I dropped my daughter off her friend's house for a sleep over in Dana Point and decided to find a Japanese restaurant. Gen Kai came up, so I took my son and wife and see what it all about. I called ahead and they gave me a 7:30pm reservation. We arrive early and they gave us a table right away; btw, the place was packed after we ate.
Waitress was this older matronly Asian woman and she was not so happy to see my son had his head on the table for a little rest (he ran 5 miles); perhaps it was our fault.
Little plates were dirty, asked for new ones, 1 was still dirty, so we left it on the side.
We ordered several things and food arrived soon enough. Now, my experience with Japanese food would be quite extensive with several trips to Japan and quite a regular sushi patron. Gen Kai food was just soso but Hamachi was quite excellent. Unagi was cold and stiff. others were just passable.
We ordered 6 tempura shrimps. I saw the table next to us had this dish with a 6cooked shrimp on top of 6 round sushi and stopped another waitress with a bandana on the top of her head (aunt Jimima-style), she was service with a smile and asked her for an order of that.
Our original, somewhat unhappy waitress came to us after several dishes and told us all of our orders had came and no more food. We said fine and notice the 6 tempura shrimps did NOT come but we were quite full.
Then the busboy (we assume) brought the dish we saw the table next to us ordered and that dish was very good.
The 2nd waitress came over and said the first waitress ordered that for us by mistake (instead of 6 tempura) and the kitchen is making the order I have asked the 2nd waitress...what a mess!
We said we were full and do not want the 2nd order and since first waitress told us we have ""no more food coming"" we also do not want the 6 tempura shrimps.
Then we saw the 2nd waitress came over to the table next to us and try to give them that 6shrimp on 6 sushi dish but they didn't want it. Then she came over to us and told us we can have that dish because she did not want to waste food. I told her, I will pay for it if I am going to eat it; no problem. She was very happy and glad and told us that is good and thanked us.
Moment later, the 1st matronly Asian waitress came over with the bill, visibly upset that we were eating the 2nd order of 6shrimps-on-6sushi and thought we had somehow ""swindled"" a 2nd free dish; her face looked like someone had totally scammed her.
I told her, 'I already told the other waitress I will pay for it.' She stormed off for her proof and/or recalculate the bill.
Now, this was the thing. 1st waitress screwed up our order and I was already going to pay for the 2nd dish. There was no need to be upset about it and gave us attitude; she did try to give us a smiling face but you can tell she was not happy about something. I still gave her a good 10% tip.
Anyway, the experience was not pleasant but I think had I complained to manager, my wife, son and myself would have been the ones not feeling good. I did that so my family would still have had a somewhat nice time.
Food was just soso and the service we received was not up to par. Perhaps they were busy but that was not my fault.
Blue Fin Tuna sushi down the road in Crystal Cove was way more professional, delicious and authentic but also way more expensive. However, that experience tonight made tonight's bill quite expensive.
In a nutshell, I won't go back to Gen Kai again.