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Oct 6, 2008 09:49 AM

Horrible experience at Roy's

Just thought I'd pipe in and tell about my horrible experience at Roy's Sat evening. Restaurant was packed so we wound up eating at the bar. Put in our order at 6:45ish. I ordered the Summer Prix Fix menu - the Arugula Salad, the Salmon and the Strawberry Shortcake and my dinner guest ordered some sushi roll. We asked for everything to come out as available. At 7:40 some food finally arrived (after many times seeing if the bartender could check on what was going on - he said the kitchen was backed up - an understatement for sure!) - the sushi roll and my salad - it was winter greens, balsamic vinegrette and egglant (not even close to the pear, arugula, goat cheese salad I had ordered). When I asked if there was a mix-up they told me that I had ordered off the Summer Menu (the one given to me) and that they were now serving from the Fall Menu and that was the salad choice now. They did not offer anything different or tell me that had switched it out. Then we needed to get going (going to a concert that night which started at 8) so we asked them where was the salmon and it was "on its way". I literally downed it as fast as possible and the bartended asked if I'd like to have my dessert boxed up to go rather than brought out - most definitely yes. We were waiting and waiting. Caught the waiter/bartender and asked where the boxed dessert was and they said 2 mintues. We checked back in again after 2 minutes and then they said there was a mix up and it was going to take 20 minutes to make the dessert and they hadn't started it yet. We just told them nevermind on the dessert since we had to go. Horrible. No move made to adjust the price since I didn't get the salad I had wanted or the dessert so it didn't wind up being a prixe fix of any sort.

I will not be going back there again, ever.

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  1. I learned long ago not to dine at a very busy restaurant just prior to attending a scheduled event.

    1. Sounds like a pretty negative performance by Roy's. But I think they're (for the most part) decently run-- and I urge you to relate this exact experience to the GM there. At least give them a chance to 'fix' it, before you swear off them and take as many others with you as you can with a post like this.

      If you get an unsatisfactory response, then spread the bad news.

      2 Replies
      1. re: OCBites

        <Sounds like a pretty negative performance by Roy's. But I think they're (for the most part) decently run-- and I urge you to relate this exact experience to the GM there. At least give them a chance to 'fix' it, before you swear off them and take as many others with you as you can with a post like this.

        If you get an unsatisfactory response, then spread the bad news.>

        I agree totally with OCBites. Overall, my experience with Roy's, whichever the location has been very positive, and I cannot believe the management would be pleased to know how you were treated. "Stuff" does happen occasionally, and the restaurant deserves the chance to make it right. None of us in the business can afford the negative publicity that comes from unhappy patrons complaining to their friends rather than to the manager/owner, who can do something to compensate for an error.

        As a matter of fact, if I were you and the gm of the Roy's you went to didn't fix it, I'd be writing to Roy, himself.

        FWIW, my local Roy's is in downtown Manhattan, and I've also enjoyed the Roy's in Scottsdale, AZ.

        1. re: OCBites

          Additionally, I'd drop a note to their corporate offices expressing your disappointment. Roy's is part of the Outback family, and they're usually pretty interested in making sure customer service experiences are consistently acceptable nationwide.

        2. My office overlooks the DTLA Roys', which puts it in close proximity to Staples, Nokia, and the Music Center, and I have biz lunches fairly frequently, and have had dinner there from time to time (note the tense on that latter...). I like their food a lot.


          I've also noticed that they go "in the weeds" fairly frequently on busy nights at dinner, the kitchen gets behind, the servers get confused and hassled, etc.

          I don't know what their issue is, but if it's pervasive across locations, they'll need to fix it fast....

          1. It is symptomatic of all Roy's, I think. I have eaten at Roy's in Naples Florida, Bonita Springs Florida and Seattle. Every one of them has been mediocre at best. The one in Seattle was actually almost as bad as the OP depicted, but on a very slow night. I only go now if someone else has made the reservation and I am along for the ride.

            4 Replies
            1. re: phneale

              We ate at Roy's in the SF Valley a year ago and had a similar experience.

              The floor was understaffed, the kitchen overwhelmed. Our drinks were watery, appetizers ridiculously delayed, room unnecessarily loud and to add consumer insult to dining injury, the egregiously forgettable meal was over-priced.

              Like burbankfoodie, in the future, I'll spend my money elsewhere.

              1. re: phneale

                I've eaten @ Roys on two of the islands (Maui & Kauai) and two in OC (Anaheim & Newport) and service on the islands is TOP NOTCH. I enjoyed the service @ Newport slightly more than the Anaheim location, so I don't think it's bad service across all locations.

                Did you tell the server at the beginning that you had a show to attend? Usually, the downtown restaurants will ask so they know what your time constraints are. Going to dinner @ 18:45 for a 20:00 performance is a bit tight. Yes, I agree that the restaurant service was off...but I would allot myself two hours plus another 30 minutes for travel if going to a restaurant before a show....

                1. re: OCAnn

                  i agree that the service is better in maui than newport, but then again, so are most things

                  1. re: OCAnn

                    to take that thought a bit further, I am guessing that OP didn't have a reservation...since she or he says 'we ended up in the bar' . I wouldn't dream of going to any restaurant on a Sat night before a concert without a reservation unless I had been there at least three times before and knew for a fact that it never filled up (and wasn't slow).

                    As for the Roy's in LA, (by Staples), I had a mediocre experience there, but other than being seated a bit late for our reservation, my issue was that the food wasn't that great: service was ok.

                2. Wow that is sad. I ate at the Roy's on Oahu recently and it was a fabulous meal with exceptional, friendly, professional service, both by waitress and eager bus boy. The food was fabulous, but we did stick to the classic menu. I've been wanting to try the new one in Anaheim. Now I'm scared.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Oh Robin

                    I have had excellent experiences at the Roy's in Maui (both), San Francisco and La Jolla. The service seems friendlier and more efficient in Hawaii but I never had a problem with the service (or the food).

                    1. re: Oh Robin

                      We had the Summer Menu at the Anaheim location and thought it was fine. It's my experience that the HI locations provide better polish both in terms of food & service; the Anaheim location is a notch or two below (with the Newport location in between). I'd sit outside for a quieter meal. I was very happy with the service and the meal was fine.....

                      1. re: OCAnn

                        I'm guessing, and it's no more than that, that since the HI locations are the originals, their personnel may still feel the eye of the boss a bit more on day-to-day operation; besides, they're competing, (or at least trying to compete) with Roy's former partner, Alan Wong's resto's, and THAT's tough work...