Kalu Restaurant
Kalu Restaurant
Reviews Coming Soon

Kalu Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.kalunc.com/
  • Phone: 7049104877
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday -Thursday 5:00pm -10:00pm Dinner/ 10:00-12:00am Bar Menu : Friday -Saturday 5:00pm -10:00pm Dinner/ 10:00- 2:00am Bar Menu
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese, Asian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access
  • Private Party Facilities: Loft style room featuring private full bar and traditional Japanese bottle service. Tables and lounge seating included
  • Private Party Contact: Kalu 7049104877
  • Special Events: Kalu is capable of Handeling Private Parties,Corporate Events,BirthDays etc..

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Caldwell
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Lot across the street $4
A word from Kalu Restaurant
Contemporary Asian cuisine based on authentic recipes and traditional techniques. Cocktails, yet to be seen in most of the western world are featured along with traditional Japanese bottle service
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Kalu Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
  • Wow!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/13/2012
    I am a highly active foodie in Charlotte and I gladly give Kalu five stars. I had a business meeting here with a television executive. The "Tori No Tatsuta Age" (Japanese Style Chicken Wing) was wonderful and the service from Brooke was superb (ask for her). I tried a glass of Pinot Noir produced at NASCAR great Jeff Gordon's winery and I was pleasantly surprised (a good Pinot is hard to pull off). My guest was equally impressed. We ran into the owner (Jason) as we were leaving. His passion for food/service and humility was the icing on the cake for us. We'll surely be back. Cheers!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We dine out all the time and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2012
    We dine out all the time and probably should have known better than to go out to eat on Valentines Day. The pre-set menu was great, but the food was nothing to talk about. The amount of food could have been portions made for children. I think I got 3 bites out of my lobster and the sushi guy gave us an avocado roll instead of yellowtail and eel roll. The manager was happy to please and did get us the appropriate roll, but again, the food was not up to the reviews I have read. Might give it another shot on another night.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The reviews were mixed, but
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2012
    The reviews were mixed, but I loved the photos so thought to give it a try. The food was good and the service was great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It was valentine's day and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/14/2012
    It was valentine's day and it seemed that they were not prepared for the traffic. It took too long to deliver each course. We were seated at 6:55pm, and we didn't leave the restaurant until about 8:45pm. We also noticed when we left that people that got to the restaurant close to the time we arrived still hadn't received their main courses by the time we left. As a result, their was a negative energy in the restaurant for most of the night.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Server was great - she was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/4/2012
    Server was great - she was very attentive and courteous. Food was another story. Kalu, are you shutting down? Most of the menu was not available- you could get anything you want as long as it was salmon or chicken. No sushi except salmon, only one noodle dish available. Instead of having a menu, they should just have a short chalkboard listing what they have available.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food ok, service very poor
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 12/30/2011
    The food was ok, not great but not horrible. The biggest factor in my rating is the service. The waiter was nice, however, he did not know the menu well at all and really didn't provide much guidance in regards to key items to try. In addition, it took a while for us to get served, even though the restaurant was 2/3rds empty. Drinks and entrees all took an extended period of time. I am a true foodie, often dining out multiple times a week, but I don't plan on going back here. I plan to try other restaurants in Charlotte.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Waiter was not familiar with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 9/26/2011
    Waiter was not familiar with the menu, there wsa no wine list, music was too loud (it was Monday Night Football)
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very dissappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/9/2011
    We brought a group of 6 people for an 8 pm dinner on a Friday night. There was one other table there. The waiter was very slow. We were there over 2 hours. Our food didnt come out together. The waiter forgot items. It seemed over priced for the food we got. We ordered the chefs choice for $70. We ordered rice with it, but never got it. It seemed like we got cheaper options or whatever was easiest to prepare. I'm guessing the kitchen staff was short. The sushi list was small. The cocktail list was small. Overall we were very dissatisfied with the whole experience. We expected more for the price. And the waiter needs more experience for those prices.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food
    Shannon
    Dined on 7/9/2011
    I really like this restaurant, I love the "small plates" concept, giving you a chance to try many different things. I think the Tapas concept with the Asian flavors is fantastic. My big concern is, it just wasn't very busy for a Saturday night. I would hate to loose this little gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The chicken lollipop things
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/10/2011
    The chicken lollipop things are outstanding! Rest of menu good, ambiance is a little all over the place...the two bars changing colors is distracting.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Kali just lost their chef
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 5/20/2011
    Kali just lost their chef and didn't tell us until after we were seated and ordered drinks. They basically had no wine, no beef, and none of the menu but rice and simple stuff. Terrible! We left.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding food and our server
    Jdporter3
    Dined on 5/13/2011
    Outstanding food and our server was great. Appears that they have financial issues - lots of excuses for lack of wine, seating, menu changes, etc. They need to get these things solved. In fairness, they did a great job of letting us know about issues ahead of time but one can see that it's wearing thin on staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing.
