Blair's Silverlake - Mostly Good Food, Amateur service
Just thought some of you might be interested in our dining experience at Blair's in Silverlake last night.
Things started badly when we arrived and said we were part of a party of 6 under one of two names. They young blonde hostessing checked and asked us again what the reservation was under and came back and said have a drink at the bar, your table is almost ready. A few minutes later she seated us for 6 at a 4 top. we sat for 25 minutes wondering where our dining partners where when i decided to get up and check the next room over. And they they were sitting at a 6 top, watiing on us!
That is a huge amatuer mistake, to not realize the party has arrived and then to not figure it out after 25 minutes! Hardly an apology either.
The bread was good at least.
Onto dinner. each of us ordered an appetizer and one to share for the table
5 of the appetizers came and the wait staff always had to say "who ordered the...." they could never figure out who ordered what.
the last appetizer took 10 minutes longer. we finished before he got his!
and the one for the table to share didn't show.
when we told the waiter he seemed non-plussed.
in fact our waiter had no people skills at all.
chopped salad: fair to good
tuna tartar: good, but seen the recipe and serving style many times before. fred eric used to serve something similar at fred 62 in a cone.
beet salad: person eating it loved it
crab cake: pricey at $15.00 but solid
last appetizer: truffle mac and cheese showed up last and the waiter stoood holding it and said "do you guys still want this?" - which was rude and also sort of unprofessional. he should have served it nicely and apologized for the dely with kindness.
glasses were never refilled, two glasses sat empty for 15 minutes until we asked.
main course: the gave one wrong main course to us and it had to be swtiched out. we waited
the short ribs: really good, a litte fatty (3 of us ordered this) and too rich , but a good dish
steak: good, not amazing
salmon: very good
dessert: they brought the table behind us's dessert first, we told them it was not ours.
the desserts we had were large portions and very good:
one called cofffe and doughnuts which as homemade creme filled cinnamon doughnuts with coffee ice cream and the other a banana pudding, both really good.
coffee: had to ask for cream and sugar was not brought out.
bill for six wiht only 2 glasses of wine and one beer. (no bottles, no liquor really)
$415.00! they graciously added a large party tip since we were six brining it close to $500.00
for that price point this restaurant needs to hire real serve staff from other fine, but casual dining establishments. it was a joke how bad the service was, just really poor all around. nobody seemed to get anythign right. i think the worst thing is not knowing waht people ordered and brining the wrong things, but the fact that we were seated in two different rooms for 25 minutes is a real first.
again, good quality food, pricey on some dishes for sure and with that service i would rather go to patina or somewhere and spend a little more and hardly notice the service cause it's so slick.
I just got back from an evening with three colleagues/friends at Blairs. After sweating out having the task of choosing the venue, I was thrilled to get high-fives all around on picking Blair's.
The evening started at really nicely at the bar...the bartender (who seemed to perhaps be a manager) gave my buddy a little "beer tasting" before he chose a German beer called "Delerium" which he loved. We appreciated her professionalism...especially when we missed our own table reservation by 15 minutes (sitting at the bar and not paying attention to our watches). She circled the room before telling us that we could be sat in about 10 minutes (accurate on her part).
The bread came out and was fresh and warm.
We would have liiked a little more enthusiasm from the waitress, who told us that certain items were "great" when we inquired but did not offer suggestions or additional information.
Still, my rapini was unique and pungent (in a good way), roasted with shallots and lemon. The beet salad lived up to expectations, and I especially appreciated the little piece of warm goat cheese aside the greens. However, one of my friends out-ordered me...she chose the garlic roasted veggies. I decided against this dish because the menu description, but what was prescented was a lovely stack of roasted seasonal veggies in a lovely light garlic sauce. FABULOUS!
We decided to share dessert. Though sorbet is not normally my choice, the scoops of blackberry and chocolate sorbet were wonderful. Nice texture on this one. Unfortunately, the brewed coffee was bitter and stale.
We were never rushed, even though we stayed for 3 1/2 hours between the bar and the table.
A word of warning...this place got progressively louder as the night ran on. Quite loud...not the place for a romantic dinner.
Our first attempts to dine at Blair's when they opened a few years ago were thwarted by either unreturned phone messages or those returned after the fact so when an opportunity presented itself to try out their new lunch menu a couple of Saturdays ago we were excited. Although the menu is rather limited to a handful of familiar breakfast items, a couple of sandwiches and salads there's a real food voice at work here and we enjoyed the beet salad with a strongly seasoned vinaigrette for $10, a nicely toasted Black Forest ham and gruyere pannini for $12 and an excellent side of mac 'n cheese for $6. The Craftsman style compartmentalized dining area seems particularly inviting in the Silverlake neighborhood but, as has been pointed out here, service was confused and goofy. Three of the four servers (four servers for 10-12 tables) tried repeatedly to take our order as if tables weren't assigned. A different wine by the glass was brought because they were out of the requested one but no mention was made of the higher price which was a little off putting. The clincher was when a chef came out of the kitchen holding two plates of Eggs Benedict and, without a word, thrust them into the hands of the somewhat tentative server who had just taken our order. She seemed new but was trying and we were all a little embarassed for both of them. More than individual server performance issues, there seems to be a general lack of direction in the front. One wishes, in addition to whatever culinary expertise was honed from time spent at the Water Grill, that some of the front of the house professionalism makes its way here soon.
I've been there twice for a latte and pastries (before work or during a quick lunch break), and one time for a side of fruit. I expected better re. the latte and pastries-- a bit overpriced and mediocre quality/taste.
The side of fruit was quite good-- apples, banana slices, grapefruit and fresh berries. I would pass on the latte and pastries, but the location has been convenient for me both times.
Definitely agree on the amateur service-- young scenesters who seem to be in the job because of the location. Also, I ordered to go, and they took a long time, given that it was not very crowded and my time was limited. Funny, but I believe the manager/owner was there on one occassion, and that didn't do much to make the service better or quicker.
Reading your review, I bet your waiter is the same guy who served me. One time, when he made my latte, I sipped it, and it tasted quite bad. I said, "Wow, this is bitter," to which he replied, "Add sugar to it." I thought his response was funny, but also pretty lame. I would categorize this as a "Buyer beware" venue-- not worth the price or service, but I might go back, simply because it's across the street from where I work sometimes.
I've actually gotten to the point where I use an unusual false identity in order to make sure friends who are meeting end up at the same table. (My name is kind of common.) So when my friends arrive before me and say they are with the 'Schpletkin party,' I know we'll be seated at the same table. I also peek around the restaurant before sitting, just in case.
I've never had a problem with service at dinner though have experienced sitting at a 4 top with six people. The last couple of times that I went for breakfast the service was horrible even by my ex-waitress standards. Looks like the dinner service sucks too now.
wow that's expensive, $80 per person...doesn't sound worthwhile. Although you said the food was good, it didn't sound like it was anything special.
I'm sure it's not funny to you and your friends, but the way you describe the situation with one party sitting in one room while another is waiting in the other made me laugh.
The service sounds awful-for their sake, I hope a manager or owner reads your post.