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Restaurants & Bars 6

Mike and Anne's then off to Briganti for a night of bad policy and service

trolley | Mar 23, 2008 10:29 AM

After spending a lovely afternoon in the sun my husband and I decided it was time to eat dinner. Wanting to continue the outdoor theme and decided on Mike and Anne’s in S. Pasadena. We’ve been there once before and had pretty bad service but it was when they first opened so we didn’t want to judge it on that. It was 6:15 or so and I called to see how busy they were. The person said they were fairly busy. I said I wanted to sit outside and she said the first reservation they had was at 8:15. So we took it and despite being fairly hungry. I stated the reservation is for outside.

Two hrs later…we get there and they tell us 30-45minutes for a table. I asked why and they said that after 6pm they can’t guarantee a table outside b/c they can't turn tables outside. She said they had other people (walk ins) waiting and we’d have to get on the back of the line. I asked what difference it was between turning tables inside or outside? She said “you never know how long people take to eat”. Was she kidding? It was the dumbest response I had ever heard. Of course you never know how long people will take. Then I asked what my reservation meant. Why bother taking reservation when it’s really first come first serve. Why didn’t they tell me of their policy over the phone and we would have gladly came 2 hrs ago when it was still light out and we were hungry? She had nothing to say. They were rude and at this point we left to go to Briganti…

We finally sat at Briganti. I loved the food at Briganti but their service there has always been flaky so its somehow always plan B. Last night they took bad service to a new level. We were promptly seated and got menus. The waiter came by and tells us of the specials. He rattles off about a T-bone steak. I ask how much it is and his response, “I have no idea” he strolls off and after a few minutes he tells us it’s $32. I wanted red meat but ordered the NY steak instead of the t-bone. It was $7 cheaper and had a balsamic glaze.

Our orders come out and it’s the t-bone. I ask what happened and the waiter comes back and tells me they sold out of the NY steak so I have to take the t-bone. But I tell him that’s not what I ordered. He says I have to take the t-bone and so I ask if they would honor the price of the NY steak and he says ”no”. I’ve waited tables and hosted before and if you sell out of something it’s pretty standard you first tell the customer and if it was an accident then you honor the price of the cheaper dish. They stood there with the t-bone in my face and I said I didn’t want any of it and wanted the sole which was now significantly cheaper than either steaks. A few minutes later the guy comes back and tells me “oh, we didn’t sell out of the NY steak. We found one in the kitchen” without giving me time to refuse he walks away.

Minutes later he comes back and tells me “you know I’m doing you a favor by giving you the NY steak for cheaper” I ask what he meant by that and he repeats his sentence. By now I’m confused. So you mean to tell me that you’re going to give me a discount on the NY steak which I initially ordered? After a few back and forths it turns out he’s just trying to tell me that the NY steak is cheaper than the T-bone. He came over to tell me as though he was doing me a favor but really it was no favor. So I say in return “ so you’re going to sell me the NY steak for the price it’s advertised on the menu, right?” I understand it’s cheaper than the t-bone so what favor are you doing me? He then gives up and walks away. I felt like I was at a used car lot making a deal, not a restaurant trying to order a meal.

We are taking a long hiatus from eating in S. pasadena.

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