What’s up, Apoala?

Better Half and the cantankerous Critic enjoyed their previous meal at the Oaxacan restaurant that everyone is raving about and that enjoys record crowds in its Santa Lucia location. In fact, reading a previous review, it’s almost embarrassing in its gushiness.

On this latest occasion, BH and the Critic had a table inside, as the appeal of the occasionally talented musicians, dancers and whatever else is going on in the plaza outside is somewhat limited and a good meal was the goal for the evening.

Unfortunately, everyone else did not seem to share this affinity for the inside tables and, while the Critic and Better Half were having their dinner, all the tables inside were moved one by one to the outside patio, leaving the Critics table alone in a large room, with no tables and no chairs. It gave off a distinct “hurry up and get the hell out as we need your table” feel to the evening and the Critic and BH obliged by leaving soon after.

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Take out all the tables but one and you get the idea.

While the food is still excellent and the Critic won’t hesitate to recommend the restaurant as a good option for downtown diners, this whole table thing was somewhat disconcerting if not downright rude in the Critics humble opinion.

Is there a protocol for restaurants in these situations?

3 thoughts on “What’s up, Apoala?

  1. I thought part of the value in paying for a dinner out was to enjoy the ambiance. Of course, the desired/expected quality and style of the food is foremost, but if the anticipated atmosphere is disrupted and diminished, the diner is being cheated…

  2. That’s kind of what I thought as well. One can usually cook up a tasty meal at home, but goes out for the total experience.

  3. We returned last week after about a year and found a distinct deterioration in both food and service – the price of success? The many tables outside were all filled with people who seem to prefer their food accompanied by threshold-of-pain volume mediocre rock featuring a singer who showed with every wail and scream that Janis Joplin had a lot to answer for.
    Even inside, the throbbing pulsating bass and the crashing about of someone who should not be allowed near a drum kit effectively put paid to intelligent table conversation. All of this incidental to the fact that there appears to be the same number of waiters as there were a year ago, while the number of occupied tables has increased dramatically.
    Not to put too fine a point on it: we don’t mind a wait, but when the food arrives and is burnt, overcooked, lukewarm and not much like its menu description, it’s time to reconsider – both us as clientele and the management before they lose what they had.

    Why didn’t we complain and send food back etc? The combination of the racket outside and the poor service engendered inertia and a strong desire to get back home for ‘sardines on toast and a cup of cocoa’ (Noel Coward’s remedy)

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