Border Grill sure is running hot and cold these days. Went in without a reservation on Monday. The pretty Asian hostess practiacally sneered at us when we said we'd like to have drinks at the bar before being seated.
Three of us ordered three mojitos (always good, and only $3.50 at happy hour) and some carnitas tacos and beef taquitos to get the juices flowing. All the food was delicious. We ordered a second round, and the hostess came to us and said "ready to sit?". We said not quite, and she sighed out loud like a teenager not getting her way.
Cleared out our tab at the bar ($38+$8 tip), said goodbye to the bartenders (both very friendly), and went to the stand to get our table. Waited for almost two full minutes for the hostess to finish her conversation with her friend about weekend plans. We were seated quickly, but the hostess didn't say another word to us...as she walked away, all three of us made a comment about how rude she was.
We were at the table watching the action for almost 10 minutes before our server came by and said he'd be right with us. He was very friendly, but obviously overwhelmed by his station. The three of us have restaurant backgrounds, and a little friendliness goes a long way.
After a few more minutes, the wiater came to the table and asked if we were ready to order. We had had plenty of time, we said, and yes we were.
We ordered 6 small plates: 3 orders of lamb tacos (my favorite), the sweet corn tamales, rock shrimp ceviche, and mushroom quesadilla, along with another round of mojitos.
Mjoitos came quickly, with the food not too far behind. Everything came at once, except for one order of lamb tacos. We reminded the food runner, and he said they would be right out.
The corn tamales were delicious. Maybe the best I've ever had. The lamb tacos were exactly as good as I remembered. The mushroom quesadilla was something I would absolutely order again.
The server (who was still very busy)stopped by to ask us how we were doing...We told him great, but asked him to check on our last order of tacos. He said ok.
I then tried the ceviche. I thought it was pretty terrible, and I liked it better than my friends did. I have had the Border Grill's ceviche in the past, and it has always been tasty, but this one was all water, as if it was the last in the container, and they just wanted to finish it off. Except for three bites (One for each of us), it went untouched.
The busser came by and offered to clear the plates. We said we were all finished, and that we didn't like the ceviche. The busser smiled and took it away.
We waited for about two minutes with the whole table clean, and then the food runner came out to our empty table with the lamb tacos we'd ordered thirty minutes earlier. We explained that at this point we din't want them. He took them away.
We asked the server for one more round and the check.
The check came ($125), and with tip, the total was $150. The server was very friendly the whole time, although obviously in the weeds. The food was overall very tasty (although I didn't like seeing the ceviche on our check when I had made it clear that we didn't like it or eat it). And the hostess was just snotty.
Seems like a few ends need to be tied up to get Border Grill back to where it used to be. That said, the food is still very tasty, and the Happy Hour is one of my favorites in LA.