Ojai, California: Azu Restraunt (Don't bother)
Reviewer: Mark Seflin (Trip Advisor member)
While on a spur of the moment trip to Santa Barbara we ended up on the back roads to Ojai, California. Extraordinary windy road and superb scenery we decided to stay the night and check out the music festival that was in town. It was slim pickens for vacancies and we landed at a Best Western (Casa Ojai) just on the out skirts of town. The Best Western is runned and managed by Mr. Christopher Perera, a delightful and funny guy...oh did I mention a very shrude businessman. After inquiring about a room for the night and stating that I was an AAA member, which did NOT give me any type of discount. I think I needed to be a "elderly" woman to get any of the benefits of that membership. I later discovered had I gotten a sex change and gained approximately 20 years I would have recieved a discount on my one night stay. As they say in India...it must be my "Karma". OK...now it was time for a nice meal after our adventure and we seeked the expertise of Mr. Perera (GM) and he quickly picked up the phone and made us reservations at the Azu Restraunt, East Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023. It was about 7:15 pm and we had just enough time to take a brisk walk from the hotel to the restraunt to make our 7:30 pm reservations. We were under the notion that this was fine casual dinning and we did not change from our causal attire. Upon entering the establishment we were greeted by a very pertenious hostess. We were seated off to one side of the restraunt near the wait persons station and enterance to the group dinning area with lots of traffic. I was wondering why a reservation was necessary since the restraunt was not even a quarter full. It was time for a cocktail and our "very young" waitress dressed in basic black with a very low cut top, which required her to place her hand or arm over her top when she leaned over to explain something on the menu...I never quite understood why women wear clothes that are very revealing and then cover up? Must be a female thing. Ok, now my companion ordered a Grey Goose up and I ordered a GG over. When our drinks were brought to the table we both had GG's up. I guess they don't teach what "up" or "over" means to their wait persons, because when I brought the mistake to our waitresses attention she just giggled and went to get someone to deal with the situation. This should have been my first "red" flag. The next fopaw was after we ordered a ceaser salad for two and requested that it be split. Well the waitress wrote down our request and also took the rest of our order, which they got wrong. That was the last we saw of the our waitress till it was time for desert and the check. Our ceaser was brought out by an other very young man and he basically dropped the salad plate on the table and in a very rude tone barked at us that "the kitchen does not split salads." Wow that was a new one...in all of my experience as a sous chef if a customer requested that some portion of their meal be split then I did that...guess the customer is "NOT" always right. I mean this guy had absolutely no manners...no appologizes or even offering to split the salad himself. This was my second "red" flag. We did recieve a basket of very nice french bread, but after it was depleated and placed on the outside of the table...no one ever stopped by to asked if we would like more? Finally our meal arrived...and again not by our waitress...a third unknown person. My companion commented that the samon dinner she ordered was to come with mushrooms not beans. Rather than requesting a change she made the best of her meal and after we had finished we asked for a menu and discovered that they had made and given her the wrong order. I can tell you that my pasta primevera with chicken was good, but not worth what I paid for it. For that price I should have gotten at least two whole chickens...there was maybe four bit size pieces of chicken in the whole dish. Upon finishing our over priced meals our waitress decided to show up to inquire about desert...I wanted to ask her if they served up "rude and abuse" with ice cream with some stupid sauce, but I held my tougue. Oh by the way being seated by the wait person's station gave us a earfull of their snide, condescending, and plain rude comments about the patrons. We walked back to the hotel under a very big and beautiful full moon and shared our experience with Mr. Perera. Maybe 5 minutes after getting to our room we recieved a phone call from Ms. Laurel Moore, Owner. I let my companion do the talking, since I was in no mood to be pleasant about our dinning experience. Ms. Moore was quick to state that our server had only been on the floor for 2 days. My companion, also having prior restraunt experience, attempted to inquire why didn't the young lady let us know upon our first encounter? Ms. Moore had no explaination and when my companion atttempted to share the rest of the mis-deeds as feedback that might be benefiical to this young woman's training...Ms. Moore quickly changed the conversation and invited us to return the next day for lunch on them. We just got done paying close to $100 for dinner and we are offered a lunch. I wanted to grab the phone from my companion and tell Ms. Moore that "I like to get kissed first".