On Friday nights, my boyfriend and I are usually wiped from the preceeding work week. Wiped, often delirious.
We were obviously delirious when we picked Cava this past Friday, after driving aimlessly around the neighborhood looking for a parking space and kicking ourselves for not just walking.
Our hopes weren't high as far as food quality went - we were just thinking cocktail and bar food. And our cocktails were fine.
The food, however, was HORRIBLE. We had a really sweet and gorgeous greek god of a waiter. He was quick. Perhaps too quick, for when the food was delivered, it wasn't warm. At first, I tried to write it off. Oh, it's just tapas, bar food, maybe it's not supposed to be warm.
But then I cut open the coconut shrimp, it was stone cold gray. Ugh. I alerted the waiter and he apologized and put in another order for us. The manager zipped over to apologize.
I took a bite of the potato and artichoke omelet, and not only was it not warm, but it was completely flavorless! We were still hungry, but instead of taking a more logical route of leaving and getting something somewhere else, we requested an order of calamari. The calamari ended up reminiscent of wide baby rubber bands, perhaps the chewiest I've ever eaten. The sauce that accompanied the calamari was a strange plastic salmon color, it was so odd.
I actually overheard the waiter ask the manager if he could take the shrimp off of the bill. The manager said no.
As for ambiance, the bar was packed and loud and the restaurant (downstairs) was pretty empty. And rightfully so.
If I weren't so sleepy and if the cocktail hadn't been so good, I would've been really pissed! Instead we just walked to the valet muttering, "never again..."
I had a similar/horrible experience at Cava a few months back. It looked so inviting and was usually crowded, so when we wanted to throw a friend a good-bye dinner, this restaurant immediately came to mind as a good play to try. Bad choice--the food is so mediocre! The coconut shrimp, calamari, ceviche, seafood paella, angel hair pasta...all of it was bland, bland, bland. I didn't even finish my drink (the 'famous' mangorita), and the watered-down sangria came in tiny glasses. Our waiter was eye candy, but totally ineffective (it took forever for our drinks and food to come to our table). I don't understand the appeal of the place--it is all ambience, little else.