After a long week, nothing sounded better than enjoying happy hour with some friends. We want something fairly close to both parties, yet family suitable since we're bringing our children, oh, and not too expensive - it's decided, Yard House has great happy hour!
...Well, usually it does.
It seems to be a hard concept to grasp for Yard House employees that the Hostess stand is not the break room. You won't even believe how much I now know about "the old man at table 50" just from opening the door. Good thing we aren't sitting next to him, that all I'm saying. I'd be more upset if I needed the hostesses, but since they didn't care to acknowledge us, we successfully found our party on our own. Unfortunately, the experience was only beginning.
When we arrived to our table the couple we joined had already had half their drinks down and hadn't seen their server since they received the drinks at least 15 minutes before we arrived. We began to chat, giving the server the benefit of the doubt, for about 30 minutes until we flagged down the server behind us and she took our drink orders. This server delivered our drinks to us as well. A few sips later, our server appeared and was ready to take our order. We submitted our orders and off she went, forgetting to relay the message about the two waters requested.
After this series of events in this very short amount of time I didn't think the hour was going to get very happy.. but five minutes later our food arrived. The food looked great,(not presentation wise - we were just hungry!) and it came so fast, that's not so bad! Upon inspection of our food, Fried Calamari, California Roll and a Hawaiian Poke Stack; we noticed that everything looked a little thrown together, smaller than usual, darker than usual. It seemed like the kitchen was trying to make up for the server's tardiness by rushing our order.
- The California Roll is usually able to feed 2-4 people as an appetizer and is popular because of it's large size. That was not the case this time, which was upsetting. The California Roll was smaller than it typically is and the presentation was not up to the standards of it's recent predecessors. The flavor was there however, so it didn't create a big problem.
- The Hawaiian Poke Stack was covered in stringed carrots, more than it should have been, very lightly sauced and just not up to expectations at all. It was a tower of vegetables and wontons. We had to track down the server who took our drink order at the beginning of the evening to ask for extra dressing since our server was, once again, M.I.A.
- The first time I had the Fried Calamari from Yard House I was immediately impressed.This time that was not the case, the Fried Calamari was extremely chewy and rubber like and the breading was soggy and mushy. The portion was small and it had one quarter of a lemon wedge to squeeze over, I did like that they used tentacles however. With empty drinks and still no waters the whole evening was just not living up to it's fun name.
After a less than happy experience with drinks, service, and food, we patiently waited for our server to find her way back to us. She hustled when it came to dropping off the check - the quickest we had seen her leave and return all night. And once again, she was off. We waited again for our server to come back but she must have made a wrong turn because she never returned. We flagged down the wonderful server who took our drinks at the beginning and she cashed us out.She brought back the credit card and then looked at us and asked, "You didn't want your change did you?" We told her no, that it was fine but honestly our server did not deserve the 13% tip the other server decided to keep for her. And with that, we were on our way, passing once more the [still] gossiping hostesses and servers, all five that must have really needed to be surrounding the desk on such a calm evening.
Happy hour was not very happy this trip. And don't even think about going to their late night happy hour over the weekend - they don't offer that promotion on Saturdays. Unfortunately, Yard House is not a place I would choose to go again. Each time I have been it seems like the reliability of the establishment is failing to keep up. They need to do some remodeling on their training guidelines because from what I've been noticing in recent visits, there isn't much being done. I've never even seen a manager, even when we have had problems with service or food before. If I wanted to eat poor quality food and have one cocktail in 3 hours with no wait service, I would tell my husband it was his turn to cook dinner... And I really don't want to do that!