First the food. My lady and I tried this place for the first time as it's listed on my work passport website as giving us a discount, 2 entrees for the price of one. We live in San Jose and go to the coast frequently and wanted to try something new as we were tired of the same ol choices we'd tried in the past. She had the prawns with ravioli stuffed with sweet potato with a salad starter. I had the steak with fritas and an excellent veggie medley...almost a quiche really. I started with the French onion soup and we split creme brulee for desert. It was a feast and everything on our plates ranged from good to superb. The service was very good as well as the ambience. We sat outside on their deck as the early evening was warm and pleasant. We were most satisfied and if my review ended there, I'd be giving it a solid 4/5 stars for sure. Alas it doesn't.
The more I think about it, the more Twilight Zone it feels like in retrospect. I asked when we first sat down if they accepted the Passport discount card. Sometimes our work website, where the list of restaurants and retail shops that participate in this Passport program, is out of date, so I wanted to make sure. They agreed it was valid. Great....the meal proceeded as earlier described. Then another staff member approaches me and begins to describe the bill and the discount that was given. He detailed the bill and then mentioned he really shouldn't give us the discount as my card did not have my name on it. I just stared at him as I didn't know what to say. I felt like had done something wrong even though I've used this card maybe a dozen or so times over the past few years that my work has offered this for us. I had never been asked about this previously. He then detailed how the card can easily be abused by people who just hand it around to friends since there is no name on it in a tone that I took as somewhat confrontational and accusatory. OK, other tables are watching us now and my lady and I are just staring at each other in disbelief. To be fair, I suppose I can see his point, but I didn't know what to say. He misread us, plain and simple. He also adds that an 18% gratuity had been added to the total of the bill prior to the discount taken. Again, I had never seen this before and there was no prior mention nor blurb in the menu to describe this. I was embarrassed, though I should have been ticked at this point. The anger didn't kick in til later much to my regret. But wait there is more. At this point, I pay and we agree we will not be returning. They should either take the card, check it up front if necessary, or decline it at the beginning so that we can go elsewhere without being hassled. Before we leave, I use the restroom. Upon exiting, this same guy is waiting for me as I go and checks the restroom I just left! This guy must have really believed we were just trying to jack them up on this night. Like I was going to mess up the restroom as revenge for the hassle. I've never seen anything like it. He must have had some previous experience with this sort of thing and felt like we fit some sort of profile to do this. Un-freaking-believable!!!!
Obviously, we won't return which is a shame since the food was good. The only reason we tried them in the first place was their participationg in the Passport program. I'd never have heard of them otherwise. There were only 3 full tables on a Saturday night at 7pm so maybe there were other issues in play here. The prices were quite high but since they are posted up front, no one can really complain after the meal, which again was tasty. But here I am on a web site writing this review instead of reading, taking a walk, or whatever to end up an otherwise pleasant evening.
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