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“A Great Restaurant Disappears”

Le Yaca French Restaurant
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Ranked #4 of 393 Restaurants in Williamsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Le Yaca began in a tiny, country village(Courchevel)in the French Alps in 1964.Daniele Bourderau & Gerard decided that it would be fun to open a small restaurant. When friends learned of their plans they told the hopeful restaurateurs that they were crazy to think that people would drive 8 kilometers on a winding, icy road for dinner.Daniele and Gerard hesitated for 3 months and then decided: “yaca le faire,” a contraction of the French phrase “ il n’y a qu’a le faire” which basically means “let’s do it.” They called the restaurant Le Yaca as a gag. But the name caught on with customers, who were amused by the pun and contributed to the restaurant’s lore by inventing “yaca-isms ” of their own: yaca y aller (let’s go). Daniele came to the United States & opened Le Yaca in Williamsburg.Daniel Abid bought le Yaca in 2001. Daniel worked and trained in such prestigious places as “Le Pre Catelan” and “Lenotre” in Paris; “L’Amandier” and “Roger Verge" and to top it all off “Alain Ducasse.”
Reviewed 29 August 2014

As an old customer and regular at La Yaca my second and third visits to its new shopping center location was a terrible experience. The beautiful building is burdened by additional staff that is poorly trained and a kitchen that is cutting corners to the point where the experience is more like Applebees then fine French dining. Over two meals we had fennel soup that had no flavor, a duck breast that was so chewy it could not be eaten, French bread like Wonderbread, fish that was clearly not fresh, and a wait at the bar for our table while the dining room remained vacant. When we were seated for dinner we were put in a table that was in a main traffic patter next to a family with kid. There are too many good French restaurants in Williamsburg. Do not waste your money here.

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2  Thank NSNSNRNS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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712 - 716 of 1,073 reviews

Reviewed 26 August 2014

Le Yaca is located in an outdoor shopping/entertainment area that is on the newer side for Williamsburg. Parking is easy and the area is safe and attractive.

We recently visited for dinner and were completely satisfied in every respect. First of all, the staff and the owner take meticulous care of you. Timing of their service is perfect. Recommendations for drink and food were outstanding and their interactions with us friendly and even entertaining with our humor filled waitress. The environment is outstanding….a perfect place for a special meal or just a meal to share with someone who's company and conversation you enjoy. You feel as if you have entered someone's beautiful home….clean, light, elegant, comfortable and cheerful without being overwhelmingly noisy. You can actually enjoy your dining partner/s here and hear them!

And the food!!! There are no bad choices on this menu. We were delighted with all of our courses and felt the money value was spot on. The wine recommendations were accurate and helped us to choose just what we were looking for. Each dish was perfectly prepared and beautifully presented. Portions were perfect.

You can have a meal in one of the dining rooms or you can go to the bar for a delightful bar menu. You can also dine al fresco on the terrace.

This is easily a top three restaurant for us in Williamsburg….Fat Canary and Prime 4640 holding the other spots. I would rate Le Yaca #1 overall with the other two close behind and working hard to reach the standard set by this wonderful French restaurant.

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1  Thank dogwoodlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

After spending 3 weeks vacation in Williamsburg so far, I would say this is the best so far.. Their food is very well prepared and fresh.. We have been here twice and planning for a third visit before we end our vacation.. Note: among the good things we liked about this place is the waitresses, I believe her name was Kayle..

3  Thank Haitham_1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014

My husband and I ate at this restaurant last night. The food was excellent, but we were disappointed with the service. We were asked to wait at the bar for a table, which we did, and I thought the bar was unkempt: a couple empty glasses just sitting there, crumbs on the placemat where I sat. I ordered a drink, and, although there was no one else at the bar, the bartender did not make it for at least five minutes, maybe longer. Then, when we were shown to our table, the maitre d said they would bring over my drink. After about five minutes of waiting, my husband finally got up and got it for me.

The setting is beautiful and the food was excellent. I don't know if they were short staffed last night, but I must say the service was disappointing. Our waitress was fine, no big problem there, but there was an issue with their wine list not being updated so we had a long wait for a bottle that never appeared and then we had to choose something else.

Just not as smooth as it should be at a place like this. I would try it again, however, hoping that our experience was not the norm.

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3  Thank Terry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014

We went to Le Yaca last night to celebrate our 18th anniversary. I asked for a quiet table. Our first indication of a lack of focus was when we walked in and the hostess had her purse up on the counter and told us she was headed out for coffee so she could wake up. She took us to our table which was in a room with just 4 other tables...it was perfect. We were the only ones in the room, it was quiet (no loud music playing), and we were out of the way any activity of the restaurant. That later proved to be a bit of an issue as we were left alone for 20 minutes or more at a time and it did not seem that anyone noticed us. We were given an IPAD to select wine...very hip, but the server noticed the battery was almost dead. The server asked if we had met the Madame yet. She assured us that on Thursday she goes around to all of the tables and talks to guests. When I asked a question about one of the specials, the server could not answer it, but assured me that Madame would know. (We never saw or heard from her all night and we were there 2 and a half hours). This was significant because I would not have ordered the special if I had known more about the fish...it happened to be a very "fishy" tasting fish...not bad, but not what I was looking for...the server did not know about the fish. My wife ordered the veal and it was delicious. She ordered it from the regular menu (came with green beans) and not the 3 course menu (came with spinach). She loves green beans and does not like spinach. When the meal came, it had spinach. My wife asked about the green beans and the gentleman that brought out the food (not our server) took the meal back. We waited for about ten minutes (my meal sitting in front of me cooling off) for my wife's meal to return only to see asparagus on the plate. When the gentlemen tried to take the meal again, we asked if he could just leave it while he tracked down the green beans so we could start eating. About 15 minutes later, the server came and asked us how everything was. We told her about the green beans and she headed off to track down the problem. She returned a few minutes later to explain that the menu was wrong...they did not have any green beans in the restaurant. She then asked if she could bring out some asparagus. We informed her that we had already explained to someone else that we did want the asparagus. If this kind of problem happened at IHOP, it would not bother me nearly as much. When I spend a hundred dollars on a meal, I expect better. We waited for about 15 minutes after finishing our meal before we saw our server. I selected my dessert (I had ordered the 3 course meal) and then we waited approximately 20 minutes for the dessert to arrive. It was elegant and they went the extra mile to put a little piece of chocolate on the plate that read happy anniversary. The also brought out 2 glasses of champagne with the dessert for our anniversary. Everything is in place for success, but the execution of the meal and the miscommunication between the staff and the excessive time between visits from the server made this anniversary meal a frustrating disappointment. There are other places to go that have much better service and good food for about half the price. My wife and I have plenty of experience with fine dining. I think I know good food and service when I experience it. Last night....we were disappointed and our night turned out not to be what we had hoped.

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5  Thank Kristopher A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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