Saturday, June 7, 2008

Restaurant Review - California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen
Pacific View Mall
3301 E. Main Street
Ventura, CA 93003

My wife has been trying to drag me to the California Pizza Kitchen for a long time, and I have resisted for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is the perception that it is geared toward the female gender. One doesn't often hear about a group of guys going to the California Pizza Kitchen. Tonight I let her drag me in, and we both regretted it.

To begin, we were promptly seated by the hostess, which was good. We waited more than 15 minutes for our waitress to acknowledge our presence, which was bad. It kept going from there. We finally got our drinks and appetizers ordered, and 10 minutes later the waitress came back with the drinks. The iced tea tasted like it had been brewed too long, and we had to send it back. The Pepsi was good though. Next was the mystery of the bread.

Apparently bread is supposed to be served to the tables. We witnessed many other customers getting bread almost immediately. We finally asked about it. At this point 30 minutes had passed since we arrived. Another 10 minutes pass, and the bread arrives. 45 minutes now, and no appetizers. We notice other couples who sat after us had not only drinks and bread within 5 minutes, they got their food as well. Still no appetizers. We decided to let the manager know that our night was not progressing well. He apologized and offered us a free dessert to make up for it. We accepted this and continued to wait for our food.

Finally our appetizers arrive. They were pretty good. We ordered a flour tortilla spring roll that reminded me of the Southwest Egg Rolls at Chili's. Even my wife liked these, though they normally don't appeal to her. If it hadn't taken the better part of an hour to get them we would have been much happier. The food arrived another 20 minutes later. I had a Tostada Pizza, and my wife had a salad with candied walnuts, blue cheese, and chicken. I can't remember the name of it. Both were just okay. The best part about mine was the crust. It tasted like a Greek flat bread. I wanted to order some Hummus to go with it. Since we knew we were getting dessert free, we ordered an apple crisp.

One would think that they would have tried to redeem themselves by now, but no. The crust was burnt and the apples were mushy and just unappealing. My wife thought they tasted a bit fermented. We told the waitress about the dessert, though hesitating to do so. She offered to replace it but we were ready to get out of there. This was more than two hours since we had been seated. The manager came back and we told him what was wrong. He pulled the dessert off the order completely, and gave us the appetizers for free. We thanked him and finally were able to pay and be on our way.

3 out of 10 for service, and 3 out of 10 for food. The 3 for service includes the helpful manager. I do not recommend this place to anyone.


4 comments:

Corrina said...

I've never eaten there but now I know I'm not missing out on much, so I'll skip it. Good review... thanks!

Jenaisle said...

I should say that was an unpleasant experience.

I remember a similar story about a group of my friends who went to a popular eatery here in the city.

It took almost an hour for their orders to be served. They kept reminding the waiter who was sitting complacently in one corner and he kept saying, it was ready.

Now they were so hungry but their anger got the better of them. They hatched a plan.

As soon as the long awaited food arrived after nearly an hour, they all stood up and said their appetite was lost due to the bad service and left the poor waiter with his mouth agape.

What made them do it without any regret was how the people there treated them shabbily.

Restaurants should be swift and with a smile. If the orders take long to prepare, the workers should be able to devise means to make the customer comfortable.

Thanks for sharing.

Jenaisle said...

I should say that was an unpleasant experience.

I remember a similar story about a group of my friends who went to a popular eatery here in the city.

It took almost an hour for their orders to be served. They kept reminding the waiter who was sitting complacently in one corner and he kept saying, it was ready.

Now they were so hungry but their anger got the better of them. They hatched a plan.

As soon as the long awaited food arrived after nearly an hour, they all stood up and said their appetite was lost due to the bad service and left the poor waiter with his mouth agape.

What made them do it without any regret was how the people there treated them shabbily.

Restaurants should be swift and with a smile. If the orders take long to prepare, the workers should be able to devise means to make the customer comfortable.

Thanks for being in my top ten droppers and for sharing this post.

Vixen said...

I went to one before, it wasn't very good and I think we waited nearly an hour for a table because my brother was visiting and he "swore" it was the best. I found it fairly, yucky.

Vixen
http://vixensden.com