First and Hope - Never again
Had a 5:30pm res for a 7:30 curtain at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilon. We arrived at 5:35, were seated immediately (about 4 or 5 tables occupied). An attractive young woman took our drink order, and we sat, and sat, and sat some more. She finally appeared, not with our drinks, but with an apology that the bartender was backed up. Huh?
She wanted to take our food order then, but we declined because we want a sip, and I said that when she returned with the drinks, we'd order. About 6:10, the drinks showed up. We ordered; a starter for each and the bone-in short rib for each of us. About 6:25, she appeared and changed our knives - why? I should have questioned her, but...
At about 6:35, a young man brought our short ribs, and was about to put them down, when I stopped him and asked where were our appetizers? "Oh, they're coming." I told him not to this table, they aren't. He stood there like a jerk with the two saute pans in his hands unitl I told him to put them down. The young woman showed up, apologized, said she should have checked, but hadn't.
Lots of worker-bees running around in the nicely decorated place, but boy, they sure have to get their act together. Oh, I had to ask if they served bread, it was a no, but they brought a delicious pimento cheese spread with a thin crispy type of cracker - both very savory. The ribs would have been extremely tasty had they been warm, but they were cold.
A bad evening.
I wasn't the check payer, but I looked at it to see that what we didn't eat wasn't there.
I had a glass of wine with the short rib; the wine didn't appear on the bill, but the young woman never told us it was comp'd. We left at 7pm because it had gotten too late for desert and coffee.
I was too tired to make a scene, all I wanted was OUT!
I've been to First and Hope a few times, and am not particularly a fan of the restaurant, nor have I ever sat down at a table for dinner, but I think a few of your problems could be solved by eating at the bar. There certainly would have been less of a problem with the drink orders, and I just feel like bartenders are more on top of their customers, service-wise.
Of course, you shouldn't have to sit at the bar to get good service, and I'm not making any excuses for the restaurant, but just a suggestion that I think is worth a shot if you ever find yourself back there.