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BAD EXPERIENCE Bombay Cafe on Pico (West L.A.)

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BAD EXPERIENCE Bombay Cafe on Pico (West L.A.)

This is an Indian restaurant that used to be upstairs in a little strip mall on Santa Monica and Barrington, I believe, but recently reopened on Pico Blvd., just east of Centinela (across from Chan Dara).

Well, it used to be a small, cozy, attentive place -- warm welcome and great food! That was before it moved. Now, it has some of the rudest hosts! And it is bigger and glitzier. The service is a joke! I do like the food there, although the prices are rather high for the amount and quality of food.

Would I return? Maybe. This is a place I would frequent once or twice a year (as opposed to some restaurants that I go to regularly...at least a few times a month). However, the next time I find the hosts rude or the service horrid, it will be my last visit.

I find that Gate of India on Santa Monica and 2nd Street (near the beach) is better. I probably go to Gate of India 6 or 7 times for every one time I go to Bombay Cafe. It's a shame. If you to to Bombay Cafe, bring money and patience!

Good luck.

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  1. Sadly, I agree. I went there with a friend, and while they have a wonderful menu with many unusual items (billed by chef/owner as Bombay-Maharashtra whatever street food), the service was horrible and the few celebrities in the restaurant got 5x the attention the other customers received. I like Harrison Ford as much as the next person, but the owner/manager? was bringing over drinks and special little plates and we couldn't get waited on for half an hour. still, might be better on an off night and the food was quite good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jerome

      As a devoted "chow hound" I believe that whatever the obstacle, if the food is special, "the food is worth it". And this is the case for THE BOMBAY CAFE. I also knew the place when it was at the strip mall and endured hour long waits and waiters with an attitude even then. The food at B.C. is not traditional "Indian". It is unique and of itself alone and if you want the food, you must go there to get it! Best bet is to go EARLY or on a weekday if you want the least delay. And please...don't be so resentful that Harrison Ford gets the perks of being a movie star and you're just a paying customer. That's life!

      1. re: JERZ

        I am sorry, but I do not agree with you. When I go to a restaurant and the food is great, and the service is great, and the entire experience is wonderful, I go back many times and recommend the restaurant. There are many places that are classy from soup to nuts. The last time I was at McCormick & Shmicks (sp?) in Beverly Hills, we couldn't get the bill after several attempts. We ended up walking toward the door and announced that if they don't hand us the bill by the time we get there, they can just eat it (pun not intended).

        So, DON'T go to Bombay Cafe OR McCormick, unless you want to have a nasty experience.

        Consider yourself warned.


        You wrote:

        As a devoted "chow hound" I believe that whatever the obstacle, if the food is special, "the food is worth it". And this is the case for THE BOMBAY CAFE. I also knew the place when it was at the strip mall and endured hour long waits and waiters with an attitude even then. The food at B.C. is not traditional "Indian". It is unique and of itself alone and if you want the food, you must go there to get it! Best bet is to go EARLY or on a weekday if you want the least delay. And please...don't be so resentful that Harrison Ford gets the perks of being a movie star and you're just a paying customer. That's life!

        1. re: Merkinskin

          Please don't be sorry! Disagree to your heart's content. I agree that's it's a perfect situation when the service is as exceptional as the food...and they treat you like a movie star! :-)
          However, I don't mind waiting when there's something (like the food @ THE BOMBAY CAFE) that's worth waiting for. As for the wait to be seated, the lack of a gracious wait staff, and the rest...I just don't take it personally.
          Where do you like to go for top-notch, tasty Indian food, graciously served?

    2. I have had the same experience. I guess it wants to be a departure from the often typical feeling of Indian Restaurants. You should stay on Pico next time and try NIZAM on the north side of Pico just west of Westwood. The food is fantastic and the owner (I think he's the owner) could not be more hospitable. I think it'll be a nice choice for when you choose not to go to Gate of India..