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Jul 2, 2007 07:02 AM

Brent's Deli - Sad to say -Never Again.

I've posted re: my bad experiences at Brent's Deli Northridge, but decided to try again yesterday morning for my birthday breakfast.

We requested a booth and were told that the wait would be 20 minutes, which was reasonable. The wait was actually 10 minutes, when we were seated in a large booth against the wall.

Our drink order was taken promptly by the busboy, orange juice, coffee and a coca cola. We received our drinks very quickly.

After a few minutes the waitress took our order. She wrote everything down. We explained there would be a special order. My husband ordered the lox platter as usual, with a special request that there be no cole slaw on the plate, or near the plate. He hates mayonnaise and hates cole slaw. The waitress asked if he wanted anything else, and offered extra tomato, which he accepted. I ordered the corned beef hash and eggs.

So far so good. Until our food arrived.

Our original server had vanished, our food was brought by another server, who failed to tell us she was our new server, or that the other woman had gone on break. There was a huge bowl of cole slaw on his platter of lox, with the mayonnaise-y sauce dripping all over the lox and onions. This is not what we ordered and just the situation we wanted to avoid. Since it was my b'day, hubby asked for napkins and started mopping up the cole slaw sauce off of the lox and onions.

My hash was burnt to a crisp - literally so black that a burnt crust had formed on the entire bottom of the hash. It wasn't a situation where I could have eaten around the burnt part, the entire portion was black. It was inedible.

Next, my rye toast arrived, which was fine. The bagels for the lox platter arrived, but with only one bagel, not the usual two, with no butter. Then we noticed there was no cream cheese on the lox platter. How can that happen in a deli?

We tried to flag down our server, when we asked the server that brought our food for our original server, we were told in a brusque voice that she was on a break. This was funny since she was standing right across from us in the dining room.

At this point, we tried to explain the problem, the servers attitude and body language was indifference, as in "yeah, so?" - it was only at the end when we were asked in a brusque voice with a bad attitude what we wanted to solve the problem.

We then realized the futility of the situation, and just got up and left.

This is not the first time we've had the problem with the cole slaw - but had decided to try again - how difficult is it to leave the slaw off the plate? And if the order was placed correctly, why was it allowed to go out of the kitchen incorrectly?

The combination of the wrong order, burnt food, lack of caring. lack of attention to detail and bad attitude has left us with a bad taste in our mouths. Sorry Brent's. but we won't be spending our $50.00 for breakfast with you again. With the lack of customers there at 10:00 am on a Sunday, I'd say that others feel the same way.

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  1. As a Brent's fan I am shocked how bad things turn out sometimes over there. Over and over I read complaints and talk to people who have had terrible experiences and I always suggest that you speak to a manager. They care and want to know when things go wrong so that they can make it right.

    1. I like the way they try to rush younout by bringing you the check before you finish chewing. Wht if I want dessert, or coffee?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Diana

        That's just the way it is there, it's just something to get used to. I kinda like it; it gives the place charm. You can always get more. Many times, I have ordered a dessert or coffee after we received the bill and they just take it back and add to it :)

        If you7 get to know the waitresses there, they are really nice women (and guys, too) :)

      2. This is not the Brent's Deli I know and love. But then again it's been several years since I've been. Certainly there was a Peskin around to complain to?

        1. I never understood why people get so huffy when something doesn't go right. I've had stuff made not how I want and always been patient and kind to the serever and always gotten it fixed. It seem that you went in there expecting a bad time and got what you thought you would. NEVER had a bad time at Brent's been going there for years.

          3 Replies
          1. re: huskyla27

            People get huffy when something doesn't go right because it shows that they're not being heard- or that their SIMPLE requests are ignored. And we weren't huffy - simply exasperated over a mistake that has happened to us several times. What is so difficult about NO COLE SLAW? on a $25 lox platter? Do servers have problems reading tickets? That is simple - server 101. We've been going to Brent's for 10 years. We didn't go in there expecting a bad time - on the contrary we wanted to have a great birthday breakfast, just as we'd had so many times in the past. If you have an aversion or heaven forbid an allergy to a food, and express that to the server, then to have the request ignored - that kind of lack of follow through just shows poor customer service. We've always been patient, kind and generous to our servers - even when they've brought our check before our food arrives! We loved Brent's - but they need to know that their service and food quality is going down. Do you really think that pointing out charred burned black food is being huffy? And if I'm paying $25 for a lox platter at breakfast, I'm sorry but I'm going to point it out to the server if my order is not correct. I did send a letter - I'll post with the outcome.

            1. re: OneJayneDoe

              hi: keep it up! i've only been to brent's once, about 5 years ago. it was very good, but we live in the pasadena area and generally do not find ourselves in northridge. that said... my wife and i eat out quite a bit. we use the premise that since we are spending our hard earned money, we should be treated in the way we expect. while we are not unreasonable, we do have high expectations. with such an enormous choice of restaurants available in the greater la area, there is absolutely no reason to pay for mediocrity. unfortunately, there have been favorite places over the years which have changed, usually for the worse. (best example - el cholo's. when they were a one location operation on western they were wonderful. had many, many great meals there. about 15 years ago their quality, service, and even their recipes began changing [they were simplifying to maintain uniformity in their several locations.]. along witht the rest, the service declined. we gave it it's last chance 2-3 years ago. sad, but no longer on the list.)

              so vote with your feet and dollars, and publicize the information. chowhound is a great medium for this. on the other hand, if you get a decent response and things change, let us know as well, it's only fair.

              thank you for standing up.

            2. re: huskyla27

              Agreed. :) Always nice about everything.

            3. Sorry you had such a bad experience there. I'm lucky enough to say that every meal either eaten there or taken out/delivered in my experience has been excellent but I sympathize with you, especially since this was your birthday breakfast.

              You might want to write a note to the owners and let them know what happened. It would be nice to help solve the problem with service and food quality instead of just idly watching Brent's go downhill without even trying to make it right. I have a feeling that the owners care enough about their establishment that they will try and make it up to you. It's worth a try at least.