Our experience on Saturday only highlights for me that there is really no reason to visit Walnut Creek or venture too much farther than Chow past the Caldecott Tunnel. Ok, maybe we should have visited the Chowhound pages before stepping in, but we thought Michael Bauer gave this place a good review and so it couldn't be that bad...were we disappointed!!! Service? What service?! We were seated at a bare table in the bar area for 15 minutes before we got to order and when the food arrived 20 minutes later, there was still no silverware on the table! When the forks and napkins arrived, the six (!!) pieces of fried squid on the plate ($8) had turned cold and soggy. The croquettes de jamon had a meat in it that tasted suspiciously more like pancetta than jamon serrano. The only saving grace was the interesting selection of wine in the wine flights.
The poorest of the service we received came when we requested an extra chair. After I made the request to the waiter, I had to hear from the hostess a few minutes later that there were no extra chairs and that I could go to another table and ask for their "spare" chair. What??!!
Folks, I'm completely ok with poor service when I'm not expecting (and paying for) good service. At a place that has all the trappings of a high-quality restaurant, what we experienced was unforgivable. Avoid at all cost.