Excited by the earlier review of the Vietnamese crepe, two co-workers and I headed to Bodega Bistro for lunch. We got there shortly before noon and it ended up being well over an hour long ordeal. The food was excellent as usual, but I feel compelled to say something about the service.
We stepped inside and found the place only half full. Three wait persons were working the tables. We waited for at least five minutes before someone even acknowledged that we might like to be seated. The waitress asked how many were in our party, we signaled three. She gathered up some menus and proceeded to take them to another table, where customers had been sitting without menus for as long as we had been standing at the door! My co-workers and I looked at one another in confusion.
We were finally seated a minute or so later, to a table with no menus. Then the menus came, along with glasses of hot tea. It took over five minutes for someone to come back and take our orders. One of the soup spoons on the table was missing a chunk from the eating/slurping edge. We watched as plate after plate after plate of food walked by and to other tables. During this time, the restaurant had roughly the same number of customers as when we arrived.
Now, I realize hunger can distort perceptions, but it seemed like we waited a long time for our food to arrive. So long, all three of us had emptied our tea glasses. I finally had to flag down another waiter to get refills. We then waited a long time for our check after we finished the food and the plates were cleared.
Had it been packed, I could have understood the gaps in service and attention. But it just didn't seem to add up. The meal took much longer than expected. It seemed like it took a herculean effort just to get someone to make eye contact with us. I will definitely hesitate before returning to or recommending Bodega.
607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109