I'd heard of Joli Kobe from a few friends, and I know they sell divine cakes. I didn't realize there was a "bistro" there, so I decided to give that part of the restaurant a try. I found out a lot of Yelp reviews only focused on the bakery - weird.
My friend and I met up here for dinner. We were looking at sandwiches/burgers from the get-go, so I got the crab cake burger and she got the Tokyo burger. Then, we halved our burgers to share with the other. Best of both worlds! :oD I liked that the crab cake burger had a side salad, but I definitely ate some of my friend's fries while I was at it. >.>
The crab cake burger was all right. The bun was ginormous, overtaking the crab cake for sure. I guess I was expecting a larger portion size of crab too but I was a bit underwhelmed. The remoulade sauce was there but I could have used more. Now that I think about it, I could have asked for more. Hmm. Eh... I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again. The raspberry vinaigrette dressing was nice and light; surprisingly, I used the entire ramekin.
The Tokyo burger was good - I expect the fried egg helped in that regard! I had a similar burger when I visited Australia last year, which was fantastic so I had to dial down my expectations for this one. I think the meat to bun to condiment ratio was just right, too. I don't recall adding anything else to the burger, i.e. ketchup. The fries were pretty tasty mostly because they were lightly salted and crispy but not too crispy. I don't prefer crunchy fries over soft ones or vice versa - I like'em all. What I care about is the amount of salt involved and whether it just tastes good.
Side story! When I was younger, I worked at a Chick-fil-a store. I had a few different bosses during this time, and one of them was new to the restaurant industry. I vividly recall a busy Saturday where I saw her helping out the "cooks" in the back - she was making sandwiches and shoveling fries into the respective fry packaging. (I have no idea if there's a certain term for this; if there isn't one, there should be one.) She was over-salting the fries in order to make people buy more drinks. Ethical much? Sure enough, people returned to the counter complaining about the super salty fries. All of these customers ended up getting a fresh order of unsalted fries in the process - for free. See? That's what you get!
My friend wanted to get espresso but, for some reason, Joli Kobe's espresso machine was out of order? Something strange like that, so she got coffee instead. We looked at the desserts on the bakery side of the restaurant - I'm so glad we did! The desserts on the menu sounded great but seeing them in the display case made me think twice about ordering them. They were overpriced, man! Tiny desserts for large dollars - that's not cool. I opted to get a blueberry muffin instead for about $2, and even then I thought to myself I can make this at home for less moola.
Bottom line? Overpriced. I won't go back, unless it's for a cake purchase.