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Feb 13, 2006 11:47 PM

Insalata in San Anselmo...hmmm

  • s

We went to Insalata on Saturday night on high recommendations and wanted to like it more than we did, so I'm posting this to see what other people think.

Overall, we experienced great food and pretty bad service. On arrival we had a drink at the bar and the bartender was arguing with the manager. Kind of awkward. We were shown to our table on time, but the table wasn't set so we had to wait standing between the diners. When we ordered, the salad came before we even got our water. They were out of sync. We asked for water twice, and were ignored by a busboy, before we finally got our waters. The waiter was pleasant, but hard to find when we needed wine refills (we ordered by the glass). Like I said, the food was quite good, but for the price I expected better service. Is this pretty consistent, or did we hit an off night?

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  1. Have always found the food to be at least quite good and the service to be attentive and friendly with no awkwardness such as described. So must have been an aberration. I hope.

    1. i have gone twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. the lunch was great, the food yum, and the service, even though it was quite busy, was good.

      went for dinner and the service, food and atmosphere were great. sorry to hear that you had a so-so experience, but i would give it another go. i think it is quality and i hear that they are re-inventing the menu to reflect a more modern and seasonal menu soon.

      1. We've had the same experience as you on several occasions. And while the food is tasty and the location convenient for me, the service has been uniformly poor. So we might stop in for a Fattoush Salad at lunch time if we're in San Anselmo, but would never again go there with a client for dinner or on a special occasion because the poorly managed dining room ruins the evening for us. It's a shame that the front of the house staff doesn't live up to the quality of the food.

        1. I have to say my experiences (a half dozen or so), have all been similar to yours. The food has been good, but service has been frustrating. On one lunch occasion, the restaurant was near empty, yet it still was 10-15 minutes before we were greeted, even then the server would not take our order. I would have visited the restaurant more frequently if my experiences had been more pleasant, but I always leave annoyed.

          1. We go there regularly with a party of six and always get extremely professional, knowledgable and attentive service from their staff. Interestingly, we always get the lean, 35-ish, sandy-haired fellow. Maybe they have a dud or two on staff, but this guy's been there for a while and is really good at making us feel welcome. He wears a wedding ring, and smokes in the back alley on his break, so perhaps try to catch a whiff of nicotine while you sit at the bar, and then ask for his area.

            BTW the food is always absolutely excellent. Reminds me of Tra Vigne.