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Party Size
For 2
Date
Wed, 4/25
Time
7:30 PM
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Booked 3 times today

NAO at The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio

4.4
637 reviews
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$30 and under
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Latin American
Perfect For:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
****Student Run Dinner
CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR STUDENT BREAK
Service to resume Thursday May 10, 530pm *****

Nao is a classroom for students in their last semester at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio. Both Culinary and Service is provided by students earning an Associates of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts.



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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Latin American, South American, Mexican
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Hours of operation
***Student Run Dinner
CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR STUDENT BREAK
Service to resume Thursday May 10, 530pm ****

Outdoor Kitchen at The Pearl Farmers Market
Saturday: 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Closed for major holidays, due to students being off campus.
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Phone number
(210) 554-6484
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Chef Instructor Sofia Sada and Hospitality Instructor Samantha Fletcher
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Catering
no off site catering is available
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Isleta / Emma Kohler
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Parking details
Recommended parking in the Koehler parking garage. From there, go to first floor.

If you are being dropped off, please direct your driver to Hotel Emma. We are directly across from the entrance of the hotel
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Public transit
public transportation is through VIA bus routes. please visit https://tripplan.viainfo.net/#/app/tripplanning

if using a taxi or uber, have them drop you off at 136 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215. this is the address for hotel emma, which is directly across from us.
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Special events & promotions
Please contact Instructor Samantha Fletcher, Samantha.Fletcher@culinary.edu
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

We love sharing food with people. Celebrate benchmark birthdays, recent retirements, or much-deserved promotions. Let our staff help you make a lasting impression on colleagues, association members, family, or friends while you share a great meal.

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What 637 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on April 11, 2018

My only suggestion would be to ask patron how they prefer their burger cooked. Chori burger was delicious but a raw spot in the middle. Replacement burger was over cooked. I didn’t mind because the students are so friendly and eager to please. Both my friend’s and my dinner were comped so we donated money to CIA. I will continue to dine with Nao and brings friends with me. One of my favorite spots in SA.

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4.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Delicious meals, my wife had the Chicken Skewers and said the marinade was very good. We will look forward to going back.

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4.0Dined on April 3, 2018

Our waitress was nice and courteous. We are deaf so she was patient with us. However she forgot my request to grill the shrimp instead of sautéed. She didn’t offer to fix this.

She took my margarita when I was not done with it. Still have some left to drink. She didn’t bother to ask me if I’m done with my drink.

I think the price was way too much since portion of each meal was not full portion. Overall it’s overpriced.

Need to teach the students are how to serve deaf customers.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

It was my boyfriends birthday, the atmosphere was excellent , the service was good. Amazing food and presentation !, would definitely go back

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4.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Great food and presentation. It's fun to eat at the CIA as the food is being made and served by students who are training for a career in the culinary arts. I'd recommend it to anyone.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

We sat at the table with the lazy Susan and made great use of it for sharing tastes of every dish. The pork tenderloin with the spinach risotto was delicious and rich. Our waiter was extremely attentive and guided my gluten free friend to those items on the menu that she could enjoy.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Great food and service, all while supporting students. Our group had a great time.

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4.0Dined on March 16, 2018

For a lunch we both had Basque-style Bouillabaisse that was exquisite: fresh, varied seafood, prepared separately than put into a lobster base buttery sauce....excellent. Our waiter answered all our questions, and genuinely interested in our having a delightful experience. The only drawback was the venue's air-conditioning, (very blowy by the window tables,). Also several student wait staff were very slouchy, leaning full body along the serving bar....a first impression when you come in if the room isn't full. It felt looked like a bar instead of a fine restaurant. These (NOT the food) are my reason for 4 stars out of 5.

Worth making a reservation for a unique taste treat in San Antonio; appealing wine list also.

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Samantha and staff were amazing!! They made sure my family and I had a stellar, stress free experience the night before my wedding. My mother is from a small town, and was blown away by the hospitality and great food made by the chef and the students. They even made sure to accommodate my daughter's food allergy, and brought out a wonderful congratulatory dessert to celebrate the occasion. It made the wedding weekend one to remember. I've been to many top notch restaurants here in San Antonio, and this literally 'takes the cake!' Hard working staff, students and chef, AMAZING food in a five star setting. We'll definitely be back!

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5.0Dined on March 7, 2018

absolutely fantastic. great staff, incredibly creative meals. Loved it

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Great food in a classy, upscale, industrial modern setting. Very tasteful and reasonably priced. Great flavor combinations and spicing.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2018

Lovely meal at the culinary school restaurant. Very tasty, would definitely recommend!

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5.0Dined on February 8, 2018

Nao--the student run restaurant in the Culinary Institute of America's San Antonio location. We had a great meal and had a fun time talking with the students as well. Their commitment, their plans and their enthusiasm were part of what made the meal memorable. The seafood stew was top notch--seafood very well prepared. The cheese course was very nice--I would add some honey to options. The Latin flair was evident in the spices. All made for a very nice evening. We will be back.

