Once in a lifetime experiences come in two forms. The first are things you only want/get to try once, and things you NEVER want to repeat. Five-Sixty by Wolfgang Puck Is definitely a combination of the two.

The occasion was the 18th birthday of the Amazon that lives at my house. The Mrs. wanted to gift her a really cool experience, and a rotating restaurant sitting atop Reunion Tower offering a genuine panoramic view of Big D seemed ideal.

The food was excellent. Starters were the “Texas Wagyu  Wontons” and “Tamarind Glazed Baby Back Ribs”. Both were tasty, but the ribs were the hands down faves. The Mrs. had the “Wok Fried Whole Red Snapper”. This presentation of this dish deserves a bit of elaboration. The fish is very lightly battered and fried. So lightly you can still see the red-orange color of the fish beneath the batter. Then the fillets are split from the dorsal side and the fish mostly deboned between the head and tail. The fish is placed belly-side down and the veggies ar inserted between the fillets. Absolutely beautiful. The Mrs. said she thoroughly enjoys it, and for those wondering, she only found five or six small bones. No problem for anyone who enjoys fish from places other than fast food outlets.

The Amazon and I each had the Szechuan Beef Filet “Au Poivre” serves with wild mushrooms. The fillets are seared with black pepper and served with thin sliced garlic and chilies on top. Nice bit of bite, but nothing to put one in discomfort.

The ladies shared a bowl of Crab Fried Rice from which your humble correspondent abstained because I know that eating seafood is the cause of all airline disaster films, and being a busy travel weekend, I did not want to put the flying public at additional risk. In any case, the rice was enjoyed with gusto.

The service was top-notch as is to be expected in an organization of this caliber. Josh and Jose were our team, and they made our evening. Since the service team knew we were celebrating a birthday, the Amazon’s baked Alaska arrived with a lit candle and “Happy Birthday” written on the plate in white icing. The Mrs. enjoyed a Mizo ice cream and Chocolate Mousse tort. Both dishes were well received.

Total tab for the three of us came to $325, again, in line with expectations. It was a once in a lifetime experience after all, and that brings me to the thing that insures I will never be in that restaurant again.

Five-Sixty is built inside a large glass cylinder. The glass observation windows are smooth reflective surfaces. The opposing walls are smooth wood paneling. The noise level in the restaurant was oppressive. My family could not hear one another speak across the table at a normal tone of voice, much less the subdued tones expected in a top-shelf restaurant. I was forced to lip-read Josh as he described the dishes on offer. and struggled to answer our questions. The result of this issue was my order for “Two Szechuan Beef Filets” was lost in translation as the Amazon and I would split a fillet. The meal was delivered accordingly, and once we politely yelled at each other loudly enough to get things sorted out, my filet was rushed through, and served with many effuse apologies.

I do not blame the service team in any way. It was simply the noise level in the place prevented my order from being herd correctly, and this is ridiculous because the restaurant was barely half-full.

A few white noise devices strategically placed would solve this problem. This is the same technology used in noise canceling headphones popular with air travelers. My employer uses them in our call center, and even during the height of activity two people can conduct a conversation in normal tone of voice, and be heard without disturbing others nearby.

So, visit Five-Sixty. Take your noise canceling headphone and some small white boards so you don’t have to keep asking for cocktail napkins to have a conversation until Wolfgang gets this un-Pucked.

Be safe out there!