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“Warm and friendly restautant as presented by Ray”
Review of Aji Dulce 303 - CLOSED

Aji Dulce 303
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Healthy, Puerto Rican
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch
Description: Lounge Ambience, family, Miami like style. Live Crabs. Live Music.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

Just returned from a graeat 8 days at the El San Juan Hotel. It was worth the cab ride to this restaurant. Great people great food. Steve Civardi

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1  Thank Stephen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (4)
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Reviewed October 23, 2013

I really had no choice but to write a negative review of this place because we were provided low quality service. You'd think that in a restaurant where a dinner for two costs almost $100 you'd receive at least decent service, but this is not the case at all. I've dined in many restaurants in San Juan, and I generally love the experience of checking out new restaurants.

It was my girlfriend's birthday, and I wanted to treat her to a nice dinner. I'd seen some nice pictures of some of the dishes on a food app, so I figured that this would be a nice place to try. When we walked toward the front door, one of the employees was outside talking. When we entered, we stood by the door and waited to be seated. There were not too many diners there that night, and no one was there to greet and seat us. It was awkward because we stood there for a while, and one family was staring at us because my girlfriend and I were standing there like lost souls, if not idiots-this is how we felt. A waitress eventually appeared, but she tended to the table with the family that stared at us. The waitress looked at us, but she said nothing and went to the bar area to get some stuff for the seated family.

Eventually, we were seated, and this was only because my girlfriend said we ought to stay after I asked her whether she wanted to leave. My gut feeling was to leave, as this poor first impression by the front-of-the-house made me want to leave. Being that it was my girlfriend's birthday, I stayed, as was her wish.

There were some paper appetizer menus on the table, so we looked at them to pick our appetizers. However, my girlfriend had to ask to see the dinner menu. It's quite unusual that dinner guests must ask to see the menu. During most of our dinner, we had to request everything we needed, such as water.

We observed that the main problem with the service in this place is that the staff prefers to chat and talk and not pay attention to the customers. When they chat, they chat with their backs to the customers, so they are unable to even see when a customer is trying to get their attention. Of course, with any properly running front-of-the-house operation, waitstaff ought to keep their eyes on the customers and in properly timed intervals to check-up on the customers to see that their dining experience is going alright. Honestly, the service in low-end burger joints is better and more attentive. I am not kidding about this, as we went to such an establishment, and the service truly was better-in all respects.

Overall, the food is okay, but not spectacular. The lamb balls were okay, but they could have been a bit more flavorful. The fried potato pieces that came with this appetizer were slightly overdone, so they had a bit of burnt flavor. The main course, steak, was decent. The garlic mashed potatoes were okay, but they could have used more garlic and butter.

When trying new restaurants, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. In this one, we lost. It was a special night, a birthday, and the service sucked. I've been in several restaurants in San Juan where the service runs like clockwork, but this certainly is not one of those restaurants. Truly, I wish we had left this restaurant and spent my money somewhere else. It really pained me to spend that amount of money in an establishment that clearly does not value its patrons enough to spend some time paying attention to them. Such piss-poor service is completely unacceptable, especially when the place was so empty. We've been to crowded restaurants that offered top-notch service. That said, we will NEVER return to this restaurant.

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2  Thank Vessup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Aji Dulce is located near the Placita de Santurce, a very nice place to hang out on thrusdays and Fridays. The food at this restaurant is exciting and has a nice beautiful gourmet twist. The Chef and his wife run the place and they are a beautiful couple that make up a wonderful team. They have artisanal beers, we tried the chocolate one and it was incredible. Nice prices and wonderful food and service. I will be back!

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Thank Delia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013
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1  Thank DIVEPR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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