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Eva, maybe not so much...

PinotPlease Oct 9, 2011 03:25 PM

This is my second time going to Eva. I went about a year ago for dinner and remember being impressed by the freshness of the food and not so impressed by the high priced drinks. We had a Bloomspot coupon for mimosa brunch for two and decided that would be a good way to give it another try.

Service was slow. You could see two guys working their butts off through the kitchen window, but I don't think that two people was enough to handle the crowd. Also, while there seemed to be more than enough servers, the service itself was kind of sluggish. I asked for a side of toast with my chantrelle and tomato omelet and the toast arrived 25 minutes after ordering, but at least 20 minutes before the toast. Butter came somewhere in between. When the main course arrived, about 40-45 minutes after we finished our starters, they were beautiful, farm fresh, all the rest. My dining companion loved her steak and eggs, the quality was not a question. However, halfway into my rolled omelet that had grilled carrots, parsnips and fennel on top, I realized there were no tomatoes, or chantrelles. I asked the waitress and she told me that "The menu changes daily, based on what's fresh at the farmer's market. And parsnips and fennel were fresh."

Call me crazy, but if the menu changes daily, shouldn't the actual MENU change to reflect that? Parsnips are a far cry from an exotic mushroom, and, to be honest, not that great with eggs, neither are grilled carrots IMHO. She went to ask if chantrelles and tomatoes could be added and came back saying neither was available, but the chef could cook me a side of porcini. My friend was halfway through her food now, so I said that would be fine. I was eating as slowly as possible, but another 25 minutes went by and my eggs were pretty cold, what was left of them, so I finished. No porcini ever came.

My friend wanted desert, I was kind of over the whole thing by now, but she's a butterscotch pudding freak, so we got a cup of that and a couple plain coffees. The pudding was great, although every time we put down our spoons someone would swoop in and try and clear the unfinished dish. This happened 3 times. Suddenly we had a LOT of service, and they all wanted that half eaten pudding!

The final nail in Eva's coffin for me was when the bill came. The Bloomspot coupon covered the starter, the main and the mimosas (which were poured out of a jug, so while the OJ was fresh and great, the mimosa itself was flat.) That left us on the hook for the toast, the single cup of pudding and two cups of coffee with no refills. Those three items were 28 bucks and change. Yup, $7.50 per coffee...Black coffee, no latte, no frou frou.

I look at these Groupon type deals as a nice incentive to try different places and hopefully find spots (and we've found many, I'm looking at you Olio Pizza) that you would happily patronize for full price. But Eva really dropped the ball for me. I don't deny that the chef is talented and the food is fresh, but the radical menu substitution, poor service and just plain gouging for something like a cup of coffee, not cool.

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Eva Restaurant
7458 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

  1. c
    Clyde Oct 9, 2011 06:39 PM

    i went to Eva a few years ago hearing it was awesome. i was completely underwhelmed and never went back. bill was $$$ and the food was just OK. i wish i could remember details but it was so long ago. i also hated sitting outside in the cold with heat lamps even though we'd had a reservation. that sucked.

    1. v
      virgo411 Oct 10, 2011 11:43 AM

      I love Eva...but I've only ever been to the Sunday Suppers...and since everyone is served the same thing then, I assume the food service is a little easier to manage as far as timing...But yeah, I agree that customer service is a bit rocky. It's trying to be a neighborhood restaurant (as evidenced by the design revamp) but at the same time, it comes off as having a bit of an ego (super talented chef/owner...but he used to respond to negative Yelp reviews very defensively).

      While I agree that substitutions are often times necessary based on cost as well as the restaurant concept that centers around "farm fresh" fare, it would have been a very simple fix to communicate to you, upon ordering, that the menu didn't accurately reflect what was available. I seriously don't know why your server didn't even bother to let you know that was the case as you might have wanted to order something else instead!

      As far as the coffee price, yeah that's exorbitant, but you probably saw the price before ordering right? If it wasn't published and you didn't ask because you assumed it'd be "normal" priced...I could imagine the shocker. My friend once ordered the "tuna special" at Dulce (way back in the day when it was still cool - hahaha) and didn't bother asking the price for the unpublished special...for a simple grilled tuna steak (about 4/5 ounces), they charged him $65. It was ridiculous.

      1. e
        estone888 Oct 10, 2011 03:15 PM

        Maybe you were just unlucky to hit a bad night or something, but I've been to Eva six or seven times that I can recall - for regular night meals, Sunday suppers and during Dine LA - and have never had anything short of a great meal, with excellent service and a bill that struck me as reasonable for the venue and quality. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I have several friends who have had similar experiences to mine.

        5 Replies
        1. re: estone888
          c
          Citron58 Oct 10, 2011 07:44 PM

          Ditto. We've had nothing but great experiences there.

          1. re: Citron58
            m
            miwine Oct 11, 2011 08:27 AM

            Very poor service. The owner did not seem to care when he was told. The food was very boring and nothing special. I will not go again.

            1. re: miwine
              c
              Clyde Oct 11, 2011 11:44 AM

              totally nothing special. when we went, mind you this was years ago, we actually felt uncomfortable by the owner trying to chat us up in the middle of our meal. esp when we weren't even in love with the food. not sure he does that anymore, but i dunno i think i was just in a bad place from being seated outside with heat lamps when i wasn't expecting that.

              1. re: Clyde
                c
                carter Oct 12, 2011 05:25 PM

                Eva has barely been open for two years, so it was either Hatfields you went to, or you went more recently than your post seems to indicate.
                And to the OP, when you see a place using Groupon, the likelihood is that the place is for sale. Groupon is not a good thing for a restaurant, meaning for the bottom line or public relations.

                1. re: carter
                  c
                  Clyde Oct 13, 2011 10:29 AM

                  Nope, it was definitely Eva. I went to Hatfields as well when they were in that spot. My neighbors went to Eva when it first opened and really liked it so I gave it a shot. It's not for me. I also remember drinking a few cocktails and not feeling much buzz from it, so there wasn't even much alcohol in them which is always a let down. I'm tiny so one good drink, I'll feel it.

        2. b
          budlit Oct 12, 2011 06:42 AM

          that's odd, since chanterelles and tomatoes are definitely fresh at the farmer's market now

          1. c
            cdub Oct 12, 2011 02:43 PM

            count me as unimpressed too. went for a sunday supper. had a chicken dish where the chicken came out bloody. not into rare chicken. then, after our waiter told us that the dessert would be a bread pudding, out came our dessert. it was a slice of honey dew melon. thank you very much. when we asked about the bread pudding mentioned earlier, the owner/chef just shook his head no. never went back. considering the all the press about the sunday supper, i went home very unimpressed.

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