Needs to get its act together
We just returned from attending my niece's wedding in SF. For our final meal we made a reservation at Baraka on advice from Chez Papa for a family group of 8, including my two brothers. The food was excellent, when it finally arrived, though the order was delivered in a slovenly fashion, one order was forgotten, couscous arrived late, small plates should be called tiny plates, etc. In the restaurant's defense, a new servitor was being trained, and our very charming server apologized for what he termed ""sh-tty"" service, comping my brother's meal. However, our evening, while not ruined, was compromised, the celebratory mood spoiled. Service as beyond slow. The kitchen was disorganized. The restaurant has no sense, or policy, for recovering from mistakes. The comp was nice, but everyone at the table was affected by the glacial pace and lack of attention. When the dessert menus arrived, and we continued to wait, and wait, naturally everyone passed. We just wanted to get it over with. Here are some suggestions. Get bread on the table quickly and put more than a couple of teaspoons of the very good hummus in the tiny cups. There wasn't enough there to wet a portion of the bread (good bread that it was). Explain what constitutes a small plate so that we can order better. Failing to do that, make sure that the items in the plate are evenly divisible. Three meatballs split between 8 people doesn't work. 4 meatballs won't bankrupt. If the meal is delivered poorly, offer complimentary coffees, or teas, and get a couple of desserts out to the table, also comped. Don't add injury upon injury. Get your kitchen straightened out. It is too easily overwhelmed. Would I come back? Yes, because everyone has an off day. But you need to know how to recover a fumble, not perpetrate it. My girlfriend, who had made the reservation, was thoroughly embarrassed by the experience. Great food, but not a restaurant in the classic sense of a place to come to be restored.