Saturday, August 21, 2010
So I heard from Ms. Lin that a new restaurant was having a great deal for their Grand Opening. Spire was offering $1 oysters and Free bubbly to celebrate until they run out. Sounds great, no? Well they were HORRIBLE! The only time I blog super fast, especially when I am sick, is when I love love the place or am super pissed... Guess which one? O=D
They were super busy which was great for a grand opening and we got ourselves a nice seat in front of the guy shucking oysters! At first I thought, LUCKY! The guy talked to us and was friendly. I was feeling the vibe and it seemed like it would be a great start of the night. The server came by and took our order. All was going fine. I watched as the guy kept shucking and kidded with him about how I want to steal the tray of oysters. In retrospect, I should've taken them all for myself!
So... time goes by.... it just gets worse and worse. Trekkie and I sat there trying to chat through the loudness, which was fine. As we continued catching up... time is slowly passing by. No drink.. no order... no server... everyone is running around with their head cut off. Albeit that is to be expected on opening night and I wasn't too upset. We just sat there and chilled.... almost an hour goes by.... nothing... nobody to take an order for food or getting our drinks.... we've been ready to order when he took our drinks but nothing.... We are just watching the guys shuck the oyster. Finally the server comes back to take our order... we said we wanted to start out with just a dozen oysters... he tells us that the kitchen just 86-xed the oysters... we are like what?? Keep in mind they opened at 4:30 PM and we were there by 5:30 PM... within a 2 hr window for their opening night celebration they ran out? WHAT? That is super poor management and the fact that I sat there watching the guy shuck for an hour and nothing??? This is what's worse, the people next to us came in after us and the guy took their order a few minutes before us got oysters and were DENIED! WHAT THE EFFFFF! We have been there for an hour and got nothing?
At this time I was more annoyed but not really angry... we ordered a few appetizers to try out. It really bothered me that the people next to us got their food and had oysters! What? Then we just sat there... I think the appetizers we ordered came out before the drinks! The worse part was the drinks were FAIL! Trekkie got a Cadillac Margarita and they suggested the South End Vanilla Latte. I left my drink there. It was just a coffee liquor with probably bad Vodka... or that is what it tasted like. Trekkie wouldn't even finish my drink and he just drank his, which he thought was nothing special.
Oddly enough they have Three Baked Oysters with Spinach and Garlic Shallot Cream. The server was confused but came back from the kitchen and said they were good. This was actually the last appetizer to come back because it takes time to bake. I drizzled it with lemon juice and ate the oyster first... **crunch!** OMG there's rock salt in the oysters itself?? Chewing continues.. **CRUNCH** Even though I was being super careful, owwww! I regret ordering this and the worst part was I wanted this dish. I didn't even bother consuming another one.
We decided to try the Two Beef Short Rib Sliders with Horseradish Cream, Arugula, and Pickled Onions. The meat was not badly cooked, but the flavor was just alright. Trekkie left most of his bread on the plate, not a good sign. I am really glad we decided to get the Shrimp Ceviche. It was the only redeeming factor. I loved loved loved this. They actually use barely cooked shrimp with avocado and jalapenos accompanied with tortilla chips. Both Trekkie and I noticed that we only got 2 tortilla chips while everyone got 3. I didn't really care but I guess he did because he wanted more lol! The citrus flavor was wonderful and really jazzed up the shrimp. One of the best shrimp ceviche I have ever had. For the longest time this was what made us happy...
The mood didn't turn sour really until the end. After finishing the 3 small plates, we just sat there. Even though we are in plain sight and near all the staff, it felt like we were off in a ragged corner that gets no service or anything. They had plenty of employees for a small place and it seemed like they didn't know how to work the machines? We were waiting for a while to get our check because we were ready to go. Trekkie had to work really hard in getting one of their attentions to even getting the check! We've had enough of the bad service, bad drinks, and bad food. Even after we put our cards out at the edge, right next to the computer station, no one took it. Finally we flagged down the guy to charge us, then more waiting. At this point the ceviche was no longer enough to save the experience. During our appetizers I actually discussed how I want to return Saturday to catch the deal. Slowly... I noticed all their faults as we sat there bored and getting more annoyed. I was astonished to hear from Trekkie, "I am actually hungrier than before I came here!" Poor him! I feel bad exposing him to such a travesty! He wasn't even hungry to begin with but after this meal he was ready to wash this horrid experience away with some real good food. What really bothered me is that we were there early and they ran out? If you plan to offer a "SAID" special of $1 oysters and free bubbly, you should provide! This is your "grand opening" but I feel that this was just a ploy or just really POOR management. Either way it was sad and disappointing. We questioned why they didn't give us a normal menu to order oysters... still .. as a "promotion" you should have at least enough to last for more than 2 hours! Trekkie even asked the server about the bubbly and he never even came back. This is probably one of the rare times that I actually suggest a lower tip because it was just such a bad experience. As soon as I left the restaurant, I called up Ms. Lin to tell her how horrendous it was. You don't show a woman oysters the whole time and give her none! In the 2 + hours we were there... we only got 3 appetizers and finally 2 drinks... Poorly done... I am writing this for my readers to warn them about the false advertisement to entice customers. Just go to Hog Island for Happy Hour. It is about the same wait with better oysters, better service, and ACTUALLY give oysters that they promised!
685 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107