Tonight I, and some others, returned to Sagano to eat on the "sushi" side. It's quieter and we could face each other. It took a while for us to be seated, which had never really happened before. It was an omen. Service was slow all night, and I knew things were bad when our server was also the owner. Normally, she hovers around the front desk, serving as hostess and making sure everyone was happy. Tonight she was dressed in more "server" garb and seemed a bit harried. To her credit, she took our large order verbally and only made one small mistake -- the wrong salad dressing on one salad.
The restaurant was busy, a good sign, but it seemed a bit crazier than usual. The table behind us was full, at least 8 people, who were waiting to go into the steakhouse side of the restaurant. The increased traffic made the place feel busy, and the service suffered.
The sushi was delicious, as usual, but I realized how important the service was to me at Sagano. I like sushi, but I find Sagano's selection slim given I don't really eat sashimi. So, I left with a full belly, but somehow dissatisfied.
Maybe going on a Friday night wasn't the best choice, though the only time available for our group. We went at 6, a bit early for the Friday night dinner crowd. Still, it may have been the wrong day and time.
We learned (true or not) that two of the servers had to return to Japan temporarily. We didn't ask why. I know the steakhouse is new, but I hope they work out the kinks and don't lose me from both sides of the restaurant.