This week is Santa Cruz Restaurant Week, and we use it as an opportunity to go check out other restaurants that we haven’t tried yet.
On Saturday night, we went to Your Place. We had a reservation for 6:30, and when we arrived, we were greeted by a very friendly hostess and taken immediately to our table. Your Place is quite lovely. I loved the cute vintage salt and pepper shakers and the mismatched China. Yes, real China, not industrial, almost bullet-proof, restaurant plates. Everywhere you looked you could tell that someone had an eye for decorating, and an eye for detail. There was a guy playing guitar, which was good at first. However, as we listened, we realized that every song sounded exactly the same, whether it was Tracy Chapman or Neil Young. I can’t criticize too much though because I just have to hand it to anyone who gets up in front of a group of people and sings and plays guitar.
This is where things start to go awry. Shortly after we were seated, water and bread and butter arrived at our table, and they were great. And then we waited, and waited, and waited for someone to come take our order. We waited about 25 minutes. Then, the waitress went to the table that was seated after us and took their order. Then she came and took ours. As we waited for our food, we started to realize part of the problem. There seemed to be three people delivering water, bread, and food, and bussing the tables, but there was only one person taking the orders. We also realized that she was also the one making the drinks. It looked like there was one person to take all the orders and make all the drinks for the entire restaurant. Then we saw that the entire bar was getting piled up with dirty dishes. That’s just wrong. Not only is it bad feng shui, it’s cutting off a potential revenue stream, where people could be enjoying cocktails at the bar before being seated. But then, who would be there to make the cocktails?
About 15 minutes later, a server brought a large cocktail by and asked if it was ours. I didn’t know what it was, so I didn’t know if it was ours. She didn’t know what it was either. And neither did someone else whom she asked. It disappeared. Then we noticed that the chef was coming out to get the dirty dishes off of the bar. I guess that they were running out of dishes in the kitchen. We were getting discouraged and were discussing leaving. We were unhappy and about ready to find a server and let her know that we were leaving when our cocktails arrived, so we decided to stay. They were large, good, pretty, and not too weak or too strong, but more toward the weak side. Things improved after the cocktails arrived. Shortly after that, our food arrived. We had the salad and the sautéed mushrooms. The salad was good. It was fresh. It was basic. The dressing was nice. The mushrooms were eh. They were sautéed mushrooms, but fairly flavorless. Then our entrees arrived. I had the eggplant parmesan and my husband had the salmon. Mine was awesome. It was a good-size portion and it wasn’t oily at all, which I love. It was excellent. My husband’s salmon was slightly overcooked, but definitely not cooked to death. He said that it was excellent. For dessert, we had the chocolate ganache cake and the carrot cake. Both were good.
I should say that one of the servers did keep checking on us and asked if we wanted more bread or water. She tried to check on where our cocktails were. She was trying to be helpful. She was definitely friendly and nice. But we still had to wait about 45 minutes before getting even our cocktails. We did see that our cocktails were comped on our bill, which we really appreciated.
Overall, our food was good, but not spectacular. I think Your Place has the potential for spectacular, but not during Restaurant Week. Something must have happened, like two other servers missed work that night, or something. Things were not running smoothly. Your Place did Restaurant Week last year, so they should have known what to expect and known to have enough staff to handle the full house. The décor is lovely and fun, and the idea of farm to table food is fantastic. Would I go back to Your Place? Yes, possibly, maybe. It’s on the other side of the planet from us, which makes it less likely for me to go to. I think that if I wanted to dine on that side of town, I would go to Ristorante Avanti.
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