Sunday, September 11, 2011

empty plates

It's not surprising that there are a lot of empty plates and furled napkins stacked up at Primitivo restaurant, on Abbot Kinney, in Venice (that's Venice, CA).   The surprise is that anyone was eating there at all.   This is not so much a restaurant review as a wail about their inefficiency.   The food, for brunch, was fine - nothing special, but fine (I had a tasty and filling potato and onion tortilla - tortilla in the Spanish sense, like a very solid frittata - and some succotash).   But it took an inordinate length of time to arrive - we were told that the computer was down, and that therefore they couldn't place our order (presumably the task of walking to the kitchen was an insurmountable one).   Eventually, food arrived (so, soon afterwards, did a very so-so folk singer, rather too close to us).   A check?   A check?   Our waitperson apologized.   The computer system couldn't print it out.   Eventually, it, in turn, arrived.   But no machine could actually take our credit cards and process them, so we scoured our wallets, and found the cash.   By this stage the manager was standing in front of us doing a highly unconvincing job of hand wringing and apologizing, like someone auditioning for a small part in Masterpiece Theater adaptation of a Frances Burney novel - she had the blonde ringlets for the late C18th, and the false simper, down to perfection.   All of this would have mattered a good deal less if our brunch companion hadn't had the identical experience a couple of weeks earlier.   Not that this did anything to diminish my desire to live in a canal-side house in Venice, despite the deep improbability of ever being able to afford such a commodity, but it certainly had me resolved never to eat here again.

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