11 Nov 2007 @ 7:26 AM 

I would like to say that I have made the rounds of all the “Sushi” places in Omaha.  I am sorry to say that Matsu may never make it on the list.  I  dragged the family out for a “Friday Night” dinner and went from West Omaha, getting ready to head into Tanduri Fusion, to thinking that I needed to review something Italian.  I took the family to Lo Sole Mio and tried to get a table.  It was a 90 minute wait.

As if it were on queue, the oldest son suggested that we do Sushi.  Being as I did not want to drive out to the northwest corner of Omaha after driving from southwest Omaha, I figured we would try and subsequently review Matsu Sushi down in the “Old Market”.

I have a little hint for the management of Matsu.  If a couple bring their kids in and there are tables everywhere, don’t tell us that it’s going to be at least 10 to 15 minutes because you have to “clean tables” and then disappear to back of the restaurant leaving us to stand there.  We’ll leave and spend our $175 someplace else.

Overall impression:  Your service stinks, your wait-staff were aloof to people waiting, and I was completely unimpressed with all the dirty tables that were just left there as we waited for you to “clean one off” for us, which you never did.  After standing there for 20 minutes we got angry and left.

Pluses: It’s in the old market? (None really, I had to find something good about it)

Minuses: Enough room for 3 people to stand and wait.  Nobody to buss tables, dirty tables, and a bad sense of “you don’t matter”.  You should also watch out for the low hanging door chime.  I hit my head on it 3 times waiting with my back pressed against the door. 

(You’re wondering why I didn’t rag on Lo Sole Mio.  Because they were swamped, with a line out the door, the hostesses were attentive and tried to accommodate the 40 people waiting in line.  An attempt at service will bring understanding, ignoring me or blowing me off just tends to make me rant.)

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 11 Nov 2007 @ 07:29 AM



Responses to this post » (15 Total)

  1. jordan says:

    I have been to Matsu sushi Several times. When I had first found out about a sushi restaurant I was very happy, since I live in the downtown area. When I arrived, I too was the victim of the wind chime hitting me but I found it to be humorous. it was slightly busy, but got a table right when I walked in and the waiter was very nice. I believe they only have one waiter on staff most of the time which to me seems strange, but knowing it’s a small family owned business it’s understandable. The Sushi was well priced, actually bigger than most sushi rolls in omaha and the quality was very good. I sat at the bar and chatted with the sushi chefs…two younger ones at that. They both had a good sense of humor and often sang at the sushi bar, which made my time eating there enjoyable. I recommend Matsu to people traveling through since it is downtown, near the airport and a good place to eat. I think more people should check it out, sure there are a few things that could be fixed in that restaurants such as the low hanging wind chime, but when I went there the staff has always been nice, the food has been great and I definantly got my money’s worth. I’m not a professional food critic but I do love food. So give it a try and decide for yourself! 🙂

  2. I appreciate the comment and I may give it another try here sometime. I am actually glad that you had good luck with it. It is not a chain, so I am honestly hoping it does well, but they really need to take better care of their waiting guests.

    Thanks again,

    The Omaha Critic

  3. norah says:

    I went in there the other day and had talked to the owner. He is a really nice man. We got to talking about the restaurant and how it was doing and he told me it was doing o.k., but business could be better. He said he is planning on getting new menus, opening a karaoke bar downstairs, and maybe remodeling the inside. The service wasn’t to bad that day, but it also wasn’t super busy. Anyhoo, that’s my two cents. 🙂

  4. Scott says:

    As a vegan, I was surprised to see the “mock duck” on the menu. I and a real duck eating friend ordered this dish. My friend claimed the mock duck tasted just like the real thing, and I, having never eaten a duck, couldn’t say. I can say that the dish was very tasty, the service was good, and the bill was affordable.

    It was refreshing to order Asian food like this and get a good vegan alternative to tofu. I plan to bring the rest of my vegan family back sometime to share the mock duck with them.

  5. Joan says:

    I would have to agree with Mr. Critic. I have been to this restaurant several times with friends and it gets progressively worse each time. Service is extremely slow even when there are only two tables with people, our server has black grime underneath his fingernails, twice, there was a pervasive smell of sewage disguised with strong disinfectant and forget ordering properly made drinks unless one is ordering saki. My significant other and I each sushi several times a week so would be regulars if this place had not become so frustrating. On our last trip, it took 30 minutes to receive our initial order and another 40 minutes when we added additional food to the order. Unacceptable service!!

  6. TeenyTeeny says:

    I have visited the restaurant and was fairly satified with the food, but I agree the service was not up to par. Additionally, the menus do look like they are from the 70’s, and they did make everyone wait who came into the restaurant for at least 10 minutes even though there were only two couples in the restaurant.

