Berkeley >Trattoria LA Siciliana
Big Disappointment to a once loyal fan. I was a loyal fan for the years after this place first opened and the brother's sister Julianna worked there. I hadn't gone in several years and lately went four times. The waiter still recognized me but I didn't recognize what used to be the best Italian food around. I kept going back to see if the previous bad meals were because it was just a bad night and unfortunately, after last night I will never return again. Jerry was the waiter during last month's bad meal. I ordered sauted calimari and found myself spitting out pieces of squid spine and the gel that is supposed to be removed during cleaning. On top of that the pieces of calimari were cut irregularly. Jerry came over and after my complaint offered to reheat it , which he did, giving me the same nasty dish back again. Last night, I ordered penne with Sicilian meatballs. Neither of the brothers was doing the cooking. Angelo brought in his little children and showed them off to the staff and some customers he knew and acted as a host after I had already been seated in one of the window seats. Made fresh and cooked to order? The meatballs tasted like they'd been in the fridge too long and the plate, which was microwaved long enough for most of the sauce to evaporate, was so hot I got a facial waiting for it to cool long enough for me to eat. I think when other employees are learning to cook in the place of Jerry and Angelo, allowances should be made and compensation for complaints should be forthcoming. I didn't bother to complain because I didn't want to waste my time with whatever insignificant consolation I might get. I went there to have freshly made food and got leftovers that were microwaved. Too bad. I really loved this place in the past.
Awesome Siciliana Food.
Exceptional. My favorite is Penne Ariabata. Folks, this is a guaranteed winner if you have some family or friends in town for dinner. The atmosphere is lively and fun.
I've lived in the area and have come to this restaurant for more than 10 years.
Note, bring cash (only, don't be scared) and be prepared for great food.
Overrated Italian and the worst customer service of my life.
Then the waiter comes by while my boyfriend is at the ATM and barks at me, "You ready to order." I give him a, "you're freaking kidding right?" grin and say no we're not ready to order. He turns mid-sentence to walk away and I have to stop him to tell him I am, however, ready to order drinks. He begrudingly takes the drink order and leaves. It is then a good 15 minutes before I see him again and when he does come by to take the order his table side manner is less than stellar.
40 minutes later my boyfriend's meal finally comes out. Mine arrives a solid 15 - 20 minutes after that. During those 15 - 20 minutes the hostess, waitor, busboy and runner can clearly see I'm annoyed that my food is not at the table and my bf has finished (I urged him to eat so his $13 gnocchi wouldn't go cold).
The waitor and runner, rather than coming over, only signal at me that it'll be just one more minute. When the food arrives, I let the waitor know that I'm upset and clearly there must have been a mistake and I don't think I should have to pay for my food as I've now been waiting a solid hour and my bf is done.
He then says IT'S NOT HIS FAULT - IT'S THE CHEF'S?!?
To which I retort well if it's not your fault and it's the chef's then perhaps it would be best if I speak with the manager.
The manager - who turns out to be the owner, Jerry - comes over to see what the problem is. I explain to him that I've been waiting and I don't feel as though I should pay for my meal. He informs me that this is how his restaurant runs and everything is family style, and they only have one chef so things come one at a time.
I say to Jerry, that's fine, but no one told me this when I came in, and it's not my responsibility to know how he runs his establishment - it's his responsibility to educate new customers. Perhaps having a better wait staff might do the trick.
Jerry then says he absolutely cannot comp my meal because he works 9 hours a day and has to send money back to his mother in Sicily and support his kids, and that if I don't want to pay for my meal he can take it away. He also tells me that Trattoria la Siciliana is the number one rated Sicilian restaurant in the Bay Area and everyone knows how things work there.
I simply say to him, "So your only solution to this problem is to take my meal away and not charge me??" Jerry then offers free dessert and wine I inform him that he can keep his dessert (but took the wine) and tell him that the only solution is for him to loose a returning customer (which will actually hurt him. This month alone I've spent close to $1500 on eating out. I love going out to dinner).
After the exchange my boyfriend is so upset he's shaking and I lost my appetite. After a few bites of average italian pasta I ask the busboy to box up the food and give me the bill. I paid Jerry his $13 for my meal because clearly he's going to need every penny he can get his hands on if that's how he insists treating new customers.
Just to let you know, I left the food on top of the garbage can outside the restaurant. Hopefully, somone else can enjoy $13 of bullsh*t.
Jerry if you're reading this (and I hope that you do) here's some constructive feedback for you:
1. The customer is always right.
2. A simple "I'm sorry and thanks for the feedback, I'll keep it in mind," would have immediately calmed the situation.
3.Offering me a free glass of wine and dessert combinded cost more than my actual meal - so why not just give me what I'm asking for?
4. I wish you, the kids and your mother the best of luck you're going to need it. However, please keep in mind the next time you trot out your sob story to an upset customer, that your customers work just as has hard, have a families to support and have chosen to spend their hard earned money in your restaurant. If you demand respect from your customers then you should at least give them some as well.
In short. I will never go back to this restaurant again.
