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Dining: Kai Restaurant – A native American and cultural experience

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013

Dining: Kai Restaurant – A native American and cultural experience

Native American dining at Kai Restaurant, Chandler

Kai on Urbanspoon
Kai is located in Chandler, AZ on the Gila Indian Reservation inside the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort.  It is the only establishment in the state of Arizona that has received the AAA Five Diamond award.  It was won the award every year since 2006 and less than 50 restaurants earn the award in the United States each year. Kai is worth the trip and the staff seeks to ensure your experience is impeccable and culturally significant.

Kai opened in 2002 and since that time, Chef Michael O’Dowd has delighted diners and led Kai down the road of culinary fame.  In October 2012, Chef O’Dowd left Kai to pursue a new venture in his culinary career.   His new role takes him to the downtown  Phoenix Sheraton where he is working in the District American Kitchen.  O’Dowd explained his reasoning behind the change in an interview with Howard Seftel  published on October 20, 2012 in the Arizona Republic.  It was simply time for a change.  While Kai will miss Chef O’Dowd, Chef de Cuisine Joshua Johnson has been with the restaurant since 2007 and now has an opportunity to step into the spotlight.  Earlier in April 2013, an article was published in the Phoenix New Times with an update on Chef O’Dowd.  He has decided to launch his own business called Vivid Lifestyle Concepts (VLC).  He will operate this new business with a partner and will be re-launching Renegade Tap & Kitchen in North Scottsdale.  More projects are hinted to be in the works.

The Kai menu remains true to what it always has been with Chef Johnson overseeing the operations.  Kai is designed to lead diners through a meaningful cultural journey while dining on artistically prepared cuisine influenced by Native American cuisine.  Dishes incorporate seeds, vegetables and other foods that were grown on the reservation.  It’s a romantic dining experience with impeccable service.  I’ve dined at Kai on many occasions under both Chef O’Dowd’s direction and Chef Johnson and the restaurant remains above all others in Phoenix.  For additional information about Kai and more details about options on the menu, continue reading my article published in the Phoenix Examiner earlier this year.  In addition, I published another article about Kai in SmartFem that can be located here.


Kai Restaurant Photo By: Kai

Kai Restaurant
Photo By: Kai

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