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Friday, March 18, 2011

Pop-Up Restaurant Gone Wrong

When I read about a Baja chef taking over a local restaurant for three nights I got really excited. I love seafood - particularly the mexican preparations. The menu looked promising and I made my reservation. As luck would have it, my fellow food lover cancelled on me and I was left with the decision, go alone or miss out. I cancelled the reservation but asked if I'd have a chance to get a table as a solo diner. I was told to come by - no problem.

I hardly ate anything all day in preparation for what I expected to be a sumptuous meal. I arrived at the restaurant and was happily seated within minutes - and that's where the good news ended.

I should have noticed that only one table in a mostly full room had any food on it. My order was taken promptly but in the next 40 minutes only two tables received their orders. When my appetizer arrived,
a seafood soup, I wondered where the serrano chile and shitake mushrooms were that had whet my appetite on the menu - they were not in my soup. To make matters worse, I was without a spoon. I experienced a very bland broth with a small piece of fish and a couple shrimp. As I glared at my bowl, I caught the eye of the couple sitting across from my table. They had just received their main courses, and looked as thrilled as I felt. I shared a few words with them, and learned that I was not alone in my displeasure. I still held out hope for the entree!  Finally it arrived, my order of octopus. What I received was a very small rectangular plate with about 4-5 tiny bites of octopus, plenty of tomatoes and not much more.

My server was very apologetic, and very kind, but at that point all I wanted to do was exit as soon as possible and get something to eat. The folks I had spoken with had already looked up the closest taco spot, and they were on their way. At some point a woman came to my table and proudly asked how I was enjoying myself - she was not one of the owners and I do not know what her affiliation was - but when I answered that I was actually very disappointed - she merely said - "Well, you know it's a pop-up!" - as if that should make everything ok. Can anyone say "Test Kitchen"? - come on - we know it can be done right.

And all this for only $28.00 - I could have been happier at a food truck......



  1. JN: I am sorry about your dining experience. You should not have paid for it and you should have asked to speak with the chef and then given him a polite piece of your mind. It is so disappointing to have your epicurean hopes dashed. The next thing you do is post it on Yelp. They won't be around long.... A new place to check out that's been around is The Joint on Pico @ Robertson. It now has a Jamaican vibe going on(since 3 mos ago) w/good food nice owner. It's a bar which hosts bands but at least you know the hospitality will be good as will the food. I love Reggae music and intend to go some Thursday night to check it out. A friend and I were there St.Paddy's day for a quick Jack&Coke along w/a side of Irish Car Bomb (Bailey's dropped inside a Guinness- tossed back fast as the Bailey's w/curdle in the Guinness otherwise...). It was fun. We didn't stay for the band, but I sure did like the vibe, you might too! Cheers!

  2. studiogirl: Thanks for your comment - it was only a three day event so no use for Yelp! I have been to The Joint for the music before - will check out the food. JN