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Destino report - service problems (long)

joannap | May 18, 200311:27 AM

My partner and I had dinner at Destino, the nuevo Latino restaurant on Market St., last night. The food that we actually received was quite good, but we had service problems.

We ordered the chicken empanada (good), the ahi tuna ceviche (with mango, avocado, and red onion, quite tasty), and a yummy prawn appetizer that came in a chili-onion kind of broth with fried tortillas.

These were all small plates. We also ordered an entree of lomo saltado, a beef dish. But more than 30 minutes after we were finished with our small plates, there was no sign of it.

Our waitress was rude at the outset, seeming annoyed when we weren't ready to order immediately. She didn't bring us water when we asked for it, and during the long wait for our last dish, she never stopped by to offer to refresh our (depleted) cocktail or reassure us that the beef was on its way.

Another server seemed concerned and stopped by to check on us. We told her we were waiting for one more dish. (It wasn't as if the kitchen wasn't cooking -- there was a steady stream of food going to other tables, just not to ours.)

Finally we stopped our waitress and told her we'd been waiting for a really long time for our food, and that we wanted to cancel the order and take the check. She seemed totally pissed off and stormed into the kitchen. The nice server came over to inquire, and we explained we'd just been waiting a really long time with no explanation. When our waitress came back, she said, "It's not my fault, it was the guys in the the kitchen. It's ready now, do you want it?" We declined. Our waitress nearly sneered, "Well, you're not going to PAY for it," as if that should have been readily apparent. They brought us our check and we left (with a 15 % tip, perhaps generous given the circumstances).

I couldn't believe that the waitress -- who never stopped by to check on us -- assigned the blame for the delay to the kitchen, as if she wasn't responsible for making sure her tables got what they ordered. She also never bothered to make sure we were hydrated while we waited.

Anyway, I'm disappointed that we didn't get our last dish, since the rest of the food was quite good. But we had to get home and didn't want to suffer through the indignant service any more. On the way out, my partner thanked the nice server for her concern.

Has anyone else had a similar experience there?

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