great steaks, great place, great ribs, nice spark woodfire grill, great wine, great glass, love chopped salad
Great food. It's so interesting to read the reviews ranging from great to "don't go here." We ate at Sparks eleven years ago when it first opened and thought it was very good. We just don't live on that side of the hill so we don't often look for a place to eat in that neighborhood. Now we ate lunch there this September (2010) and the food was excellent. The service was very good but most importantly, the food was excellent. The restaurant is very clean and quite reasonably priced with a good menu. I've always had a hard time finding a decent restaurant in the Valley including Ventura Boulevard. This is a great find with a normal menu.
DO NOT EAT HERE!!!!. My fiance and I went here the night that we got engaged and had the WORST SERVICE EVER!!! I even too the time to write the manager and partner/executive chef feedback on our experience and NEVER HEARD A WORD BACK! It has been over a month and I will not be returning to this restaurant. Our order was put in wrong, or serve never even asked us ANY questions- we had a more cheerful attitude from the busser, and the restaurant was empty all around us. You would think being the only people sitting in our section that maybe it wouldn't take 20 minutes to get waters. Plus it put a huge damper on a night that was supposed to be wonderful. IF YOU WANT TO BE TREATED WELL, DO NOT, DO NOT GO HERE!! The food is good and if that is all you care about then go, but when I go out to eat I expect as least a smile. I worked in the restaurant industry for many years and know that the response we received from the server as well as upper management is not acceptable - because of that I would not recommend spending your hard earned money on this establishment!
Excellent!. what a delight to dine here! Just went with friends and my child for dinner, they were completely accomodating to my 2 yr. old, had a delicious dinner and great wine list to boot! the place is spotless, and really elegant for a small restaurant. makes you forget you are on ventura blvd when inside!
Best Grilled Artichoke!. Really good foo, its fun to sit at the bar and order a few appetizers and some drinks. The grilled artichoke is delicious and so are the crab cakes.. nice atmosphere and the help are super nice. Very resonable prices, too
3 Strikes, They're Out! Bad Food & Service.
We've ordered delivery from Spark BevHills 3 times since receiving their menu in the mail. We were excited to find a restaurant nearby that delivered up scale food (what's better than not having to go out Saturday night, and instead have your filet mignon delivered to the door?).
Unfortunately the service and food quality do not qualify as 'up scale' and do not justify their up scale pricing.
First Order, Strike One:
April '09, we ordered 1/2 order of ribs and goat cheese stuffed chicken. I placed the order online, and within 10 minutes, they called to confirm. After an hour, I went to call them to check on the order, and I had 3 missed calls from Spark. The host said there was a problem w/ the card and he needed the info again-someone had typed the card number incorrectly during processing.
Also delivery guy couldn't find the apartment and had been circling around for 25 minutes looking for the building (its an easy building to find, on a corner lot 1/2 mile from the place). When the guy finally came to the door he was belligerent and apathetic, giggling when I asked how long he'd been driving around and if my food was cold. He also had no receipt for me (no receipt for a $65 meal???). I had to fight with the guy to get the copy of the receipt he had!
The food itself was bland and arrived COLD. The ribs were tender and came off the bone with a fork, though very fatty, and the 'garlic mashed potatoes' were made from instant potato flakes (I am a cook, and I know the difference-It's my job).
The goat cheese asparagus chicken & herb rice was bland and tasteless. The portion was tiny, leaving me hungry after finishing the plate. Gourmet food is appropriate to be served in small portions because it is supposed to be extraordinarily complex and filling- This was not gourmet or complex whatsoever.
Second Order, Strike Two:
May '09, we ordered the goat cheese chicken again (for lack of chicken choices on the menu) and NY steak. Again, the food got to us COLD!
The chicken was the same and the steak was overcooked (we'd ordered medium and it came well done). The steak came with a 'smashed potato'- a baked potato that had been smashed with a fork. No spices, no flavor, etc...And not enough gravy came with the steak to dress the potato. (At least it was a real potato) In all, the steak, chicken and their accompaniments were bland.
Third Order, Strike Three:
We had an out of town guest, and decided to order again from Spark. COLD food, again!
This time I again ordered ribs, filet mingon and our guest had a Cheeseburger. The ribs were the same, but, the steak was grossly UNDER cooked this time (ordered medium, and it came to us rare) and there was no smashed potato with the steak this time- It was more potato buds. The cheeseburger, our guest claimed, was no better that a Fatburger.
Our bill, was over $85 for a burger, a steak dinner, and ribs.
We've had 2 rounds with Spark, and won't be ordering again. I'd recommend skipping Spark, or seriously lowering your expectations.
The Juice. This was a great place to take my family for some meat. The grill made everything taste great. the only thing was the vegetables seemed old and re used??
Great Menu, great foo~d! Good spot to take out of town friends. Spark is consistently good food with great service and nice setting. I've taken friends from out of town for dinner, mainly because we have always had a great meal and nice evening... The fish specials are always winners~
Wonderful experience. A wonderful experience from beginning to end. My husband and I enjoyed dinner at Spark for the first time last week to celebrate his birthday. I was able to make a short notice (same day) reservation on Open Table. When I called the restaurant a few hours later to confirm, they had everything including my special seating request that was "no problem" to accommodate. Even when I called 15 minutes before our reservation letting them know we were running about 15 minutes late, they were extremely friendly and thanked us for the notice. Everyone at the restaurant was friendly and the service was excellent. Our beverages were constantly filled (a pet peeve of mine). We started our meals with two appetizers -- the fried calamari and the buffeleta mozzarella caprese salad. I enjoyed a lovely Lemon Drop cocktail while my husband went with the non-alcoholic version (a lemonade). Hubby went for the manly "cowboy" 20 oz bone-in ribeye steak with the Maytag bleu cheese topping. I showed some restraint and tried the daily special sea bass with jasmine rice instead of the mashed potatoes. Both entrees were flavorful and filling. We hadn't planned on having dessert but our server must have overheard me say it was his birthday and she brought us a complimentary tiramisu to end the evening. I have to say, generally I dislike Tiramisu because most places drown it in alcohol or just too much liquid in general. But this tiramisu was just wonderful. It was light, creamy, and the lady fingers were NOT mush. The cocoa powder dusted over the top mellowed out the coffee flavor, and we ate the whole thing. We definitely recommend Spark for a great dinner in a casual atmosphere.
Outstanding restaurant!. Last night was my second time at Sparks and will not be my last. The ambiance is fabulous, the service outstanding, and the food second to none. The waiter and bus boys were never too far away, I never needed to wait for my glass to be re-filled. Even the manager checked on us several times. With cocktails, drinks, desert, and a well deserved 25% tip, the bill came to about $75 a person which considering the great time we had was a BARGAIN! Keep up the good work folks.
Great Fillet Minion. I went here for dinner with my friends and we had a great time. We got a margherita pizza as an appetizer and it was great for a simple thin crust pizza. I also got the fillet minion for dinner and it was delicious. It was cooked perfectly...very tender and juicy. Overall we had a great experience. The restaurant is fairly small and intimate. I definitely recommend it as a date place.
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