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Santa Barbara - Spice Avenue review. Anyone else had lousy service here?

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Santa Barbara - Spice Avenue review. Anyone else had lousy service here?

Mr. Taster | Dec 27, 2004 05:32 PM

Wound up at the only restaurant open at 9pm on Christmas-- the newish looking indian restaurant called Spice Avenue on State Street.

I have never been apologized to more... the couple next to us left after ordering because they were convinced they had been forgotten about. The only seating was on the very cold open air patio, and despite the fact that we were under a big heating lamp, it was not on, and repeated requests to activate it were all but ignored... ("we have to find a match" and "when he have a moment we will light it") It was about a full hour from the time we sat down to the time we were served our food. We didn't receive water until about 30 minutes in, when the owner/manager walked near our table with a pitcher and a glass and poured *herself* a glass of water, then noticing that we did not have any, got some glasses for us.

The food was good-- despite the fact that they were out of soup and appetizers. ("main courses only") we ordered sag paneer-- a little spice, generous portion, rich and flavorful-- as well as the chicken tikka, which was served unusually with banana chips and grilled onions and peppers. Quite tasty. Last was a sort of rice/chicken stew which was listed as a hourse speciality. Spicier than it looked, also good. Topped off with some raita, mango chutney and garlic naan (total bill-- about $45). Despite the exceptionally lousy service, I felt guilted into leaving a 17% tip because so many people apologized to us during the course of the night.

The last bit of quirkiness from this place is when I came out of the restroom and walked through the kitchen at the exact moment that one of the waiters dumped a cauldrom of hot lentils all over his hand as he screamed and flung the green goop all over his coworkes and the floor, and rushing to the soda machine to rinse it off with coca cola.

Anyone else tried this place? Is the service this terrible ordinarily? Are they a new place and still working out the kinks so to speak?

Mr. Taster

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