like phone conversation, big tipper, amazing view, not that great food, great selection food, horrible food service, great solid service
Underperforming and Over priced. As a resident of Playa Vista, it is unfortunate that our only dining option is Piknic. It is way over priced considering the quality (or there the lack of) of the food. The service is VERY inconsistent (sometime good, most of the time bad). I have vowed not to go to Piknic ever again. And I hope that you take my recommendation so that this place will "go away" and we can get a real restaurant in Playa Vista!
So SAD So BAD.
I am sorry to say that given the cute decor and neighborhood location I will never return. After two bad experiences at this place....The first being they forgot the order twice and after an hour waite with only three other customers in the place. Overall Poor service the worst ever and horrible food to follow.
Never again !
So close, yet so mediocre.
The ambience of Piknic is fantastic. They offer a nice balance of cozy and modern, a welcoming bar, and a fun outdoor dining area. Many reviewers noted problems with the service. Although dodgy when they opened, I've found the staff to be courteous and professional. Sometimes when busy, they might not be as attentive as one hopes, but they're not rude or delinquent, just overworked. It is a family-run restaurant, and a son is the manager. He is a pleasant host who recently hired a magician to perform (not cheesey, the magician was really good). They also plan on having live music in the near future. They're making the effort to create a fun neighborhood joint.
That having been said, I have two main issues with Piknic. One, they're overpriced. From food to drinks, one assumes they're on the cusp for a Michelin star. If they were, or even if the food was inspired and fresh, I could rationalize the many menu items over $20 and the cocktails in the $10 range. Unfortunately, and this is my second issue, the food is far from deserving of these prices. Nothing on the menu is spectacular, and many items are lousy. I've had fried calamari where the batter is still soggy, hamburgers that could break windows, a steak dinner where both sides were spinach dishes (a quiche and a wilted sautee, such originality), a sandwich with bread that had the consistency of leather, a mac'n'cheese dinner that included bay shrimp so that the entire dish tasted like canned seafood, crab legs that had been frozen (as, I fear, are many of their items), etc. I have no confidence in the chef there, neither in regards to concern for quality or just plain ability (bay shrimp in mac'n' cheese?).
In summary: great ambience, solid service, but after dinner the only thing that'll make you feel like you went to a great restaurant is the exorbitant bill. I like Piknic, but unless they improve the food or lower the prices, they'll be hurting when other restaurants come to Playa.
Not good at all. Don't waste your money..
For starters, the location of Piknic is ideal since we live in Playa Vista. From the very opening of this restaurant, my girlfriend and I have had problems. Just overall bad. For the price the food is not that great. The service is dismal to say the least. My girlfriend will never go back. But I have gone in with a buddy to grab a beer at the bar and a quick appetizer. There was only 2 reasons that I did go back in the first place. #1-Location. #2-The bartender is from Detroit (where I'm from) and is totally cool. And he recognized me the 2nd time I came in with my buddy for a beer. Plus he bought us a round. I'm a big tipper when taken care of. And he has always been cool.
But here is the "tip of the iceberg." This morning 11/10/07 my girlfriend and I woke up and wanted to have bloody mary's and breakfast. I begged her to give Piknic's another try (actually, today would have been the 4th time she was going to give it a try.) So we called the restaurant @ 10:06 am to find out if they had bloddy mary's. The following is exactly what my phone conversation was like.
Me-Hi, are you serving bloody mary's right now?
Piknic-Umm....I'm not sure if we have those. But the bartender isn't here yet. He doesn't get here until 11:00.
Me-So you're saying that you don't serve any alcohol until 11:00?
Piknic-Can you hold on a second?
1 minute later..
Piknic-Yea, the bartender doesn't come in until 11:00, so we can't serve alcohol.
Piknic-Umm, cause it's like the law.
Me-Where in Playa Vista?
Piknic-Umm. Yea. It's like that like everywhere. It's the law. Like in the entire country.
Me-That makes no sense. Alright, thanks.
15 minutes later, we were @ Tony P's Dockside Grill in Marina Del Rey enjoying bloddy mary's while looking at the amazing view of the Marina. Piknic's needs to train their staff on phone skills, and update the receptionist on the current drinking laws of the "entire country."
I will never go back.