    TkstorkVIP
    Dined on 5/13/2011
    Food was not exciting. We even spent the extra $$$ and did the Chef's menu - so we tried over 7 courses, all of them disappointing. Certain dishes were way too spicy, one dish was literally just rice, and there are only a few sushi selections. With all of the hype that the chef is related to Nobu, I would never compare the two.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food and presentation.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/12/2011
    Excellent food and presentation. Chef Bryan Emperor create meals fit for a samurai.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • weird place
    mickiVIP
    Dined on 5/5/2011
    this place is weird. we had the chef's table. several things were really good, notably the raw fish, but many of the courses were fried and edamame was a whole course. the tables are weird. the first place we were seated was a bistro table with such a big pedestal we could barely get our legs around it. the next table was a high one, feet on chair rungs height, odd for a 7 course meal. the chef greeted people at tables, but not us, even though they knew it was a birthday dinner. and when we were seated the server announced they were out of wine. just a weird meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Give your review a title (optional)
    JulieEVIP
    Dined on 4/30/2011
    The food was just terrific, wow! Definitely one of the best, if not the, restaurants in charlotte. Yes, the food is japanese only so hard to call it the best when you have to compare to other food types since it's a personal preference. But anyways, the food is great, everyone should go while it is open. Unfortunately, the location and lack of crowd make me think it might not last long, so enjoy it while you can!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • You can expect great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/23/2011
    You can expect great food and service, but don't sit by the windows at the front. Because of the design of the dining area, and the A/C being so "effective," you'll probably freeze.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, missing in other areas
    ChefGeorge
    Dined on 4/20/2011
    While the food at Kalu is spectacular, there's something missing in the overall package. For me, the tables are too large for comfortable conversation, the chairs too heavy and enveloping to move easily, the music too heavy rock for a calm fine dining experience. There's no drink or wine list - the server recites the complex drink special and mentions the 2 red & white wines available, with no mention of price of any of those. Then there's the issue of setting your price (beginning at $50 pp) and allowing the chef to create your meal, with the risks of his sending something you may not like (fried anchovies, eel, etc) versus picking out your own 3-4 tapas-size dishes per person and sharing amongst yourselves. But the food itself is great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • the most adventurous resturant
    OscarVIP
    Dined on 4/20/2011
    the most adventurous resturant in Charlotte. Excellent inventive menu. A truly unique meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Go to Kalu
    j3tp
    Dined on 4/16/2011
    Most all of our food was excellent at Kalu. There was one out of around 8 dishes that we would not choose again - others ranged from very good to outstanding. The flavors were both subtle and deep - lots of layers of flavor and texture here. The service was knowledgeable and helpful - offering to adjust the small plate item count as needed to better suit our party (party of 3 - they offered to increase some plates to 3 pieces where they would normally be 2). Short wine list, but very appropriate choices for the menu. The atmosphere is modern and relaxed. It would be a solid 4.5 star rating in every area if that was an option. Small opportunities for improvement, but really an excellent restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • You feel like you are in New
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/12/2011
    You feel like you are in New York. The flavors in the food are unique and diverse. Many of the items the flavor just explodes. I have been there 5 times in the last 4 months and have not been dissapointed.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a disaster! Where to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/6/2011
    What a disaster! Where to begin... No valet parking. No wine list, because they only had one kind. Food was good but, once again, out of many items. Sevice was a wreck, even though there was more wait staff than customers (I counted 9 customers all night, and we were a party of six!). This restaurant is doomed!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Definitely go!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/2/2011
    The food was amazing. We ordered 6 dishes (tapas style) and each was mouth watering. The atmosphere is trendy and fun. We were lucky to get a table for 2 looking out at the Charlotte skyline. One strange thing - no drink menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Atrocious service, had to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 4/2/2011
    Atrocious service, had to send 2 things back (one was wrong, one was raw chicken). Hostess busy checking her cell phone; waiter so-so. The food was uneven: some dishes were delicious, others were lacking. Very expensive pricing for bad service and uneven food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • This was the worst food that
    LOUDVIP
    Dined on 3/19/2011
    This was the worst food that I have had in a long time. More than half of the items that we ordered were inedible in my opinion. The menu is limited and they were out of several items. The wine list consisted of the wait person reading us our 4 choices and those were probably purchased at a convenience store. And to top it off, it was so loud that I could hardly talk with the 3 others that were with me. Nice looking place, but they need a lot of work.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • You pay for the ambience and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/19/2011
    You pay for the ambience and setting. Food is ok and you don't get alot of it.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food!! Waiter was really
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/12/2011
    Great food!! Waiter was really helpful considering it was our first tym there. Loved it!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It's our second time and really
    Foodie
    Dined on 3/9/2011
    It's our second time and really love the place. Everything is wonderful and even the cocktails are Asian-inspired, creative and delicious.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food! Terrible service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/9/2011
