I never write anything negative on here and only post about things I LOVE….but after getting an email from Resy this morning about Alice Waters’ favorite restaurants in LA, it got me a bit angry. I actually agree with her picks of Mozza, Sqirl, and Gjelina but absolutely not Alma.
First off, of course Alice Waters is going to get impeccable service at Alma – but if you’re “no one,” (LIKE ME!) that is likely not the case. She probably didn’t have to wait FIFTY minutes past her reservation time to be seated.
That being said, I’m simply reposting my Yelp review for Alma, Bon Appetit’s Best Restaurant in America 2013::
I was really really excited to try Alma. There was nothing getting in the way of enjoying this meal!
We arrived promptly at 8:30 PM for our reservation. After about 15 minutes I looked around at the 12ish tables and it didn’t look like anyone was leaving anytime soon. 5-10 minutes later the hostess said it’ll be “about” 10 more minutes.
A lesson in customer service to Alma: PLEASE be honest when you’re throwing out numbers like that. You don’t have a full bar and we would’ve gladly went across to the Ace, grabbed a cocktail or two and come back if we were simply told that the way was going to be much longer. Seriously. Don’t fucking lie.
Finally we were seated at 9:20 and I was HANGRY, angry and annoyed at this point. We were here for my friend’s birthday which is the only reason I didn’t throw a full on tantrum at the staff.
My friend wanted to try the Market Menu – which I have a confirmed email from Alma saying that they would have it. They didn’t. There were guest chefs from Bucato so they only had the 8 course menu. Strike 2.
The service was very sub-par. This price level is up there with Son of A Gun, Providence, Bestia, Mozza – the service should be at that level. I felt like I didn’t really know who my server was and one of the food runners was like “Can I put this plate down?” when my friend was trying to finish her oyster. RUDE. You don’t work at Red Robin but maybe you should. Much better service at other places in the area – Preux & Proper, LA Chapter (even though the food isn’t that great), Terroni, The Gorbals, Wood Spoon to name a few.
I didn’t get to write down all the descriptions of the food mostly because I inhaled them immediately and partially because they were mumbled at me, but we had:
uni + english muffin
some kind of fish
another kind of fish
fluffy ice cream/icey/foamy dessert
My favorites were: oysters, artichoke, sunchoke soup, 2nd seafood dish. Nothing was that memorable and that’s what I was really hoping for.
It still wasn’t nearly as good as I was hoping seeing as how this is Bon Appetit’s Best Restaurant in America 2013. Absolutely not worth $95 and an hour wait.
Here’s some photos of the food I begrudgingly ate.