you didn't actually eat so much. And when you try to talk to them, they don't listen. Again, needs improvement in service.
3) Lastly, as I paid my bill along with my friends (during my second visit)... the waiter thoughtfully said, "I'm sorry it was so noisy tonight". Well, I'm glad there was an apology at least. But... is their apology valid when they allow a waiter to DRINK with the teenagers? And even run into the robata stove to take a personal photo?
I will not come here ever again. The most I'll do is give the Zakkushi on West 4th a try instead. But Denman? Needs to really learn what is called 'service'.