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Joes: Great food, awful service (Friday night)

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I've gone back and forth about posting this, because I've always had the best service at Joes - really, the best. But Friday night was up there with my worst experiences at any restaurant - ever.

I'll begin with this: Our reservation was at 7:30, we were out of there at 8:45. Not because we walked out of the meal, but because we were treated like we were in a chinese restaurant: rushed. The host was very nice, busboy, great. Waiter - couldn't have cared less about us, was only interested in another table that took all of his attention. We were seated, and without being asked if we wanted a drink, he asked for our order - we had been seated all of 4 minutes. I said we hadn't opened our menu, he said "Take your time", and started to walk off. We yelled out that we'd like to order a drink, though, and he literally had to turn around to take that order, that's how quickly he had run off from our table.

He was back in 2 minutes, no exaggeration, to take our order. We said we hadn't looked at the menu. And, if you can believe it, it happened AGAIN, within 5 minutes - he wanted our order, but STILL NO DRINKS. By the time he brought our drinks (it's now 7:45), we ordered.

Our food arrived at 7:52 (we looked at our cellphones because we were in shock). Okay, here's our food (we didn't order appetizers or salads), so, we'll eat. But, good luck getting a second drink. We never saw our waiter again. Not once.

Here's the kicker - the only reason we were there until 8:45, and not 8:20, is because we wanted to order dessert, and that's how long it took to get our waiter again - but by the time he made his way to us, we asked for the check.

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  1. Very unfortunate... this seems to happen too often in LA, where professional waiter service just does not seem to match up with cities like NYC and London.

    I can say that I was at Joe's on Saturday night and had very good service. In fact, we all agreed that the service was arguably better than the food. of course, our waiter was fairly glib like a wannabe actor can be, but he was funny and he took care of us, so we had no complaints.

    1. Was this a waiter you'd seen at Joe's before? Perhaps he's new. I'm not excusing his behavior, but perhaps a call or note to the manager will get him the training he needs, and also make you feel better.

      3 Replies
      1. re: writergirl

        I hadn't been seated in his section before, but he's not new - he knew everyone BUT us (probably the problem). And, he was humorless.

        As I said, I've always has great service there, but this makes me hesitant to ever go again.

        1. re: yogachik

          Why not write a letter to Joe Miller, the owner? Or, call and ask to speak to him during off hours (maybe between lunch and dinner?). I know if it were my restaurant I would want to know about poor service. He genuinely cares about his guests' experiences, but can't address it if you don't let him know!

          Sorry your special night turned out so poorly.

          1. re: Vendela

            I agree. Call or write a letter with the same information as you posted above. Include a description of the waiter, if possible. In high school, I worked at a French restaurant and whenever a letter of complaint came in (thankfully rare), the entire staff was assembled to hear the letter read before the guilty party was disciplined. We used to liken it to public floggings in the European naval system.

            - Chubbypanda

            http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/

      2. I agree, write Joe Miller, he's a great guy and would want to know. I love the food there, but had a similar experience once (and only once) with a waiter there. Might have been the same guy, but it was years ago.