by Kia Simon
1830 4th Street @ Hearst
hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm, Mon-Thurs 5:30-9pm, Fri-Sat 5:30-9:30pm
It should be called O Shame.
The food was good. But be ready to spend the rest of your life
waiting for it. We stopped in for a quick lunch, a pair of appetizers
and a main dish for the two of us. The first appetizer (Corn
and Green Onion Pancakes) took about 15 minutes to arrive. It
was good, but we thought it might be better in conjunction with
our other appetizer, (seared tuna) unfortunately it was another
half hour before that came out. I had ordered a cup of rice
tea to go with lunch, but after I finished it, I was never asked
if I would like another or something else to drink. They took
away our appetizer plates quickly -we had wolfed it down - and
we settled in to wait for our entrée (medium rare strip steak
with portabello mushrooms, spinach, and edamame).
At least half an hour later, I was starting to get pretty testy,
frequently looking over at our waitress. She was avoiding eye
contact, which is never a good sign. When she stopped by to
fill our water, I mentioned that we'd been waiting quite a while
for our entrée and asked how much longer it would be. It'll
be out really soon, she promised. With our ire already raised,
it would've been a good time to offer us a little something,
a free glass of wine, tea, whatever. Or even ask us if we'd
like more tea, perhaps.
Unfortunately, our entrée was not on its way out. Ten minutes
passed, and though our waitress did seem to be actively waiting
by the service window, the steak was a no show. Realizing, that
there was no way we were going to enjoy the steak in our heightened
state of irritation, I approached the waitress. The woman I
took to be the manager was standing nearby. "If it's ready now,"
I said "I'll take it to go, otherwise I'm not waiting any longer.
The service was very slow and we're not willing to wait any
longer." This was another opportunity to make this experience
right. The appropriate response, I think, would have been. "I'm
so sorry, our stove has been acting up. Can I buy your appetizer?"
I'm not really that hard to please. A simple stop by to say
that the dish was taking longer than expected would have been
helpful. When we were obviously getting impatient, a effort
to make our wait more pleasurable would have been great: some
tea, a glass of wine, or something comped. The restaurant was
not very crowded, and seemed to be adequately staffed, but we
were not the only customers who seemed dissatisfied with the
pace of service.
As it is, they ended up with very unhappy customers, a small
scene in the restaurant, and a tip of 50 cents. The manager
never said any words to me at all. Once away from the restaurant
and in the comfort of home, we quite enjoyed our steak.
About Kia Simon: Not only is Kia a woman
with a strong opinion and an eloquent voice, but she's also
a crazy talented, ambitious, creative and courageous filmmaker
whose work is as beautiful as it is unnerving. Learn more about
it her movie-making mastery at sneakylittlesister.com.
Reviewed: Sept 2005