Great start for the area. Seeing that there are few options in the area for a neighborhood restaurant...Piknic is a winner to me. I've been there twice and both times were enjoyable. Casual atmosphere, good food, friendly service. I had the snow crab legs and sweet potato fries. both YUM. I can't try anything else on the menu because I enjoyed them so much...and didn't have to travel beyond 10 minutes to get the experience. I don't expect fine dining and I don't think Piknic is trying to do that. it feels like an upscale neighborhood joint in an area that's trying to come into its own. Relax, by a bottle of their $24 pinot (yum) and just enjoy a new addition to this side of town...save complaints for hollywood and chi-chi LA spots.
nice decor, good service, boring-to-bad food.
I had dinner here with a friend last night. The place is well-appointed and chic on the inside, so I was pretty stoked. My friend ordered penne and I was looking forward to my medium-well-done Niman Ranch half-pound burger with sweet potato fries ($1.00 extra). Our server was named Laura, and she was very nice and very attentive (and cute too, which didn't hurt.) My friend liked her pasta. However, my burger was burned- there was a crusty shell of carbonized grill marks encasing the top half of the patty. It had no flavor and wasn't juicy at all. It's one thing to murder a regular burger but this was Niman Ranch beef (well, supposedly anyway) which I was particularly hoping to enjoy because I rarely eat burgers. The sweet potato fries were completely unremarkable. I'm 99% sure they came out of a bag. Whoever is running that kitchen needs to watch Top Chef or something.
They also ran out of desserts and only had two choices, both of which we turned down. Later, after we left, I developed a mild stomachache.
So to sum up: not so much with the good.
Good Basic Food - Good Addition to the Neighborhood. We have been here several times and tried breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their breakfasts are great; there are some healthy alternatives on the menu which is a plus. The menu as a whole is pretty eclectic so there really is something for everyone from red meat eaters to vegetarians and everyone in between. I noticed quite a few people complaining about the service but every time we have gone the service was great. The one thing I would stay away from is the mojito; the other specialty drinks I have tried were good however. The prices are reasonable and it is about time that someplace like this opened in this neighborhood.
Worst Service Ever!. After months of wanting to try Piknic, my girlfriends and I were finally able to have lunch there. I had read all the reviews on how bad the service was. We decided to give it a shot anyway. I just figured it was a new restaurant that had not quite worked out the kinks. Well, there are a lot of kinks to work out still!! The decor is really cute, and I think the outside tables are adorable. That is where the compliments end, unfortunately. I ordered a Peanutbutter Banana smoothie that never came. I ordered a 1/2 sandwich, chicken tortilla soup, and a salad. The busboy brought out split pea and when I asked him what it was he said, "It's split pea soup. We are out of Chicken Tortilla, so you will have to eat this." WHAT??? Was I in the twilight zone? I told him no, I did not have to eat it, and he needed to take it back and get my waiter. I was stunned and irritated (on top of not getting my smoothie), that #1 they did not inform me they were out and in turn ask me what I would like to substitute instead. #2 that I was told I would have to eat it. So then the busboy tells the waiter that I will not eat the split pea and I would like to talk to him. He looks right at me, then goes the other direction. 10 mins later he finally shows up at our table!!! He did substitute french fries for the soup, but why didn't they just ask me from the beginning. My girlfriend ordered crab legs, which were cold. She never got the extra dressing she asked for for her salad. The ham in the ham sandwich I had was fried, greasy, and full of fat! I am usually forgiving of service, especially at lunch time, but this was downright ridiculous. I am soo disappointed in Piknic. I wanted it to be a new favorite lunch spot, now it is a been there, done that place!
Great Staff & Yummy Martinis. I love their Sweet Potatoe Fries. Great Staff, Great Ambiance, Yummy Martini's, Cute Patio Seating!
WE'LL NEVER EAT HERE AGAIN! TERRIBLE SERVICE!. We were so excited when a NEW restaurant opened in the area. The decor is great and the menu looked appetizing. However, after 5 attempts to like this place...we have given up! The service is atrocious! Every single time we have eaten here, the experience has turned out very disappointing. The food is decent, but the service, or lack thereof, fails to deliver! Our orders are usually screwed up one way or another, and it always takes much too long to get your latte order. Once it arrived an entire 30 minutes after it was ordered. It's too bad. We won't eat there again. Hopefully, one day the owners will realize that it takes more than swank surroundings and a nifty menu to keep customers coming back. It takes CUSTOMER SERVICE and restaurant know-how, which is clearly lacking at this joint!
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