Oh, Campanile - what happened?
Salty, salty, salty. My goodness, Mr. Peel - displaying your cook book so prominently in the front of the place is a bit of an ego overkill. Hadn't been back to your place in a few years - and decided a birthday dinner for four would be a good one. This was mentioned to the hostess (I brought a huge floral arrangement in advance) - but it obviously was unnoticed by our waiter, who was pleasant, but seemed lost - as were our cocktails until I reminded him when the appetizers came. A bad sign is when a runner gruffly interrupts the waiter taking the order to plunk down the bread and butter - who is running the table? But then, getting an extra pat of butter for the bread was a challenge. Getting plates cleared without an obvious eye contact - also a challenge. The bartender seemed sleepy - past his bedtime? Took two trips to get out three drinks. All were disappointing - how do you screw up a martini? Well, of course - just use too much bitters. The bibb salad - bitter. The prosciutto-wrapped asparagus - SALTY. The pickled veggies - no flavor. I had foolishly ordered an olive plate - which no one could eat, considering the amount of SALT we had already ingested. The prime rib - I did order medium well, but did not expect it to be thinly sliced and laid out on a SALTY bed of lava beans. The meat - SALTY. My partner's pork chop - enormous as if it were stuffed - but it was not - other than with SALT. Does anyone taste items before leaving the pass? The dessert - passable - and I certainly don't want the Chuckie Cheese singing of service staff - but could you have afforded a candle on the dessert as a simple recognition? Of course not. By the time we were ready to leave, the manager had left - and the box to carry the flower arrangement out had been tossed, apparently. Mr. Peel - as I was disappointed with the Tar Pit - I can firmly say your ex-wife is the better cook - and runs better restaurants. So sorry to see a great atmosphere get buried in a mound of - salt.
The Tar Pit
609 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
I think this place has been going downhill for quite a while. Although my last experience there (and I do mean LAST) was not as bad as yours, I found the food to be mediocre and the service to be almost non-existent. There are way too many good restaurants here, and new ones to try, to put up with that.
We took a couple for a birthday dinner recently. It was tastier than you suggest, but exceptionally salty as you noted. Very expensive, and I concluded it would be more cost-effective to install a salt lick in the back yard, where the animals could enjoy it, too.