“Farfalla, Encino. Don't waste your time. No really. Don't. Seriously.”
It actually takes quite a bit for me to feel motivated to waste my time and energy writing a negative review of a restaurant, but in this case, it's more than worth my time. This place was horrifying.
We walked in. At first glance, it's a nice enough looking place - for a chain restaurant that's probably based in Irvine, or something like that. I immediately sensed the low-to-mid level of food we were in for, but I wasn't expecting to be charged high-end prices for the privilege.
More distressing though, was the staff. Maybe they were trying, but they were outmatched by the Saturday night crowds. (Saturday night crowds? What a surprise. How about staffing appropriately?) Our corner table went neglected for too long, our waters unfilled, etc..
The food finally came out. We liked the appetizers (bruschetta with barrata was great, the caprese with prosciutto was serviceable). Then the dinners. Unremarkable all around, with everyone finding something "off" or "wrong" slightly, but unable to really put a finger on it. Except for my wife. Her lasagna was plainly wrong. It was covered with some sort of puke-covered cream sauce, and there were other problems. We sent it back and the waiter assured that the replacement dish (cioppino) would take about 10 minutes. Great, because we have a bunch of small kids in our party, and they're starting to squirm. Smash-cut to 30+ minutes later. Everyone has finished their dinners except my wife, who is still waiting for her cioppino. It finally comes out after I flag the waiter to investigate. And he charged her for a large, though she wanted a small.
I asked what they were going to do, to adjust the check somehow because of all we'd been through. Response? Well, I didn't charge you for the lasagna that you sent back. ... Huh?! I asked to see the manager. The chef/owner walked out - and I haven't been treated as rudely and dismissively by anyone in years (not since Sisley in Sherman Oaks, coincidentally --- what's with these corporate chain Italian joints?). The chef looked at me, said "Nope, everything took the right amount of time to cook, you pay", spun on his heels, and walked away. He looked like the Seinfeld soup-nazi, and he acted like it, and it was the most disgusting way I could imagine treating a customer. I mean, I was tempted to walk out without paying anything.
The waiter shrewdly assessed the situation, looked at our angry group, and took it upon himself to adjust the price on the cioppino. Whatever. I'm never going back, and I suggest you don't either. This place is an overpriced, mediocre crater of a waste of space, and while I'm sure it'll last a few years (because Corporate probably has deep enough pockets to afford the lease), it doesn't deserve another month of operations.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.