I don't like to follow the conformist notion that if a restaurant is uncrowded it must be bad, but the usually-empty Live Bait is making me rethink that belief.
I've been here about 9 or 10 times over the year. The food is o.k.; I recently enjoyed the crab cakes. But the service ranges from polite-but-slow to hostile-and-glacial.
I am one of the least meticulous people around when it comes to assessing service, definitely not a "how DARE you serve the foie gras course before the lime-cilantro sea bass?!" kind of guy. But the servers at Live Bait often have a difficult time with basic politeness.
The worst situations have been when the hostess doubles as waitress. Maybe the restaurant should hire its employees based on ability, not only attractiveness.
Within the faux-Southern/Cajun idiom, Acme is a billion times better - more interesting menu, better food, far better service. And for a slightly fancier take on Cajun cuisine, Delta Grill is superb. For those who don't mind other boroughs (or states), I also recommend Mardi Gras in Forest Hills and Oddfellows in Hoboken and Jersey City.
Live Bait had great potential but I wonder if the world would be better off if they sold the space to the nearby Quizno's.