Yes, we chose seats in the front area with the higher tables, as the back area was a bit more crowded and noisy (lots of families with children). The seating in front is communal - there are 5 or 6 tables that seat 8 people, and you just grab a seat wherever you can. There are also bar seats at the sushi bar and the wine/beer/coffee area. My only complaint was that the front area isn’t laid out all that well, so you have to shimmy between tables in different directions to get to various seats. Also, they had a large menu stand right inside the front door, blocking what would have been a natural pathway to the seating, so that made the traffic flow even more awkward. I think removing this stand and rearranging the tables could make the front seating area much more appealing.
On another topic, how do you guys handle tipping at this restaurant (or this sort of place in general)? We picked up our own food and drinks (no table service), and the service at the counter where my husband got his meal was indifferent at best, so we didn’t tip, but I’m not sure whether this was the appropriate action or not. We received basically the same service one would get at Chipotle, and I don’t tip there. If we had ordered a pizza or pasta (something that required cooking and table delivery rather than just assembly at the counter), I would have tipped. Thoughts?