I really liked Jason's Restaurant when it was located in San Rafael and went there many times. Last night, I had an early (5:15) dinner at their Greenbrae location. I checked their web site before going there, and they begin dinner service at 5:00. When I arrived, the hostess was busy doing other things but showed me to a table. I was the only diner in the restaurant, although the bar was active. I waited at the table for a long time but saw absolutely no servers, busboys or anyone else. I was beginning to feel invisible. My presence was not acknowledged, I was not offered water, and no one approached me about ordering. Finally, I got up to leave. When I passed the hostess stand, I commented on the reason for my departure. The chef/owner, Jason, approached and said there were no waiters working (despite the fact that they were open for dinner) but that he would make sure I was served. I returned to my table and the bartender approached. She asked how I got seated at this table (as if I had just walked in and seated myself). I told her the hostess had seated me, and she responded that the hostess hadn't told her. I ordered tomato bisque with crab and a scallop appetizer. By now, a waiter had appeared and he repeatedly referred to me as "my man" as in "here's your soup my man." The tomato bisque arrived without the crab. I pointed this out to the waiter, but he said the tomato bisque didn't come with crab (contrary to what it says on the menu). Another waiter overheard and corrected him. The soup was returned to the kitchen. The correct soup finally appeared and it was excellent, as were the scallops. As I left, I walked past the hostess who was talking to another employee and did not acknowledge me or thank me for coming. Too bad that the good food is undermined by bad service, bad attitudes and generally incompetent dining room management. I had planned to e-mail Jason's about the experience, but their web site contains no e-mail address.
Unlike OldTimer, I have heard very good things about Jason's in Greenbrae. In fact, I take business clients there for lunch and I take personal friends there for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. The food is wonderful, which anyone who Google's and researches Jason's will figure out. I do understand the need for an email address in the webpage and wish they would include this feature. I also have sympathy for arriving early and getting poorly served. Jason's seems more in tune with the "late dinner" crowd than the early crowd, and that should change.
How sadly poignant is this too common tale. When I see this happening I usually am able to predict disaster. Occasionally, I have commented to the owner or manager only to be almost ignored. Such endemic lack if interest guantees failure. Incidentally, I have heard nothing good about Jason's in Greebrae.