Pipa - awful service, good (enough) food
I just searched this board for pipa reviews and found mostly brief, but glowing recommendations. I have to wonder if I just had bad luck, or if, in general, people are willing to overlook atrocious service for good food.
While the place serves tasty food and interesting cocktails, it is severely lacking in hospitality and plain old common sense. I was seated last night at a table placed directly under an air conditioning unit. I didn't notice it at first, but was soon knocked into by a busboy using a long handled mop to wipe it. Of course the mop proceeded to drip on me and there was not even an "excuse me" offered. When our humorless waiter (more on him in a minute) showed up at the table, i pointed it out to him and he simply said "well i can't move you to another table, so you'll have to move your seat over," despite the fact that there were several empty tables in the restaurant. The unit dripped on me and my friends, and possibly our food for the rest of the night- NOT sanitary.. hello, DOH!?
Then there was this gem- my friend inquired as to whether a certain ingredient was in a dish she was thinking of ordering. The waiter said he would find out but asked her for a “second choice”. She didn’t want to encourage the waiter to not request the first dish, so she asked him just to come back and let her know, which would also give her time to decide on another entrée. He never came back and eventually our tapas were served. We asked for the waiter and the manager came over and told her it was no problem to make the dish. The dish arrived well after the rest of our food. The waiter eventually appeared and said he had put it in originally, but since he hadn’t come back to let her know, that is doubtful. This waiter also played dumb when we asked how much a bottle of wine was by telling us it was “4 glasses”. Most people know that, we need to know the price, since it wasn’t listed. His answer was “whatever a glass is, times four”. Ok.. so now we are doing multiplication instead of enjoying dinner and there is no discount for a bottle? Pass.. I understand it is the waiter’s job to upsell alcohol, but he only seemed to be paying attention to us when it came time to push more drinks.
I know this is not the most chowhoundy post in that I am not really reviewing the food, which was, admittedly, very good (although not stellar), I am really curious what other think- is trendiness and tastiness enough to make up for a lack of hospitality? For me, it’s not. While the setting is pretty (though it is extremely tacky to have pricetags all over the place) and the vibe is fun, the service is completely sub-par for a place that touts itself and prices itself “upscale”. I would hesitate to go back.
I've been to pipa about 4 times this year and never once had I had a bad experience. I wouldn't pride them on the best service in town, but I've definitely received attentive waiters. If anyone's glass was empty, they would top it up from the sangria caraft. Food was always on time and delicious. We've never had to wait long for our table, even when we were the ones late. Sorry to hear about your bad experiences