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“Lackluster”
Review of El Gaucho Tacoma

El Gaucho Tacoma
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Ranked #6 of 761 Restaurants in Tacoma
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Between S 21st & S 23rd Streets
Description: For years, discriminating diners have trusted the establishments of Paul Mackay to turn landmark occasions into lasting memories. At El Gaucho Tacoma, you and your guest will be treated to the ultimate dining experience, including the attentive tableside service that is the Mackay hallmark. Step back in time to an era of uncompromising service and total indulgence, where the smallest of details are considered the most basic ingredients of your visit. We set the stage for an extraordinary event that will exceed your every expectation.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

My husband and I have been to El Gaucho a few times. Unfortunately, our last experience wasn't that great. The food was lackluster and our waiter seemed distracted. My lobster was overlooked and my husband's steak lacked seasoning. Even the tea I ordered was watery and bitter. A bit disappointing for a $300 meal... My in-laws got us a gift certificate for Christmas. Hopefully when we go again our experience will be improved.

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1  Thank Jessica R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (215)
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127 - 131 of 215 reviews

Reviewed December 14, 2013

This is fine and elegant dining equaled to any high end restaurant in any large city. Don't go here expecting a steak with a little butter on top served to your table quickly by an overworked waiter and a management more worried about 'turn' than about your dining experience. I have been to El Gaucho five times, mostly 'special' occasions, and have always left there pleased with the cuisine, the wines, and the service. El Gaucho goes out of it's way, yes over the top, to bring you a dining experience that is unmatched in Tacoma. It is a meat eaters paradise with the best steaks in Tacoma. Their fish offerings are unique and well prepared. Yes, it is 'presented' however unlike some other 'ritzy' places I have been, the portions are larger. The side dishes are all wonderful and in larger portions. Last evening we had an 'event' with fifteen people. Our waiter, Rouge (no kidding) was fantastic. He managed a wait staff of three to five, all seemingly dedicated to our dining experience. The meal combinations were complex - and they were all delivered hot, efficiently and to the correct individual. Each of us were served with the same attention as though we were solo diners. The wines were served properly, by a sommelier that knew what he was doing. El Gaucho's will give you a magnificent dining experience. Expect to pay for that experience as this is a high end restaurant. You do get good value for the money - and you don't have to feel compelled to wear a suit and tie to dine. The only thing I find troublesome, and it is probably only me, is the lighting does not allow me to read the menu and I cannot see the fantastic food on my plate. To me it is dark inside this restaurant. It would be nice if there were some way a beam of light could be brought to a select table if requested. I bring my own flashlight. Do not let my whimsy deter you from enjoying this wonderful Tacoma restaurant. I will return again for another 'special' occasion.

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1  Thank djude1148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Gaucho S, Public Relations Manager at El Gaucho Tacoma, responded to this reviewResponded December 16, 2013

Hi djude1148,

Thank you so much for your 5-star review. We always love hearing from our guests, and are thrilled to hear that you have received a true El Gaucho Tacoma experience time and again. We strive to deliver world-class food and service each and every night to our guests, and we love hearing when we hit the mark.

We appreciate you taking the time to write and give us your feedback. We look forward to seeing you again for that next special occasion or, "just cause."

Cheers!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

The restaurant here in Tacoma is one floor down from the main street and is very dark when you first walk in and start down the steps. The food is wonderful and service out standing. Prices are high but well worth it if you really want to celebrate a special event such as birthday, anniversary etc. This is not a place to take young children. Valet parking in front. Nice bar and happy hour in the afternoons. Try happy hour and you will be back for a great meal.

Thank Jerry2120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

We were so excited about this restaurant, but found it just too over-the-top for our taste. The service was intrusive and a bit condescending, never a good combination. The sauces were heavy, the prices were heavy, and the ambiance was old-school heavy. That said, if the food had been better, it would have been OK. But apparently their specialty is presentation, not preparation, judging by the tableside fire-on-the-sword gimmick, where the fuel was actually deliberately spilled on the carpet where it continued to flame. This occurred at the tables on either side of us, and honestly I was concerned about the tablecloth igniting, since we were on an upper level and not close to the stairs down.

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2  Thank HRHKay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Gaucho S, Public Relations Manager at El Gaucho Tacoma, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Thank you for writing feedback, even though it sounds like we missed the mark with your expectations. We take your comments to heart, and obviously the service and food are a key component of the El Gaucho experience. We certainly want to deliver a great experience without feeling intrusive or condescending. Our goal is to deliver world class food and service to each guest every night, and we're sorry that you did not enjoy a true El Gaucho Tacoma experience.

Our General Manager, James Capangpangan, welcomes the opportunity to speak with you directly to learn more about your recent visit with us. Please reach out to him at the restaurant by calling 253.272-1510 or email jamesc@elgaucho.com.

We sincerely hope that we have the opportunity to serve you again, to enjoy a true El Gaucho Tacoma experience.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

After 20 years of special occasion dinners, El Gaucho may finally have jumped the shark. A $450 dinner for two should not include the server sniffing the wine each time he poured from the decanter, over cooked scallops, and under cooked steak. The menu has not been updated for years and just seems tired.

2  Thank Shfishburn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Gaucho S, Public Relations Manager at El Gaucho Tacoma, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2013

Hi shfishburn,

Thank you for your feedback. We want you to know that we take your comments regarding the pricing, food, and service to heart. We are sorry that we missed the mark with your expectations with your recent visit. We source the finest quality products available and the price reflects that quality. Your food, however, should be prepared as ordered, and we welcome the opportunity to correct it immediately to your satisfaction, if time allows.

For the wine service, it is the sommelier's job to make sure our guest's wine is sound. While most restaurants are happy to only let their guests determine whether or not a wine tastes like it should, we take every opportunity to double check. By “sampling the aroma” the sommelier isn’t stealing the aromas meant for you as much as he/she is safeguarding your purchase. It is done with your best interests at heart. The last thing we want is a wine that is slightly off. That is why we smell the decanter.

We sincerely hope that you'll give us another chance going forward. Our General Manager, James Capangpangan, would like to speak with you directly about your visit. He may be reached at jamesc@elgaucho.com or 253-272-1510.

Thank you and we hope to have the opportunity to serve you again.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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