We made a 5:30 reservation at Paul K and told the waiter we had to be out by 7:00 to attend the opera. The appetizers arrived promptly. We then waited about 35-40 minutes with no sign of our main courses. People who arrived at the same time and even after us were getting their orders and we were still waiting. The waiter came over and said it would just be a minute. Ten minutes later, I approached the waiter who was talking to the chef at the counter by the open kitchen. The chef said our orders were cooking. I told him that we placed our order an hour ago. He shrugged his shoulders and walked away. I spoke to the manager, who went to check, and eventually our orders arrived--an hour and ten minutes after we were seated and twenty minutes before we had to leave. The food was good but Instead of a relaxed dinner with time for coffee and desert, we ate quickly and paid the bill. The waiter--who we know from prior visits and who is great-- told us that he had decided to comp our half bottle of wine--a nice gesture. On the way out, I told the manager that we were regular customers (we've been to Paul K 15-20 times) but that something was very wrong and needed to be fixed. He said "you're right but I don't know what I can do about it." How about a sincere apology (which we never got)? How about finding out what caused the problem and fixing it?
I understand that mistakes can happen, but the lack of response and the clueless, helpless attitude gave me no confidence that anyone really cared. Sorry, Paul K, there are too many other choices to come back.
Paul K Restaurant
199 Gough St., San Francisco, CA 94102