The Worst. Tratorria does not value your business. Made a reservation 2 weeks in advance. Arrived early and was told they did not have our reservation. When the hostess told the manager she smuggly replied ,"That's what everyone says". The hostess was embarassed and said she would try to seat us asap. We waited over and hour and when hostess said it would be an additional hour and a half we left. I asked to speak to the manager and she would not come out. Don't frequent this restaurant, they don't value the business, and the seating it so crowded I would think the fire marshall would take exception. Read how many reviews say the same thing.
If you want rude service with no smiles, this is the place!!. Went there last evening with friends. After telling the hostess we had reservations, we were kept waiting for over an hour. We decided to sit on the bench inside and my friend ordered a glass of wine. The waitress/manager took her order (rudely and without a smile) and while we were waiting for our table, made us feel as if we were in the way and a bother. After being seated, our waiter asked if we knew about "family style". Of course we do--we've been there about 8 times already. It seems as if every single time they always try to push the "family style". We found out that they usually 1 1/2 times the portion, charge you an outrageous amount, and the portion isn't really that much larger. We had a diabetic at our table who couldn't eat pasta and wanted his own seafood dish. Our waiter (again, another rude and not smiling person), obviously wasn't happy with our decision. Now, for the best part. We ordered 2 desserts to share and the waiter came back and asked us if we were sure we didn't want 3. I'm beginning to think they want to "up the total bill". At the end of the evening, my friends were disappointed and I was embarassed. The food is good but the service lousy. I don't think we'll be back.
Absolutely Brutal!. Was part of a party of eleven last evening. We were told that we could not order individually due to the kitchen only having four burners. The waiter was rude and when we asked if we could order individually, he brought one of the owners. She gave us the same song and dance. Quite rude. When we finally ordered, the food was poor at best. Several mistakes were made as well. To top it off, the place only takes cash and adds 20% for large parties even though the food and service were brutal. The place was quite busy which proves that there is a large group of consumers that just don't get good food. Never again! Check out some of the other poor reviews.
Gritty Pesto. I am not kidding..
I have been going to Trattoria La Siciliana for years--it was my favorite Italian restaurant in the Bay Area. Three years ago, I moved overseas. I would dream of the Gnocchi Alla Norma and the Pesto Penne, and couldn't wait for my yearly visit to Berkeley to partake of the wonderful food there.
After three years of fantasizing, I took my European partner and some friends to the Trattoria. I found the food not just mediocre, but completely inedible. The creamy, garlicky, flavorsome pesto I remembered was reduced to something resembling a gritty pea soup!! It felt and tasted like I was eating sand. When I notified the waitress, she said that perhaps the basil was not properly washed (which completely grosses me out already), and nicely offered to replace it. The second portion of pesto was exactly the same--absolutely inedible. I again complained to the waitress, who then offered something completely different. The Gnocchi Alla Norma she brought was hastily prepared, watery, and bland. We felt that because the restaurant messed up three times, we should at least be comped that dish, but we ended up paying for the whole thing.
I was very disappointed--the food was definitely not what I remembered!. My partner, who spent every summer in Italy, quipped that after living in Europe, I now know what proper Italian food tastes like! Despite the nice service we received, I don't think we would be returning to Trattoria La Siciliana again. But I will always remember it for all the great times I spent there with my girlfriends, and for the former glory of its food...
Awful, Over-rated, Hard To Believe It Is So Popular.
I think all the five-star reviews must be made by either paid PR people or diners who traveled in from Walnut Creek and, as such, know nothing about food.
I go by this place all the time, live in the neighborhood. There is always a crowd, usually young, out front.
The other night I was starving, walked by, it was very slow, so I thought I would see what the hubbub was about. I ordered a Cesar salad and a braised/roasted (not sure) lamb shank.
The salad dressing was almost pure vinegar, over salted, and barely edible. The lamb was dry and tough - and that is hard to do with lamb! Lambshank should be falling off the bone. I am a very good cook, and I love eating good food, but it was nowhere to be found that night. I have a friend who owns a biz in the same block. She is a better cook and bigger food-lover than me, and she panned the place when I asked, laughed when I told her I ignored her and dined there anyway.
The bill, with a bottle of water, came to $40 ... absolutely ridiculous. Of course, the food was so bad, any price would have been ridiculous. Want a much better meal for less than half that? Try Filippo. Or a much better meal for 3/4 that price? A Cote.
Trattoria La Siciliana is a friggin' JOKE.
don't order the ribeye. soup was good,wine was good but the ribeyesteak turned out to be a greasy overcooked and battered piece or ordinary meat, definately not a proper steak... bummer
Best I've had in the Bay Area.
I've been a customer at this restaurant for years and my experience has always been fabulous.
Sometimes the wait is a little long, but is it worth it? ALWAYS! Fact is, they are magicians working to prepare food for so many people, in such a small kitchen, so being upset about waiting is ridiculous.
Spedeini, Rusticana alla Gamberoni, and the Pesto are the absolute flagships in my opinion,
however I haven't had anything I didn't like either. The dipping Oil is hard to stop eating with the bread and I usually pick up a bottle if they have any left. Advice....If you're in a hurry let the chef order for you and you 'll
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