    Great Food! Terrible service. I took three clients to this place because I had heard the food was excellent...and it was. But I was let down to find out that basically every wine I ordered was out of stock. A couple people ordered cocktails and after a few drinks they ran out of liquor. We wanted soy sauce for dipping and was only given what the server/chef allowed...What? Bottom line... Excellent food. Bad service. This is a high end place and one would expect them to have a full line bar and it be completely stocked to boot. Good thing I have a good relationship with my clients otherwise I would have been more embarrassed for suggesting Kalu.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Could not be seated in section
    discerningdiners
    Dined on 3/8/2011
    Could not be seated in section we requested although it was largely empty. Our party of four was seated in the bar area. It was an 8 PM reservation for four. The restaurant only offered four wines by the glass, no wine list and about four options for wine by the bottle. We were told they were in the process of changing wine lists????? We ordered a bottle of Sancere that was avaiable and when we asked for a second were told it was the only bottle of Sancere they had. At about 10 PM lights were turned off in sections of the restaurant. We felt "encouraged" to leave.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The most fabulous Japanese
    Foodie
    Dined on 2/28/2011
    The most fabulous Japanese food I've ever had, in artful and unique presentations.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We found Kalu to be extremely
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/26/2011
    We found Kalu to be extremely expensive for the portions we received. We ordered a steak for $25 and received about 2 oz of meat. We had 4 drinks at the bar and the bar tab was $59- that is very pricey for Charlotte. I found the interior to be very large and empty- it had a cold feeling to it. I thought the bar area was very modern and sleek. Service was good- a bit pretentious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Uneven
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 2/25/2011
    Dishes are of mixed quality. Prices are very high. Service seems to be with very young, and inexperienced, college students. Pacing of the meal is terrible. Lots of creativity, but it needs to be harnessed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It was the worst food we have
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/25/2011
    It was the worst food we have ever eaten. Great presentation but terrible taste on everthing we tried. Never would recommend or return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I made a reservation asking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 2/21/2011
    I made a reservation asking Kalu to acknowledge my husband's birthday and make it special (table, dessert, etc). When we arrived, we were told the dining room was closed due to lack of business but we could sit in the bar. The hostess didn't even check the reservation book. We were told by previous patrons that the best way to order was to let it up to the chef. Our waitress didn't appear to know what we were talking about. We were also told Chef Emperor makes a point of visiting patron's tables to describe the food. Chef Emperor walked past us six times but didn't acnowledge us even once. What should have been a special evening, turned out to be very disappointing. I wrote Chef Emperor, but he never responded.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Hot Spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2011
    This is a neat place to take your friends on the weekend! The atmosphere is phenomenal, the food (tapas style) is of excellent caliber, and the servers are nice. I'll go back again.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, late-night find, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overall the food was excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/12/2011
    Overall the food was excellent. My biggest complaint is that the serving sizes are rediculously small. Add in the cost of Wendy's afterwards when you are planning your night out... You will leave hungry. They also ran out of teriyaki chicken skewers.... Really? Ran out of chicken? For example, the meatballs were amazing, but you only get 3 for $15. If they cut some of the low movers off the menu, focused on the crowd favorites they do well, and increase the serving size considerably; they would have a fantastic place. For now though, you can tell they are still feeling things out.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • They were out of beef at 8
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/5/2011
    They were out of beef at 8 pm on a sat night, so 20 mins after ordering, we were informed that we'd have to choose other dishes. Main courses then arrived ahead of our appetizers & the whole atmosphere was stressed & rushed, including the waiter bringing us the check without our asking & informing us that there is no dessert served here. I'm 36 weeks pregnant & had been relying on their valet service, but upon arrival I was informed that they were too busy, so I'd have to park several blocks away. Too bad, we had high hopes for this place yet they were out of their signature meat (wagyu steak) which seemed odd for quite early on a sat night. Maybe the experience is better on a less busy night??
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not a substantial meal!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/5/2011
    Menu was limited on a Saturday nite! They didn't have many res. when they placed their food order for the day,( so didn't place a big food order) and by the time we got there for our 7:30 seating, they were out of all beef entrees! They also didn't have the right chef to cut the eel, so eel was off the menu as well. It is tapas style, so portions were very small, so if you want a hearty meal this is not the place for substance. Special drinks were pricey. Mandatory 20% add to bill for 6 people, meanwhile , service was sub par for not such a busy nite! Menu options for sushi was very select.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, needs a crowd
    MegoVIP
    Dined on 2/1/2011
    I love the food and decor at Kalu! The problem is, there is never anyone in the place other than us. I think their location just a couple blocks off the beaten path in uptown is hurting them. It's a shame, because Charlotte needs more funky, unique restaurants like Kalu. Brian Emperor has a world class resume having worked at Nobu and Jean Georges in NY.. the wagyu garlic skewers, kobe meatballs, and chicken wings (not your typical chicken wings!) are all stellar.. try it.. and bring 30 friends with you!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet