189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9003634.071734 -118.357143
Neighborhoods: La Brea, Central LA
Bad food and service – Okay, so I live right near the Grove and I stop by frequently to eat, shop, and go to the movies. I had never been to La Piazza, but the atmosphere looked nice and the menu looked good. My mom came for a visit and I suggested that we try it out. The good: we were seated promptly. Bread came right away but nobody bothered to fill our waters. We finally chased down a busboy, and he finally got around to filling them. Our waitress arrived a long time later to take our drink order. My mom and I each ordered a glass of wine and a salad. The waitress did not bother to write our order down, but I figured that since our order was so simple, she would get it right. Our salads arrived pretty quickly, but we still had not received our wine. Our waitress was no where to be found, so we flagged down a busboy to ask about our wine. He snottily said that he would go find our waiter.
Look, busboys and "other" waiters, we would not ask you if we had the option of asking OUR server.
Our waitress came by and said that the busboy said we wanted to order wine or something. Uh, yeah, honey, we ALREADY ordered wine. When the wine finally arrived, my mom's glass was coated with some sort of crust on the outside. My mom felt compelled to tell the waitress that she wanted a whole new glass of wine, not just a new glass. (Yes, it was that filthy).
My $17 salad was just okay and was WAY overdressed, but I was afraid that if I sent it back I would never get to eat.
Basically, for $54 for two for lunch, I expect top notch service, good food, and clean glassware. Both my mother and I have worked as bartenders and waitresses. We understand the ins and outs of the job, and so we are quite forgiving. But this was just unacceptable. This place charges WAY too much money for what you get. I felt terrible because my mom insisted on picking up the check and it was I who had suggested the place. That's how awful it was.
Pleasant Atmosphere, Overpriced Flavor-less food – I had always wanted to try La Piazza because it looks so inviting from the outside. People sit and drink wine, people watch and have dinner on the outdoor patios. While the atmosphere here is nice, and the location couldn't be better (right next to the fountain) the food here is just not worth your time. I ordered the Spaghetti Puttanesca which could not have been any blander. (You would think tomatoes, capers, olives and onions would lend some flavor to the dish but there wasn't any!) My boyfriend ordered a pasta dish with a four mushroom sauce and had a similar experience. When I tasted his pasta I couldn't believe that both of our dinners could be so wimpy on flavor. One dish is forgiveable, but two? The wine here was good as was the bread, and our server was pretty attentive but I won't go back for this unstimulating cuisine.
Good food, and horrible customer service. – Went there last night. Awful experience!!!
We had needed a table for 4, and two of us were there, while the other two in my party were parking the car.
They said they had tables available, but couldn't seat us until our entire party was there.
So we were standing there waiting in front of about 10 empty tables. It was silly to keep us waiting.
We told the hostess that we were cold, and asked if we could please sit at a table. She said "nope," - Just like that!
So then she continues to talk to the second hostess about this guy she is "head over heels about.." and how she can't decide who she likes more between two guys she is dating, and the pros and cons of each.
I couldn't believe that she was acting as if we weren't there. It was so unproffessional.
So we asked to speak to the manager - who was also a snob.
He said that it is "our policy not to let customers sit with out the entire party." Which was fine, but what about the tackyness of the hostess and how rude she was to us. The manager said that she following policy.
Completely backed her. I am all for a manager backing his employee, BUT she was completely rude.
They were a bunch of snobs really. I guess they dont care about customer service, because they have so many customers anyway.
Mall food – Let's face it, sometimes you do have to go to the Grove, mostly to see a movie. However, because you are only steps away from the Farmer's Market, there is certainly no need to actually eat at the Grove! La Piazza has nice outdoor seating on two levels overlooking the dancing waters. It is a pleasant place to sit and enjoy a beverage, but once the food arrives, things go downhill fast. When my plain caesar salad inadvertently arrived with grilled chicken on it (hey these things happen, I understand that), my server kindly offered to "scrape off the chicken for me*. Unbelievable. In doing so, he also scraped off the parmesan shavings; after realizing this, he brought them out separately on a plate. He may as well have trashed the whole salad, it was so uninspired. Dressing from a plastic jug? Check. Croutons from a factory? Check. People, the Grove is a mall dressed up as a street. At the mall you get mall food --'nuff said.
Good Location, Bad Everything Else... – Yesterday, I took my parents here for a Father's Day lunch -- since they live across the street from the Grove, I thought it'd be nice to just walk to a 'nice' Italian restaurant. Well, the people are nice enough, our waiter was nice enough, and so was the hostess -- who was wearing a saxy, tight, form-fitting dress (and showing her delicious cleavage)... but the service is just not there. I'm not even a demanding person, I'm less demanding than 90% of restaurant-goers... but waiting so long to have our orders taken, and waiting another eternity to get the check, and then the change... by the way, they somehow 'ran out' of Caesar salad, which is no big deal -- I don't care much for salad anyway... but does it possibly give insight into the management of La Piazza? As a former restaurateur, my question is how could the management not know when they're running low on romaine lettuce, or caesar dressing, croutons (or whatever it was they ran out of), in order to restock? The waiter seemed surprised by this as well when he informed us -- but hey, being this is L.A., maybe he was practicing his acting skills. By the way, the food that we did get -- was nothing exceptional. For the price, it was frighteningly mediocre. The dish I got, some sort of veal ravioli... was one of the most expensive pasta dishes on the menu (if not the most), and came with 8 or 9 thin raviolis. Being a guy who weighs 200+ lbs., I wasn't stuffed after finishing. I tried some of my sister's pasta, and it was very average -- tasted about one or two steps above Chef Boyardee pasta. Well -- I hate to rag on a restaurant so much since I know how tough it can be to manage one... but this whole concept... their whole restaurant *thing*, whatever it is -- it just doesn't work for me. Too pricey, below-average service, below-average food, below-average portions... the only positive things are the good location and the people who worked there, who are friendly (for the most part).
Nice atmosphere – Had a girl's night out at the piazza. They charge extra for service if the part is over nine I think it was. Their chicken pasta is very tasty, their mushroom pizza was average, and their white wine and has a nice taste. I had a seating outside and it had a very nice view of the Grove. I would recommend taking a jacket on cold days however, that night was busy and the service was a bit slow. But the surroundings are just amazing and perfect for the food.
Pleasant Grove eatery for pizza, patio dining and Italian panache. – In Short
In front of the Grove's central lake and fountain, this two-tiered restaurant's Italian charm is created by terra cotta accents and European melodies. Relaxed patio diners watch shoppers and couples in transit while dining on classic cuisine. Ortolana salad features goat cheese, baby lettuce and marinated eggplant. Pastas and pizzas include al dente penne with leeks, shiitake mushrooms and ricotta cheese, and thin-crust pies topped with artichokes and ham.
Ghastly olive oil – Unpalatable, bitter olive oil which was sent away, along with the bread plates and unfinished bread contaminated with it, and butter ordered. Waiter didn't bring new bread plates, and when asked for them, took them off the next table. Wait staff will not step aside to let you pass in a narrow aisle, just stares you down and crowds by you. When calling to make a reservation, was told they didn't take them; asking about opening time, was told "noon." Arrived at 11:45 a. m. to line up to be sure and get a good table to take in their really great view, and found that they opened at 11:30, and was seated next to two tables with "Reserved" signs. Grilled salmon salad was very good; bread good (but not with that awful oil); have also had decent meals prior. Service quite slow, although our waiter was nice enough.
Aggressive and poor management – Terrible and hostile service. I remember this bartender from another resteraunt. He actually said out loud to another fellow staff member that Latinos and Blacks were all the same. Being I am Latino, I never stepped foot in that resteraunt again. And I will not in this resteraunt! It was a big mistake! Terrible service and poor quality food...Yuck!
Great italian food! – I am italian and for me, dine at La Piazza, is like being at home.
I go there at least once a week and I have never been disappointed: I love the location, the service is always attentive and friendly and the management is very professional.
The food is excellent and really close to what you can find in a good restaurant in Italy. I recommend the rollino as appetizer, the pizza is like the original and all the pasta and risotto are always al dente.
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