  7. Mr. Etiquette says:

    Mr. Critic should learn about restaurant etiquette. Just because there is a table available or needs cleaning doesn’t give you the right to the seat. Firstly, the staff has to be prepared to serve you. If you were to sit down, service would not be improved. I’ve worked in many restaurants as a host and server and it is frustrating when customers can’t comprehend the concept of waiting. The Critic should know if they knew anything about restaurant service that Customers are more often upset when they are given a seat with bad service than when they had to wait until the restaurant is ready for them even if it is five minutes more than what the host says. No restaurant likes making customers wait, but sometimes it is in order to serve the customer better. And as the customer, they should respect that. I have been to Matsu, calling in advance doesn’t hurt, but I also expect to see one server hosting, bartending, bussing, and carrying food. Matsu should not be compared to the large operation of La Sole Mio. If your expectations are to have everything your way right away, then you know where to go

  8. Thanks for the input Mr. Etiquette. As parents of four children, with one on the way, I will have to admit that I do believe Omaha Critic and I have more than the average share of patience. When we walk into any given restaurant with our brood in tow, we do expect to have to wait, becuase most restaurants set the majority of their tables as 4-tops. We require at least two additional chairs if we only take our children – but frequently we dine with friends, bringing our group size on average to 8 or 9. With that in mind, we do know we will have to wait unless we have reservations or some sort of call-ahead arrangement. It’s also not unusual to have to wait for two tables next to each other to free up, so that we can all be seated together. This is our normal expectation.

    So – please keep in mind that we’ve already factored this into our viewpoint when we write a review. When we went to Matsu, it was not busy – there were more empty tables than full, with quite a few staff running around. At that point, it becomes poor planning on the restaurant’s part, not impatient customers.

    So – we appreciate the feedback, but please realize that before we publish any negative comments about a restaurant, we’ve already taken “normal tolerances” into consideration.

  9. Mr. Etiquette says:

    Thanks for the direct response! However, as a host in many dining establishments, us hosts(esses) have guidelines that customers often cannot comprehend such as: in certain restaurants a host will not seat you until your WHOLE party is PRESENT. And this is so that your party doesn’t sit down at a table and wait for someone to show up when there are people after them who are ready to order and eat. Personally, if I were to go to a Mom and Pop type restaurant like Matsu and they ask me to wait, I would look elsewhere, but not because I thought they were rude, but because I know that 98% of the time they do not have a wait like most small family owned restaurants. Beyond your perception, there could be many reasons why you weren’t seated. They might of had a large sushi order togo which is like having a party seated ahead of you. I guess I’m upset that your review wasn’t really a review since you weren’t served and it was only your uninformed perception. I cannot be a follower of your critiques if you could be that way. sorry

  10. Mr. Etiquette says:

    One more thing, in response to scott who said he ate mock duck at Matsu, Matsu has never and will never serve mock duck. Perhaps he was thinking of O dining restaurant.

  11. I think we can ascertain from your response, Mr. Etiquette, that you are affiliated with Matsu. I apologize that we were unable to do a review, but I hope you understand, that would require the business to actually seat us and serve us. Matsu did not do that, so what we reviewed is our experience with the restaurant, which, like others listed above, was not the only negative experience.

    With the other heavy hitters in the Omaha sushi scene opening up downtown, I hope Matsu will learn from this and improve it’s service.

  12. Mr. Etiquette says:

    I’m afraid I’m not affiliated with Matsu. I’m responding as a loyal customer, journalist and a professional host in the restaurant industry. I found your review inaccurate and lazy journalism practice. I just can’t help but think your hunger and irritation was blinding your judgments. You might as well have given la sole mio a bad review as well for not being able to dine there. However, some places are better off left as gems for the knowledgeable to enjoy. that is my final word, thanks

    ps. and as for blue; it has completely different clientele–they will both do fine
    pps. I think everyone knows La Buvette has pretty poor service, but that’s not why we go there.

  13. What was presented was an accurate representation of our experience with the restaurant. Is it possible that it would be different if we gave it another try? Possibly. The problem there is that there are simply too many awesome restaurants in Omaha and the surrounding area for us to make that much of an effort for a restaurant that was not interested in making and effort for us. It is what it is. Maybe we’ll do another review someday, maybe we won’t. As I stated before, we’re obviously not the only ones who have had an unpleasant exprience with Matsu, so I’m not optimistic.

  14. Carbis6117 says:

    I love sushi and I have only been to one other sushi place in Omaha and that was Blue Sake. Personally I liked Matsu’s a lot better. I am not much of a people person so I prefer to go to a smaller place. We had no problem getting a seat and the chef was great. He answered all of our questions and even offered to make me a roll that I wanted that was not on the list. I thought the prices were great compared to Blue and to me the rolls were just as good if not better. My husband is not a big sushi fan but he found one roll that he just absolutely fell in love with which is good for me, because that means I can eat there more often. Every business has their bad days. I have been to a lot of higher end restaurants and have had some pretty bad service. I don’t think one should judge a place after only going once, because like I said every business has bad days just like people do.

  15. Sally says:

    i frequently go to matsu for lunch with my dad and it does get busy during the lunch hour but the service is great. maybe they have improved it but i have been eating there for 3 years and it is my favorite sushi restaurant in omaha.

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