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Bistro West in Carlsbad - Skip it

  • p

On someone's recommendation we went to Bistro West in Carlsbad. It's a huge new restaurant as part of the West complex that includes a steak house and hotel. The restaurant has been opened 6 weeks. The menu is huge, everyting from rotisserie chicken to steak to salads. While it was recommended to me by someone that compared it to a fine restaurant, alas it was far from that, more like an upscale Denny's. We had salads, chicken and pot sticker appetizers. Nothing was particularly good. The best of the bunch was a Chinese chicken salad ($13) which consisted of finely chopped lettuce some pieces of broiled chicken, wonton crisps and noodles. No oranges. It was bland and undistinguished. A baby green with roasted chicken added was meager and expensive, about $18. While the restaurant was huge with an appetizing menu, the food was very mediocre. We won't return. It makes Claim Jumper down the street seem gourmet.

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  1. That's sad to hear. I've had some fantastic meals at thier other restaurant.

    1. I was not to thrilled with the steakhouse. It was fine, but for the prices I think it could of been better. It also seemed a little too corporate slick for me, I would go back if it was on someones dime. I have no real desire to go to the bistro but I will probably end up there cuz my s.o. really wants to try it. My feeling is that it would be more like PGB than chundy given my experience at the steakhouse

      1. Hey, what happened to my previous reply in rebuttal to PGB's? What gives? If we disagree then mine gets axed? :o) Hey, I've been to West 4 times and each time has been wonderful - the service, the atmosphere, the food, West Steakhouse is my favorite restaurant. It's hard to believe, since I've had such good experiences that others have not. As for Bistro West, I have to admit that the 2nd time I went there I didn't have the best experience of my life, but it was still good. When it is busy it can seem crowded and noisy, so just go at an off time and have a great meal. :o) I suggest the Grilled Chicken Panini. I still want to go back and try the Kobe beef hamburgers. PGB's comparisons of Bistro West with an "upscale" Denny's and Claim Jumper are cheap shots. Sorry you didn't like Bistro - I'd really like to know what you do like. Please guys, just because I do like this restaurant, don't delete my post. Bistro West is very good and doesn't deserve to be dissed like this.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cbundy

          I'm sure that something else is going on -- They didn't delete my post for liking West steakhouse (and by the way, it is my and the fiancee's favorite place too to go for steak--the duck confit is awesome)

          Like any restaurant, there are on and off nights - and of course everyone's taste is different.

        2. Just went to Bistro west again not too long ago - it seems like they have off hours - when they are on they are really on, when they are off it's meh.
          Went on a Sunday around 2pm, between brunch and dinner - horrible service, waited about 20 minutes just to get our order taken. Was very disappointed.
          Came again during friday lunch hour and had a great time, with one of the best high-end burgers I've eaten in san diego.
          (Although the caesar dressing on my salad was pure mayo, the manager overheard my comment, apologized profusely and took it off the bill without a hitch.)

          1. I am sorry to say- that- I agree with "Skip It".

            We drove 40 minutes (traffic) to get here and were excited about going to a new restaurant in San Diego.

            We had already been to their "Dinner House"- WEST- and were very disappointed with that experience.

            However-Today's experience was not about WEST- It's about Bistro West.

            Our experience today- We sat in the lounge area-

            We had a choice as to where to sit- either in the Lounge area-or the Dining Room Area (which looked to me like a Las Vegas Bar) or the outside "TINY" patio. Which really only accomodated two tiny top tables.

            I'm really not going to get into- the decor of the place- because- WHAT I CARE about is the food and the service.

            My husband and I will drive MANY miles for a good meal-and good service. We are even open to spending twice or more-for good food and service.

            Sadly. Bistro West-Does not offer either.

            The service was slow and unattentive. So much so that my husband left less then 10% gratuity. * Trust me-that is VERY unusual for him.

            The food was just OK.

            Just OK.

            We found that interesting because-it was obvious that the owners had spent at least a million dollars on this restaurant.

            The newspaper write ups were all over that.

            But! The Bottom line is-

            If you are looking for a good meal- it's a so so.

            If you are looking for a GREAT meal- SKIP it. In our opinions- there is not a great meal to be had here.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dnusser

              Thanks. It's good being vindicated :). A good restaurant should be good regardless of the time a customer walks through the door. I can't get over the fact that a restaurant will invest all that money in the building and interior and miss it so badly on the food and service.

              1. re: dnusser

                Wow you drive 40 minutes to go to West Bistro? I think the bistro gets ok marks because there is so little to get excited about up this way. We don't have many reasonable options for food in the Carlsbad/oceanside area so the bistro is not bad, but it is not worth more that a ten minute drive.

              2. I've eaten at both Bistro West (3x) and West Steakhouse (twice) and I've had great meals on all those occasions. Ate at the dining rooms of both restaurants. Lunch three times at Bistro West and dinner at the Steakhouse.

                Try the tuna tartare at Bistro West - it's an appetizer but could stand alone as an entree. Steaks were not exceptional but pretty darn good. Definitely notches above Claim Jumper.and Denny's.

                1. Yup. Bistro West is pretty bad. Went there last night while visiting for a family occasion. After perusing the unfocused menu and the wine list populated by grocery store wines, I didn't exactly have high hopes. The vast majority of the dishes we ordered had very heavy glazes and sauces on them - a tell-tale technique for masking mediocre preparation. The tuna tartare appetizer was passable, but the rest of the food was really weak. The mac and cheese was downright inedible and the service was extremely poor. At $40 per person it wasn't highway robbery, but its still too much to pay for bad hotel food.

                  1. I've been to West Bistro several times over the past year and each time I've walked away impressed. I think they've figured out their menu pretty well and I think the food is excellent. The decor is like an upscale Cheesecake Factory but without the chain feel and the service has always been good.

                    1. I have regularly dined with Bistro West since they have opened. They offer an extensive menu with everything from salads and sandwiches to prime steaks and fish selections. I am in love with their kobe burgers, they are the best I've had anywhere! I have always enjoyed quality meals with the Bistro along with exceptional service. Friends of mine rave about their happy hour.