I normally dont review anything on the internet but decided to make this as a debut! Last weekend, a party of six dined at Bistro K in South Pasadena, for the first time. We were all very excited about the restaurant after seeing stellar reviews from this website. Our reservation was for 7:30p. Seating were prompt but the wait for dinner was significantly longer than what we expected (oh yes, one of our friends had posted a review on this website earlier). I wrote an e-mail to Laurent Quenioux , the owner and chef, addressing the time we waited and the inattentive waiters. Laurent very quickly replied to my e-mail, apologized that staff did not warn us about the wait time, and also invited me and a guest for a complimentary tasting menu. Since we didnt expect anything back, we appreciated the generous gesture and accepted the invitation.
The complimentary tasting menu dinner was on Thursday night at 5:45p. It included Froe Gras, sea scallop with clam and chorizo, monkfish with lama bean, scallop gill air dried with soy emulsion sauce, sweet bread with chantelle mushroom and carmelized onion, and a chocolate dessert. I am not usually a French food fan, but thought the dishes were really good, especially the Froe Gras and the sea scallop. The sauces were AMAZING! We used the dinner rolls to wipe our plates clean! Everything was well thought of, fresh, and top quality. I can see Laurents perfectionist tendencies through his cooking and this was later confirmed by our waitress, Abigail, who told us Laurent made most of the dishes/sauces himself for all the tables. The service that night was really efficient and courteous. Abigail seemed to like what she is doing and it really shows through her service. We didnt have to wait for the food long at all. I think the key of success this time was reservation time. We were the first table and the next table didnt come in until close to 7p. By the time we left Bistro K, it was close to 7:30p and most tables were filled. If your dinner reservation is after 7pm, dont come hungry. Dont know how long those tables had to wait for their food. :)
We talked to Abigail a bit before we left about the long wait time issue. Abigail told me that the restaurant had a staff meeting that afternoon and this issue was discussed. The management is aware and working toward solutions, including informing first time diners that it could take at least 2 hours (weekdays) to 2 ½ hours (weekends) to dine. I noticed many tables with 1+ bottle of wine per person (no corkage fees), bring plenty and make sure you can handle 2+ hours of time-killing conversations with your companions!