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Pete's Cafe on Main St (downtown)... LOUSY service!!

Recently moved downtown and heard some raves about the burgers at Pete's Cafe. Burger wasn't bad, but the service stunk. A lot of chaos... banging of dishes, dragging chairs on the ground. People working there really don't seem to care about making a pleasant experience at all.

Come to think of it, the cafe nearby (Banquette Cafe? La Banquette?) had the same problem.

So if anyone can recommend other good local places, I'd appreciate it. Not looking for "fancy", just NOT hostile! Thanks.

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  1. yeah, they've gotten a bit sloppy with their service. bummer, because it's a nice place and they've got pretty good food.

    1. If you went today, it may have been leftover marathon stress. Downtown was a nightmare, and I'm sure restaurants had more business then they could handle. A case of frayed nerves maybe? The burger is usually pretty damn good at Pete's. Try the Redwood on 2nd for casual. Give Pete's another chance; it is a solid downtown option.

      1. I would also recommend going to the bar at J Lounge on Olive at 11th. They have these great pizzas that can easily share for two and other good bar food items. I've always had good service there and strong drinks. Supposedly Claytons (I think it is near Industrial) has a good burger. But never tried. My friends that live downtown also go to 626 reserve quite often and Roy's on Figueroa at 8th always seems to be a favorite. Had some good and some bad meals at Ciudad. But the service is friendly and the ambience is very cool. Blue Velvet in City Center West also seems to be a favorite. But I've had both good and bad experiences there as well. You also have to treat yourself to the Grand Central Market and get some carnitas tacos and a torta. Great stuff and you will end up buying some latin produce and other goodies on your way out. There's also a great sandwich shop in the Calfornia Plaza. Forgot the name. People also seem to like Tiara Cafe in the California Mart on 9th. It's Fred Eric's organic inspired cafe. Only opens M-F. Last but not least, you can get to Little Tokyo in minutes and eat your way through there for at least a month. Just went to E3rd, which was not half bad. Cal-Asian steakhouse. Groovy environment, live DJ and decent prices. Just opened, so you may enter some kinks. Last but not least, I will probably be shot for even mentioning this, but the Daily Grill has a happy hour that has a pretty decent Chicken Pot Pie and Pulled Pork Sliders for $2.95 each M-TH 4-7. You can't beat that. Pete's has always been a favorite. But I have heard from friends that lately the service has been marginal at best. Enjoy!

        1. Thanks, Everybody, for your suggestions. Yeah, we're just looking for laid-back places with decent food. I try to avoid anyplace that's too much of a scene, or too frenetic. You know, sometimes you just want good "diner food".

          I saw a lot of these cute, little places while walking around 9th St. L'angelo Cafe. Something "New Moon", or "Old Moon." Time to explore. Cheers!

          1. I'm not a big fan of Pete's myself. I like Wood Spoon which is right next to L'Angelo on 9th street. Yummy Brazillian comfort food. Very nice, young couple run it. They're working on getting their beer and wine license. It's a great no attitude place. Simple but nice-looking interior. I believe they are open until 9 pm most nights.

            Also, I had a very nice omelette at Angelique on Sunday. It's pretty good spot for brunch.

            1. Not a fan of Pete's either. Food is lousy and overpriced for the most part.

              1. I haven't been to Casey's in over two years but a co-worker recently went (several times) for the burger (Irish Cashel bleu cheese, Comte Gruyere, bacon onion compote, arugula, on a fresh ciabatta roll). Might have to mosey on over one of these days.

                Casey’s Bar & Grill
                613 S Grand Avenue (downstairs, btwn 6th/Wilshire)
                (213) 629-2353

                Also, Wolfgang Puck's Gourmet Express is open M-F 7AM-9PM.

                Wolfgang Puck's Gourmet Express
                630 W. Sixth Street (corner of Hope
                )(213) 614-1900

                1. Thanks!!

                  What's good at Wolfgang's??

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Liquid Sky

                    * butternut squash soup
                    * Chinois Chicken Salad
                    * Rosemary Rotisserie Chicken
                    * BBQ Glazed Rotisserie Chicken
                    * Wolf's Meatloaf
                    * Chicken Parmesan
                    * Four Cheese Macaroni

                    I menu item I used to love the best was the Penne w/Asparagus & Mushrooms, but the last two times I ordered that dish it was (1) meh and (2) icky.

                  2. That area is so close to Little Tokyo that you might as well head over there. Great sushi and ramen places are right there on 1st street and in that village plaza. Recommendations: Oomasa for sushi and Daikokuya for ramen.

                    1. I've had the same experience at Pete's--slow, lackluster service, food we did not order being served to us--when it wasn't even busy (even more frustrating). I could only imagine what would happen when the dining room is full! I don't understand the repeated recs for this place. The food was decent, but when you factor in the price and the poor service, it is not worth it.

                      1. Some words about Pete's:

                        Pete's does have a great burger, and their blue cheese fries are superb. I lived in Little Tokyo during 2005 and so I went here a lot. As far as I am concerned, the service has always been God-awful. It wasn't spotty, inconsistent, or whatever. It was consistently slow and indifferent on a good day and hostile/abusive on a bad day. I found myself at Pete's latenight about a month ago and there was some manager who I had never seen before and he was a complete a-hole. When confronted about the predictably lousy service, he started mouthing off, raising his voice, etc. I will probably go back at some point because I really do like those fries, and if you aren't in any sort of rush, drinking Stellas on the patio and watching the people / "free street theater" in the area can be totally entertaining.

                        I would strongly recommend spending some time exploring Little Tokyo. There are a million threads on CH about various Little Tokyo favorites, and those would be worth checking out. There are a number of wonderful sushi and shabu places and in my experience the service is consistently good across the board. YMMV but it's worth a walk around there.

                        Welcome to downtown. Hope you love it.©

                        1. COMPLETELY AGREE! I've been to Pete's about 10 times since they opened, and the service here is ALWAYS slow! I don't know what their problem is!!!!! I'm so glad J Lounge opened up two blocks (!!!!!!) from me, now I have a better place to eat and with MUCH better service.....!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: badtz

                            Great thread! I was really disappointed with the ramen at Daikokuya (spelling?) in Little Tokyo. It tasted like something bland that I could make at home. But I'll be happy to explore more of Little Tokyo, Chi-town, K-town and all the rest.

                            Looking forward to trying that fish-taco place downtown, too. (Senor Fish, I think it's called.)

                            Will only go to Pete's if I'm DYING of hunger and there's no place else open!!