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“Not clean bad service” 2 of 5 stars
Review of California Dreaming Restaurant

California Dreaming Restaurant
401 South Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
803-254-6767
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Ranked #40 of 840 Restaurants in Columbia
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Voted “Best Salad” 12 years running, by Free Times and Columbia Metropolitan, “Best Date Spot, Best Overall Restaurant and Best Place to Take your Parents” by USC’s The Daily Gamecock. Enjoy giant-sized fare from the California Dreaming kitchen; start with the Barbecue Chicken Nachos, then slow-cooked Prime Rib or a hearty pasta dish. The restaurant also features late night bar bites; large party carry-out and catering; live music and seasonal patio dining. The historic landmark building, Union Station, is located steps away from USC.
1 review
“Not clean bad service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2014

I am 35 years old and grew up in Columbia. Many of my family and friends have eaten here and sing there praises. My grandmother turned 79 today so we decided to surprise her with a late lunch at this restaurant. When we were seated our table cloth was filthy!! I was so angry because the hostess actually laid menus and utensils on a clearly dirty table. I went to the manager. He was quick to get help and have the table cloths replaced. The silly hostess brought an even dirtier one. The manager said a few words to her and got us new ones. The second issue was the tiny plates were covered in food. One had melted cheese one the other plate had honey mustard. My 4 year old daughter was grossed out and asked for a napkin to place her roll on.
At this point we spoke to the manager again. We explained how disappointed we were in the cleanliness and service of this place. He apologized again assisted our waitress the rest of the time.
I will most likely never go back. The food was plated beautifully but the taste was not that great. I can only imagine what the kitchen looks like if the tables have visible spills and stains.

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328 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cape May, New Jersey
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Great for students and parents”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Within easy walking distance of USC this place feels like being in another area. The large windows look out on a grassy knoll while the 2 bars keep the place lively. Food was decent and not overpriced. Good pulled pork sandwich. I will be back.

Visited July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Acushnet, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Time for a new shirt?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 via mobile

This will be a unique review. We had dinner here while visiting USC. The atmosphere was fine, the food was fine, the place was busy on a Sunday night which should say something.

I have to comment on our waiter. The shirt he was wearing was white, long sleeved, buttoned down. Dressy. And stained. Very stained. Everywhere. It was disgusting. I'm sure it was clean (maybe) but there were stains on the sleeves, on the front, on the sides, everywhere. Time for a new shirt? Let me just say that someone with this sense of personal cleanliness is not someone I wanted handling my food. Management had to see this??? You show up to work like this you get sent home - or get fired! I won't say the waiters name but there was an actor whose last name was Hoffman who had the same first name.

Visited July 2014
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CA_Centraarchy, Public Relations Manager at California Dreaming Restaurant, responded to this review, July 29, 2014
We don’t always succeed, and we appreciate your feedback. Thanks for visiting.
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Columbia, SC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

We recently at dinner at California Dreaming in Columbia. Service was excellent, food was good, restaurant was clean. Manager even came by to check and make sure that everything was okay. The atmosphere is great also (this used to be an old train station that was refurnished). I highly recommend this restaurant.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
“California Dreaming Let-Down”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

Located in a beautiful building, but was disappointed inside. It was a Sunday afternoon... many servers in the restaurant. We were led to a booth, where my seat had a 1 1/2 foot rip in the seat cover. The order was for a Chipotle Chicken wrap, which was very good, chicken strips and Hot Vegetable salad - way too much dressing, which dominated the taste. My wife had to use the restroom which smelled heavily with cigarette smoke. Definitely could have been better.

Visited July 2014
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CA_Centraarchy, Public Relations Manager at California Dreaming Restaurant, responded to this review, July 16, 2014
Hi Jamie, Thanks for the accolades on the chipotle chicken wrap and chicken strips. As for the hot vegetable salad, the fresh vegetables are sauteed in white wine and a hint of butter, this may have been the cause of too much liquid in your salad. Thank you for visiting, we look forward to serving you again soon.
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