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No love for Le Saint Amour

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Four of us set out for a lovely dinner out. We got a babysitter for my 10 month old, my inlaws were in town and it was our one night out while they were visiting. Unfortunately, we had a really awful experience at Le Saint Amour that left us with a hefty check and a bad taste in our mouth.

We arrived for our 7:45 reservation and were promptly seated. Our waiter was not friendly, barely said hello, gave us the specials and left. No drink request, no how are you, nothing.... About 15 minutes later he came back and got our drink request and orders. Our wine showed up quickly and that is the extent of our good service. We waited one hour for our appetizers. We ordered the pate and 2 escargot. Fairly simple appetizers. I had to flag down our waiter a few times to ask about our order, he never once came by to check on us. I mentioned that we had a babysitter and he said they were coming out shortly. When they did finally arrive, thankfully the food was good. At this point it was close to 9pm. We then preceded to wait for our entrees. Again, I had to flag down the waiter, he never came by to check on us. His response was always "a few minutes", "let me check", "should be out shortly. At 9:45pm, I had enough and went up to the Manager up front. I asked her about our orders and told her how long we were waiting. Her response was "We had 80 people come to the restaurant at once". I told her we were ready to leave and she said, "no, your food is being plated right now". We sat back down and waited again, about 5 minutes passed and finally 2 of our 4 entrees arrived (Duck confit and beef cheeks). The other 2 steak frites were no were to be found. It was now 10pm and all of us had lost our appetite. About 5 minutes later the steaks arrived and to add insult to injury, they were over cooked and tough. We sent them back and asked for the check.

We were pretty shocked to get a bill for $180. I know restaurants don't have to credit anything, but I assumed something would be comped for our despicable service and wait. I mentioned this to the waiter and he said "let me see what I can do". He came back and said "Since your steak was over cooked we took one off the bill". $23 dollars. We paid our bill, left our food and walked out horrified.

Never once did the manager come by to apologize or even mention that it would be slow. We arrived home at 10:30, hungry and very disappointed.

I will say some of the food was good, some bad, but with such horrible service, our night and dinner was ruined.

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Le Saint Amour
9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

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  1. I prefer sitting on the patio farthest from the front door facing the Culver City City Hall, yet for that preference there is a trade-off - the service can become a bit forgotten, as in out of sight, out of mind. Keep in mind that maybe a Saturday or any given night when something might be playing at the Kirk Douglas theatre, or anything else going on nearby, things can change, and I am guessing something like that occured, even though it did not help you, nor did you ever find out what or if that was the case.
    However, never had a problem with the food quality although I am never expecting Melisse in the first place.

    1. normally i avoid second-hand information, but my dining companion for tonight brought up the "horrible" service she experienced recently at Le Saint Amour. What she described wasn't quite as terrible as yours, but still comes under the heading of AWFUL SERVICE.

      apparently your experience was not a fluke.

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      Le Saint Amour
      9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

      1 Reply
      1. re: westsidegal

        Had dinner at Le Saint Amour a few weeks ago and had the opposite experience - asked for a quiet table when I reserved on Open Table and when we arrived we were greeted by two people who said, here is the quiet table so you can talk. From then on we had our "own" waiter - very personable who really did wait on us - we got food promptly and found it to be really delicious - not haute cuisine but very good bistro stuff. The owners came over and talked about the wine we chose. Went with a Dutch friend who was very impressed as we all were with the attentive service. I wonder what happened.

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        Le Saint Amour
        9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

      2. I had an e-mail from Le Saint Amour today....responding to mine. (As stated earlier, I sent them your comments.) They want to get in touch with you. I told them to check this post, but I'm not sure
        they replied. If you want me to forward the e-mail to you....just let me know. You can respond here, and I'll send you my e-mail information.

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        Le Saint Amour
        9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

        1. That really sucks you had such a terrible experience. I haven't eaten there in probably a year, but back then it was newly opened. So maybe they tried a little harder. I'm disappointed to hear that not just their service was bad, but things as simple as running the kitchen efficiently failed. I was actually excited to see them on this month's DineLA. Not so much anymore.

          1 Reply
          1. re: justinelc

            Why not just give it a try and see for yourself! I like St. Amour and am not so ready to condemn them.

          2. We have eaten there three or four times and have never had anything but excellent service and very good food.

            1. Every restaurant has an off night. With Walter Manzke in the kitchen, I'd go for the food no matter what.

              1. Thank you all for your posts. I have been to Saint Amour several times for lunch, as I work at Sony, and didn't have a negative experience.

                The reason this night was so upsetting to me was that the waiter and the Manager seemed to not care that food was taking HOURS to come out. I have been to other restaurants when they are backed up and usually we get some sort of explanation, or at least an "I am so sorry, your food will be out soon".
                This time I was the one flagging down the waiter and actually had to get up from my seat to go talk to the Manager.
                I think I was also upset because it was our one night out with our visiting in laws and I had a sitter on the clock. Our night ended up costing over $200 with sitter and everything.

                I must have missed a portion of the replies, Perk, if you want to contact me re: what they said I am happy to hear them out.

                I get that restaurant's have off nights. But this was over the top to me. As I mentioned, by the time the entrees came out I was so upset, that we couldn't even enjoy the food.