All Reviews by Lochardil

  • Chez Panisse 1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709 (510) 548-5525

    1 stars Posted on 12/07/2009 04:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    can't believe why people fall for this place, I left here feeling completely conned. I have two theories: One is the old ""King New Clothes"" theory that no one wants to be called out as an ignoramus and everyone is pretending that the real basic food they charge a fortune for here, is actually gourmet. The other (and please don't be offended, American friends) is that 90% of of the people that eat here have never been to France or eaten in a real French restaurant, so think this is worth all this the money to eat in a ""French Restaurant"". Believe me everyone, and I speak as a European guy who has family in Paris who is often in France, this has as much in common with even an average Paris restaurant as the imitation Paris in Las Vegas has with the real Paris. Whoever runs this place seems to think that if you give a restaurant a French name, have some waiters with European accents, make your guests wait forever between courses (in genuine French restaurants you never have to wait this long) that equals a French restaurant, and this allows them to mark up their really poor food by huge amounts. Well, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you are not fooling me. The service was slow as a glacier, we arrived bang on time for our 6pm table, but it was not ready, so were told we had to wait in the bar. The staff then forgot about us, so at around 6.15 we had to ask them what was going on and were told our table was ready. After about a ten minute wait, they brought olives, after about another ten minutes they brought bread. It took around another 30 minutes for a really basic starter to arrive. Then unbelievably around an hour for the main course. Now here was where the biggest disappointment was. Before the main course arrived I was still slightly buying the line that if you wait a long time you get something special. Boy was I wrong! I'm a vegetarian, and was promised a ""vegetarian dish"". What I got was exactly the same as what my wife got, but minus the chicken and plus more chickpeas. It was actually some vegetables, chickpeas in warm water! I could have done better myself! It was at that point that I wished we had just gone to the really excellent Claremont Diner and paid $20 for their great food. Towards the end of the evening I was beginning to laugh out loud at the nerve of the people that run this place to perpetrate such a huge con. Our final bill was over $180! For this we got the pleasure of spending around 2 hours waiting around for food and when it came it was chickpeas in warm water! Now I know there are those of you out there thinking now that I am just a poor ignoramus who does not appreciate good food and the French ambiance. Let me say again I know France, have been there many times, had many great meals there. I left the restaurant singing The ""Who""s ""Won't get fooled again"" under my breath. Need I say more?
  • Great American Music Hall 859 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (415) 885-0750

    1 stars Posted on 09/30/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    I went to see one of my all time musical heroes here last night (Peter Hammill). The building itself is lovely, very atmospheric, but the evening was completely spoiled for me for two reasons. \r \r One is that the staff there seem to lack any form of social skills, they tend to treat all of us paying customers like naughty children. The tone was set early on in the evening when we moved a chair out of our way and one one the (seeming tens) of staff who seem to hang around watching the audience without much to do, mumbled t us ""...you only had to ask...."", seems it's not allowed to move chairs. There was also a restriction on taking flash photography of the show but one of the staff jumped right at a group of people who were taking flash photographs of each other, around an hour before the show was due to start. . I honestly felt like I was back at school, we were frightened to move out of our seats! \r \r Worse, it was a quiet, semi acoustic show and the show was completely spoilt by this venue having no idea how to host a show like this. There is a noisy bar in the main hall and the bartenders clinked glasses and opened and shut the till throughout the performance making loads of noise and generally disrupting the show. Even worse still, the bunch of staff who seem to just generally hang around and tell everyone what to do started to goof around during the performance, obviously not enjoying the show themselves, they started disrupting it for the audience by goofing around and talking in loud voices to each other - unbelievable! \r \r Oh and also, this venue is on the borders of the Tenderloin which, if you don't know, is San Francisco's inner city bad area, so you need to be very careful as you walk to the venue. As we walked there what sounded like a gun shot went off and we had to negotiate our way past some very scary looking characters, obviously high.
  • The Liberties 998 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 282-6789

    5 stars Posted on 08/24/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Super friendly barman, who is genuinely Irish (and I should know as I am Scottish!), great food, Stella on tap, what more could you ask for. My only regret is that this place used to be at the bottom of our street, but we have moved now and I can't go there as often as I used to. I can still taste the mashed potato - yum.
  • The Graduate 6202 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA 94618 (510) 655-8847

    3 stars Posted on 08/24/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Generally I like going to this place. My fiance loves the free popcorn and I love the Blue Moon. It is small and sometimes some of the other customers seem a bit seedy. The bar staff are usually OK but there was a new guy on last Friday who spend five minutes ignoring me at the bar whilst he counted the money in the till - when he finally noticed I was there his attitude was terrible. When I gave him my order he just kind of looked at me like I was stupid and said ""WHAT???"". His service was so poor I just walked out. I'd hesitate to go back here now, which is a shame as we have had some good times at the Graduate.
  • Le Bateau Ivre-The Drunken Boat Restaurant Coffee House 2629 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 849-1100

    1 stars Posted on 04/25/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    I wouldn't chose to go back to this place. The food was excellent when it arrived, but it took over 45 minutes to arrive. We would have ordered more, but you only have one life and I didn't want to waste more of mine sitting waiting. It was difficult to enjoy the food much as we were all so fed up with the wait by this the time it arrived.\r \r Our server seemed to think that the best way to explain their slow service was to pretend we were invisible from the time he took our order to the time (45 minutes later) when it finally turned up - despite attempts to catch him as he ignored us. I would have thought it was just basic courtesy to apologize for a long wait and ask us if we wanted more drinks, but nothing, not even more water!\r \r I finally cracked after 45 minutes and grabbed my nearest server, but he had a very bad attitude, seemed to not care less, he said as he was not our server there was nothing he could do.\r \r A very boring and frustrating way to spend a Sunday lunchtime, I recommend you avoid this place unless you like long waits, being ignored and the staff seeming not to care less.