We had eaten here several years ago on a Monday night and were the only customers in the place. We got decent treatment and food so we decided to go back on this, our next overnight visit to Cambria. It was an exceptionally busy Sunday evening when my wife went in to check on availability of tables for a little later in the evening. The host was very accommodating and, though they do not take reservations, took our name and promised priority seating when we returned an hour and a half later. He was good to his word and gave us an excellent table in the front of the restaurant with only a tiny wait.
Our server and the busser were both extraordinarily pleasant despite the very crowded restaurant. We both chose the fresh mahi mahi. Dinners there come with soup or salad and my wife opted for the salad while I chose the clam chowder. Both starters were brought to us right away and we began eating. About a third of the way through our server came back and told us that they only had one mahi mahi left. My wife insisted I have it and chose the steamed clams as her fall-back position. She noted that the only size she saw on the menu was as an appetizer but that is typically plenty for her (especially considering the killer lunch we had that day at Paradise Cove in Malibu). And, it has never been her habit to order a salad when ordering steamed clams or mussels.
The steamers were excellent but my mahi mahi was just slightly undercooked which detracted from my enjoyment. The portion size was large and the quality good, however. We declined the dessert option and asked for the check. This was when it went bad. The handwritten check showed the charge for my wife’s wine, a $7.00 entry for the salad, my wife’s steamers, and my fish. Clearly, in our minds, there should not have been a charge for the salad. I pointed out to our server the salad had been brought to us (and eaten) in anticipation of a fish plate which they were unable to produce after it was ordered. Unfortunately, instead of being gracious about it our server turned a little petulant. She was observed by my wife to be doing some adjustments to the bill and then heading off to consult with someone. We can only guess it was for approval. When the handwritten check was returned to us we could see it had been altered using some kind of liquid paper or correction fluid. The salad charge had been removed and so had the cloak for friendliness which had covered our server until that point. It left us with a bad taste in our mouths and we shall find an alternative the next time we’re in Cambria.
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