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Nick & Stef's... Underserved & Overcharged

Nick & Stef's has some of the absolute worst service in Los Angeles. They ignore you and they can never find the salt. Aside from overcooking my cheeseburger, there new annoying habit seems to be overcharging you on the bill. Somehow they managed to sneak in an extra $1.50 charge hidden in the liquor total that cannot be accounted for anywhere on the bill. Though Nick and Stef's used to be an easy stop before a concert at the Disney Hall, the consistent bad service and ultra long wait have become far too maddening. I am apparently not alone in this thinking as three other tables voiced major complaints with both the food and the service. I don't want to have to plead for my cocktail, plead for my burger, and feel forced to ask for my coffee and check as soon as my burger is served in order to arrive on time for my concert, especially when I get there with two hours to spare.

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  1. I just got back from a Nick and Stef's Happy Hour and did a search to see if there were any posts on the topic - and this one hits the nail on the head! The service was terrible - the waitress would barely talk to us to take our orders, and when she did she offered no good suggestions other than "It's all good." How blah. When we stopped ordering drinks, she was sure to bring us the check. As to food, both my friend and I ordered hamburgers, and asked for them "Medium". While we ordered at separate times (she arrived later), each took about 20 minutes to get to us. To boot, they came back completely well done, and we didn't want to sit and wait another 20 minutes for a burger when we starving and needed food to go with our beers.

    Based on this experience, won't be going back again. Will stick with my Westside Happy Hours - they seem much happier.

    2 Replies
    1. re: umeakai

      The food quality has gone down quite a bit IMHO. I was there for dinner 6 months ago and the steaks were not up to the standard that they themselves set 5 years ago or so. It is expensive, but it has to be very good to justify the expense...right now, it doesn't live up to the past hype. That fancy aging room needs to be put to better use!!

      1. re: nyfoodjoe

        I agree, I really wanted this place to be a once a month place but everything above this post is dead on. I have better service and meals at Morton's, Ruth's Chris in Pasadena and may favorite Taylor's.

    2. another one i called years ago -- a total case of quantity over quality and the steak is eh... -- btw all of these terrible experiences should be brought to the attention of the manager -- when something like this happens the bill as they first bring it is merely a starting point for negotiations...

      1 Reply
      1. re: jcwla

        I went with some friends several months ago to celebrate my friend's mom's 90th birthday. We got there early (naturally!) and they were already out of some of the side dishes. My steak was so tough that I was literally sawing through it. Normally I would have sent it back but I was being treated and I just wanted to avoid making things uncomfortable on the occasion.

        I'm no steak aficionado, but steak shouldn't be like that. Especially at that price.

      2. Your experience is unfortunately typical of most Patina Group restaurants. Consistently underwhelming food and value all around. The only thing they have got going for them is location. Sad to see since the original Patina on Melrose was once a great restaurant many years ago

        1. I've been here three times and all for happy hour:

          1st visit- sat in the patio with a group of 10-15 and was impressed. Ordered their steak sandwich and it was dry and not worth the price. We also ordered their wings and someone had their burger with wasn't well donw as requested. The kicker: it was a going away party for my boss and they spilled red hot sause all over her cream colored suit. Management came 10 minutes later to apologize.

          2nd Time: Business Meeting, we ordered their mini burgers (meat balls in between a bun) and their flat bread pizza, which was very good. Service was really slow and they started clearing out the patio and made a lot of noise in the process.

          3rd Time: The service was so slow!! Ordered the pizza again and it was consistently good but with all the waitresses running around, I wonder what they all are doing.

          Bottom line: Would only good back for a drink and would go only during happy hour.

          1. Just had to look this place up after having one of the worst steaks of my life. I had the dry aged NY steak cooked medium rare (as the chef suggested). I couldn't cut through the damn thing. it was SO tough. I had to methodically chip away around the gristle.

            1. I work downtown and have attended lots of business meetings there, and every time it's suggested I get a feeling of dread. Do yourself a favor and NEVER go there for lunch. You will find the servers to be apathetic and slow. The food isn't that great and I have been there many times when the food has made it to the table cold.

              1. my experience - the service not so good
                the host staff - terrible
                the steak - about the same as Morton's, which means pretty good
                the sides - way better than Morton's
                all in all, could be worse
                it's no Jar but I would go again if someone else was paying

                1. I really tried to like the place, but they dropped the ball on all counts.

                  1. I go there quite a bit for lunch and have generally been pleased.

                    Steaks are good to above average; sides are decent although there are definite highlights; desserts can be extremely good or bad; service is always professional.

                    That said, I've never really had to pay; dining on an expense account probably can skew one's perception of both food and service I suppose.

                    1. Four of us enjoyed an excellent dinner before the Eagles concert on Friday. We called letting them know we were running 30 minutes late and we were seated promptly when we arrived at 6:15. Service was decent for a busy night but far from exceptional. Our waitress was very good about making sure we got out in time for the 8:15 event. I brought an '82 Cab and a back-up '98 cab (love the free corkage Patina Group!). The waitress did not handle a broken cork properly on the '82 but it did not detract much from the wine. A bit sloppy on the pour, as each bottle had a fair amount of sediment (I had made sure to keep the bottles upright for many hours). Dinner was excellent. Entrees included the aged rib eye, prime rib end cut, filet mignon and Elk chops. All were cooked as ordered (medium rare) and side sauces were excellent. The meats were juicy, tender and flavorful, with the prime rib and rib eye being the group favorites. Sides included mixed mushrooms, mac & cheese, garlic fries and mashed potatos. Fries were ok, mashed were good and the others were excellent - some of the best mac & cheese I've had. Did not have time for dessert. Free parking and free shuttle to L.A. Live Nokia Theatre were a nice touch. Excellent evening; I will return.

                      1. I have been there three times, the last about a month ago. The service was excellent. Our wait person was so attentive, it was like she moved in with us. I have been to all the other high-end steak places in town and found N&S's dry aged steak to be very pleasing. May be I just lucked out, but they have been good.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: droyal

                          Hey droyal,

                          You definitely lucked out (or we were "unlucky"). We had a double Birthday event at Nick & Stef's about 4 months ago, and I had probably, the second WORST service experience I've experienced in LA in the past ~3 years that night. :(

                          Our server (middle-aged male) screwed up the order for 2 people in our party. We had to ask for plain ol' water THREE (3) times before we got any(!). The food itself was ~Ok, but for the price and for being an "upscale / nicer" American Steakhouse, I'd rather go to Palms, or even Morton's over this place again. 4 people in our party that night all agreed that their various steaks were "~Ok" but they all liked some other restaurant better (from Palms to Ruth Chris to Cut, etc.).