On September 29/05, while staying at Little Nell, we called Kenichi in the early afternoon to make a dinner reservation for 5:30, which was the opening hour listed for Kenichi in local ads and confirmed by the concierge. We got a recording of a male voice advising to leave a message for reservations, or else call back after 3:30 when a live person would answer. We left a reservation for 5:30.
When we showed up at 5:30 it was to find the tables set, yet chairs still being moved around, staff - including kitchen staff - lounging around the main dining room and bar space, and a woman standing beside the hostess podium - in loud and animated conversation on the phone. She saw us standing there, waiting. She continued her conversation. Obviously a personal conversation. We waited some more.
When she hung up, it was to merely glare at us expectantly - clearly annoyed.
I explained we had left a message for a 5:30 reservation...only to have her cut me short by stating "No, you didn't, our message says we open at six".
I tried to clarify that the message we got said nothing about 6, only to leave a reservation...
Again she cut me off, now clearly confrontational, by saying "I put the message on myself, last week, after we changed the off-season opening to six".
Rather than argue with her and tolerate more hositility, I said "Thanks anyway", and we turned to leave.
The woman shouted after us to "Come back at six". Glancing across the faces of the lounging employees, the range of expression ran from indifference, to resignation to evident embarrassment. One shook his head as we passed. My wife said, quietly, to him, "We won't be back". To which he said "I don't blame you".
If this woman owns this restaurant, she should remove herself from any contact with customers. If she doesn't own the restaurant, she should be fired.
Unless you want to risk being used and abused, I would strongly suggest staying away from this establishment.
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