I don’t often write restaurant reviews. I defer to HoCoLoCo Girl in that area. However, once in awhile, just every so often, I have an experience so awful that it compels me to write a post about it.
I had just such awful experience at Ranazul last night. The thing is, I am quite certain that the other two tables in the “La Galeria” room we shared were also having awful experiences.
The short story for those with short attention spans is that the service stunk but the food was, in some cases exceptional and in all cases good. That makes the choice as to whether to return for a second chance a little more difficult to make.
For those who like the details, we arrived around 7:00 PM without reservations, a party of three. We were seated within ten minutes, so far so good.
Then we were left alone, completely alone with the paintings in the La Galeria room. We had water and menus from the hostess. I expected someone to offer to get us a cocktail while we looked over the menu. I was disappointed. At least fifteen minutes passed. Soon though another couple arrived and was seated at the table next to us. In very short order a waiter appeared at their table, welcoming them and offering to get cocktails and warm bread.
I sat watching, wishing he were at my table. Meanwhile, at the table next to us, the waiter was cheerily going over the menu and the specials in great detail. I heard him mention that they were out of the pear salad.
We still had no waiter at our table. This was getting ridiculous. Finally, I decided to go see if I could find someone to wait on our table. While hanging out at the server station I saw the guy who was serving the table next to us. I leaned over to him and said I’d appreciate it if he could find someone to come to our table. He nodded and I returned to my seat and waited.
And waited at least another fifteen minutes At long last a waitress appeared. She said she was ready to take our orders.
“What about the specials?” I was feeling a little cheated here.
“There are no specials.”
“Are you sure? I could have sworn I heard the waiter at the table next to us mention something about specials.”
“No. No specials. Would you like me to explain the menu to you?”
At this point I am getting pretty annoyed. The thought of getting up and leaving crosses my mind. Then again, I’m hungry. That’s why I came here.
We ordered a couple of glasses of wine and five tapas dishes. We had plenty of time to read through the menu during our no waiter period.
And then we waited some more.
Meanwhile, at the table next to us, things were also beginning to go south. His entrée came out, but hers didn’t. They began to exchange sympathetic glances with us.
Our glasses of wine arrived followed shortly by three of our tapas dishes. One of them was a salmon avocado sushi concoction that was delicious. Another was calamari and the third one was something called arepas, which was crab, shrimp and polenta with a sauce that was exceptional.
We polished these off in short order. The lady next to us still hadn’t received her entrée.
We all waited together. Soon, a third couple was escorted into La Galeria.
Our waitress reappeared and said that one of our choices, a salmon with crushed cashews would take a little longer. We told her we’d wanted to order two more tapas dishes and two more glasses of wine. We decided that since we were seeing her so infrequently that we’d better get everything covered while she was there.
The rest of the evening was more of the same. Soon we began laughing with the other two tables. The newest arrivals, having already begun to wonder if they were ever going to see a waiter asked, “How long have you all been here?”
“We got here last night,” I replied which drew laughter from all three tables. The lady at the table next to us, who had finally received her entrée, stated that their water had just seemed to disappear for long periods of time.
So, in conclusion to my ragging post, that I sincerely hope that the Ranazians were simply having a bad night. I may give them a try again but if they offer to stick me back in a table in La Galeria, I’m bolting
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