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5.0Dined on February 3, 2018

Everything was wonderful! Eddie was very accommodating with our questions about our meal.

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4.0Dined on February 3, 2018

This was not my first time to this place. The service is always worse than expected and the food is always better than expected...so it's worth a return trip 100%

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1.0Dined on February 3, 2018

Very disappointed. Server was not helpful and slow, expected him to talk about the food. He never checked to see how anything was or thank us for coming. Food was over flavoured and steak overdone, poor quality of steak. It's a shame that this is how future chef's are being trained.

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3.0Dined on February 2, 2018

Server wasn’t overly familiar with items on menu. When asked what was his favorite, he immediately went with the highest priced item; about the seafood stew, he said it was "seafoody." Cake was dry like powdered chalk. We had a great experience there a year earlier at lunchtime, but this dinner was a disappointment. There are several other restaurants in the Pearl area we will try next time instead.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2018

Best margarita ever seafood fabulous

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5.0Dined on January 26, 2018

I had a great experience. I would totally recommend this restaurant. The service was excellent and the food delicious!

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5.0Dined on January 26, 2018

We were only able to get a reservation at5:30, a little early for us, but we wanted to try NAO. The service was great, server was well versed on menu and details. We had the lobster Mac & cheese it had great flavor, great amount of lobster, and the sauce was perfect. I wold of preferred it served even hotter than it was , the middle was warm as opposed to the edges where it was toasty. The ribeye was perfect for me, medium rare and my husbands pork tenderloin was perfect as well. My dessert was the chocolate cake with coffee ice cream and my husband’s cheesecake was so light and a touch warm that made it even better. We will be back .

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5.0Dined on January 25, 2018

Our server, Eddie, was such s delight. Each course was more delicious than the previous. We did the cheese board to start and our chef was very knowledgeable and gracious in her presentation.

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5.0Dined on January 20, 2018

Everything tasted great. Jakob, our server, was efficient and personable.

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3.0Dined on January 20, 2018

We were a bit disappointed by the quality of the food. Our steak was under cooked and was not seared well.

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5.0Dined on January 19, 2018

The food was exceptional considering it was cooked by students. We happen to go during Restaurant Week and it was a deal! Great food and great service. Nice ambiance.

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5.0Dined on January 19, 2018

Food was great. Students did an excellent job!!!!

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5.0Dined on January 17, 2018

Went for restaurant week. Dylan was our server. She was the best!

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5.0Dined on January 13, 2018

Took some friends here for a bachelorette dinner and it was perfect. We tried dishes we never would have tried otherwise, service was impeccable, and the food was delicious!

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5.0Dined on January 12, 2018

The food was very well elaborated and tasteful. Service was outstanding.

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5.0Dined on January 12, 2018

Our server was fantastic, food was spot on delicious! We learned about the CIA program which was very interesting. Altogether a wonderful evening!

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5.0Dined on January 12, 2018

Great service and food at the Pearl. Students were very friendly and provide a great experience. Would go again.

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4.0Dined on December 8, 2017

Interesting and fun concept to support the students of the CIA in San Antonio. All that are involved in preparing and serving meals are students. With that though there comes a bit of inexperience which if you expect going in, is not a big deal. Little things like serving soup without a spoon, not clearing empty plates for each course, etc. Then we were reported as no-show for the reservation (which was easily fixed). All in all, the menu is creative and definitely out-of-the-box. Even down to the creative cocktail concoctions. The students are chatty and happy to answer questions. Fun evening overall and worth a repeat visit.

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4.0Dined on December 8, 2017

I have eaten at Nao multiple times and I was not disappointed.... the food was delicious. I had the quail in mole and it was authentic mole, rich with the right spice mixture. Wonderful dining experience!!
The pisco sours are to die for!

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5.0Dined on December 5, 2017

Excellent! If the servers had not been wearing their chef’s jackets I would not have know this was a cooking school

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4.0Dined on December 2, 2017

I was hoping for more of a dining experience. We were sat at a bar too and service was lackluster.

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5.0Dined on November 18, 2017

Fun night and excellent food. The students are happy to explain everything

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5.0Dined on November 16, 2017

The food and service was absolutely spectacular. The waitor very knowledgeable and informative.

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4.0Dined on November 16, 2017

We had a family gathering here. The staff was very accommodating in arranging a special table outside, where we could enjoy the mild evening and great setting in the Pearl. Wesley was knowledgeable and helpful with menu selections. The shrimp and pork belly tacos were tasty. Interesting options feature fresh, seasonal foods. All staff are CIA students and work hard to please. A very nice experience.

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4.0Dined on November 14, 2017

Service could be more refined. We had to ask for knives and forks To be returnedonce the server took them away.

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5.0Dined on November 10, 2017

We were there for a birthday celebration. The food and service were excellent. The chef did a wonderful job with happy birthday dessert samplers accompanied by the waiters all joining to sing happy birthday. We had a great experience!

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5.0Dined on November 3, 2017

Wonderful little restaurant. Enjoyed sitting at bar overlooking kitchen and talking to the Chef Jeff about food being served at NAO and also food in general.

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