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“Average food, uneven service”
Review of Bin 189

Bin 189
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Price range: $10 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Bar scene, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Reviewed February 23, 2013

As a 14 year part time resident of the Lake Arrowhead area, I'm familiar with the local eateries, including Bin 189. It's tucked into the Lake Arrowhead Resort, with ersatz mountain decor, and a nice lake view. I enjoy going there on special occasions, and with out of town friends; the hotel setting provides a little something extra.

One can expect average, or better, meals. Today we experienced less than average service. It has happened before on a Saturday evening, when the kitchen and bar must be overwhelmed by the rumbling wedding reception in the ballroom next door.

Poor service is often attributable to the restaurant managment and kitchen rather than the server. Tonight both are to blame for a disappointing evening with friends from out of town and from abroad. I won't blame the waiter for a slow kitchen or an overworked bartender, but shouldn't the waiter notice that he is serving the first course, after a long wait, before he served the cocktails? And to a matter fact notification that the patron could not use the cocktail if served after soup, the waiter testily replied, "I'm sorry, but I'm not able to make cocktails; the bartender has to do that." I wasn't an unhappy patron until the waiter turned on me for pointing out the problem. Fortunately, he agreed not to serve the cocktail, and took my order for a nice sauvignon blanc to pair with my soup and pasta.

The comedy continued: The waiter didn't remember to announce the specials until he had already took orders from half the table. After a long wait and some vague mumbling about dessert with the busboy, one of us found the waiter and paid the bill. I never saw the waiter, never heard anything about dessert or coffee (I really wanted some bread pudding, guys).

We really were an easy going group, and did nothing to scare away the waiter, who was tipped normally in spite everything. Was he incompetent, or did he just have a bad day, or did the management make it impossible for him to keep up? Dare we return and hope for a better time.

As a postscript, good restaurants fix problems like late serving and order errors by comping a dish or drink or dessert, and sending a manager over to say nice things. When that happens, I forgive and forget, and look forward to a return visit.

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2  Thank Gamocha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 - 166 of 204 reviews

Reviewed February 10, 2013

Many of the reviews of this restaurant, located in the Lake Arrowhead Resort have been 5's and 1's (especially on Yelp). If you understand the deal, this place is no longer such a mystery. First, if you are a party of 2-4, don't come here without reservations - or dine in the lounge where the food is good and the prices are very reasonable - or be willing to wait. This is a restaurant that LOVES large parties 8-20. They have only a limited kitchen staff, and make their money on small parties in the lounge and bar, and on large parties in the restaurant. The service is slow (remember limited staff) and the food is good (but not world class). We had a nice bottle of Prosecco (Italian version of champagne) and tender meaty calamari while waiting an hour for a table. We ordered immediately, and the food took an hour to serve. The lamb was very good, as was the Cornish game hen. We finished with creme brûlée and bread pudding. All in, a very good meal, served in 2.5 hours. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants a good meal in Lake Arrowhead, and is willing to understand the deal.

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1  Thank tmgarrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

I've dined at Bin 189 twice during 2012, the most recent in September and both times we had a wonderful experience.

It's casual fine dining, meaning the food is good, but you really don't need to dress up. On our September trip, we were seated near a family with a crying baby that they would not take outside to sooth and we had the server and manager both quickly jump in to ask if we wanted to be reseated. We decided to stay and cut the family some slack, but it was definitely good form for the staff to react so quickly.

They do a fantastic filet and I love the ahi appetizer. On my last trip, I had an amazing starter salad with candied nuts and goat cheese. It was listed as side salad, but big enough for a main course. I've enjoyed every component of both meals.

I love the bar, it has both a cozy and fun atmosphere. The only negative is it is a bit loud, especially when they have live music going and the noise carries into the main dining room.

I look forward to many meals here on future vacations.

Please check out my blog for pictures and further musings of our mountain vacations.

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Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed two nights at the resort using a coupon that included free breakfasts. While the hotel was wonderful, the restaurant was not. We had planned on having dinner there one night but decided not to after having breakfast. Our pancakes and french toast were almost cold and very, very dry. Both were served with a tiny pitcher of syrup that was not sufficient. The large bowl of oatmeal was tepid and dry, served with a tiny pitcher of milk. On both occasions, we would have asked for additional syrup and milk, but unfortunately, the waiter never returned to our table except to give us the check. We could have tracked the waiter down but did not care enough to do so. As other reviewers have noted, it is a lovely facility that should have better food and service.

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1  Thank PalmSpringsVisitors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Liked everything. Service was way beyond expectations, waiters are very knowledgable about wine pairings and dinner recommendations. Give yourself a favor and dine here!

Thank Cocopuffs2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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