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Palate - Food & Wine (a review)


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Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area

Palate - Food & Wine (a review)

BklynCook | | Dec 30, 2008 07:22 PM

Just came back from a horrible experience here. Here's the short version: good food, abysmal service, plus they tried to rip us off on the bill!!

Here's the long version. From NY, in LA for holidays. I read a variety of posts on this blog about the great food, as well as posts from some skeptics. We booked the first seating at 530 (nothing else available) because I really wanted to try it. We were ten mins. early. We walked in, and the team was still having the pre-seating meeting to discuss strategies for that night and NY Eve -- all fine. However, after taking our name, we were given no direction or explanation. We sat at the bar for 15 mins (past opening) without offer of drink etc., and then inquired about table -- told, "we're not seating for another 5 mins." 10 mins later, we were seated. Waiter was young, did not understand menu, was incompetent about the wine menu; I asked for sommelier, who pointed us in right direction -- also fine. Waiter seemed highly anxious of making a mistake. Still, we puzzled through the menu. Food was excellent in parts -- the beef trotters and short ribs were succulent; cod was boring; the much touted porkfolio seemed ... ordinary. Dessert (choc pudding) was ok; not extraordinary given the place. But we were in a good mood and determined to have fun. Waiter was largely absent -- when present, remarks like "so you had enough to eat right?" (no effort to ask for dessert orders, more wine, etc.; seemed overwhelmed by his other tables, or perhaps just uninterested in waitering -- very hard to tell!

Then the coup de grace -- at the end, for 3, the bill was 180, about 30 more than expected. Upon inspection, saw they charged us for TWO porkfolios, plus an entree (pork belly) we never ordered! Have heard of this bill-padding trick before. Called over the waiter, told him to tell the manager; waiter agreed it was unacceptable; manager came over and merely said, we've taken it off the bill. As if!! I explained the customer service problems throughout, and he had nothing to say. Now mind you, I did it politely. I do not get this high-end restaurant's woeful customer service plus management's unwillingness to do anything about generating/keeping goodwill. Both waiter and manager claimed they were testing the printer in the kitchen and that's why 2 extra items appeared on our bill, but neither could explain the logistics of this alleged occurrence.

So, be warned .... (PS am not usually an unhappy diner).

Palate Food & Wine
933 South Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204

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