Here is a minute-by-minute account of my time at Cuchi Cuchi last night. The food there is good, but not "I'll be glad to endure horrible serve service just for the privilege of eating here" good.
8:00 Our party of four arrives. The hostess tells us there will be a 30-45 minute wait for a table. Fine by us -- after all, there are worse ways to kill time than over a pitcher of Sangria. She writes my name in the book, the time we arrived, and the estimated wait time: 45 minutes (so much for 30 minutes, I guess).
8:00-8:45 We wait patiently, enjoying ourselves at the bar. Starting to get good and hungry. Looking forward to those deep fried tomatoes I saw on the menu. And that eggplant thingy too.
8:45 I visit the hostess stand "just to check in." I remind her that she said 30-45 minutes and its been the full 45. The following conversation takes place:
Hostess: It shouldnt be long now.
Me: OK, can you give me an estimate, just so I can report back to my friends?
H: We're just waiting for a few tables to leave. We don't like to kick people out, you know (giggle, giggle).
M: Right, understandably... so about that estimate?
H: Not long now.
(I give up and go back to my friends at the bar.)
8:55 My friend Paul decides to give it a shot. He goes to the hostess stand, where he witnesses an irate customer chewing out the hostess: "We've waited twice as long as you told us it would be. If you people don't even have the decency to give us a straight answer, we're leaving." (They leave. We feel their pain, but secretly hope that means we'll get their table.) The hostess, seemingly learning from her mistakes, decides to give Paul a straight answer: "five to 10 minutes," she says.
9:05 Ten minutes later... I can hear my stomach. I believe it is saying "Yo quiero tapas." The hostess avoids eye contact. Alas, no table.
9:10 I go back to the hostess. "I just need you to be honest with me," I say. "It's OK if you dont have a table for us, I just need to know one way or the other, so we can go someplace else for dinner." She replies "We are just waiting for this table over here to leave. It shouldn't be more than 5-10 minutes." I'm beginning to think that she only knows a limited amount of English phrases. Strangely, though, she does not have a foreign accent.
9:15 Glory, Hallelujah! We are seated! The waitress comes over immediately to ask if we want drinks. Everyone but me orders one. I say I'll stick with water for the time being. She says she'll be right back with water for the whole table.
9:17 We are ready to order. And really ready for some bread.
9:17-9:30 We watch parties get seated next to us on both sides and place their orders.
9:30 My friends drinks arrive. The waitress asks me if I had decided on a drink. I say, "Actually, I'll just stick with water," gesturing to my not-yet-filled water glass.
9:35 The water arrives.
9:36 We place our order.
9:37 The bread arrives.
9:37-9:45: We watch our neighboring parties get their meals and start to eat.
9:45 The first of our tapas start to arrive.
From this point on, strangely, the service was fine. The food arrived quickly and it was predictably good. But still, I mean... come on.