While LA.com took a serious shine to Shereen Arazm's new Parc in Hollywood this weekend---calling it "the best place ever" even---we got an email from a very disgruntled guest who also happened by the new restaurant/lounge on its opening night. As with any restaurant getting its feet wet, early criticism should be taken with a grain of salt. But it's always worth a listen:
I had the "privilege" of eating there on "opening night" last Friday. Arrived for a 9:00 reservation with three other friends, and were promptly seated at a rear table in a 3/4's empty restaurant directly under an air vent liberally eminating arctic air. Tyra Banks & Co. were seated at the booth directly next to us but they left shortly after we were seated (well, at least Parc is on the celebrity map). The space is very nice and modern and the zebra-wood tables are impressively stylish. But that's about where my praise ends.
The story continues:
For starters, Parc, which ostensibly bills itself as an oyster/cavier/champagne bar is not quite that, or at least not yet. In fact, there were no oysters and caviar on the menu. Our friendly, but utterly vapid waitress, informed us that the "oyster/caviar" thing is a "future direction we'd like to take the restaurant" but presently they were not geared up for same. O.k., no problem, let's see what's on the menu--ahh, the ubiquitous "small plates" genre. Not what I had wanted, but there were some interesting, promising choices: Kobe sliders, spring rolls, sea bass in a clay pot, chicken/lamb skewars, artichoke cheese puffs--all in all we ordered about 11 plates, which ALL arrived at our table within 15 minutes. There was no pacing and in fact, no room on the table to accomodate all these items--literally there was not room for all the dishes. Apparently, the kitchen cannot accommodate requests for a more relaxed pacing because again, according to our actress, I mean waitress, the kitchen is nervous and "wants to make sure they don't get slammed." When we pointed out that there physically was no room on the table to accommodate the dishes, our waitress just shrugged. The servers are all very nervous and awkward and would benefit from some, I repeat, some training on how to facilitate the serving of small plates.It's really all downhill from there, but suffice it to say, this reader did not enjoy her meal. She didn't think the food was up to snuff (we'll be generous and add "yet"), and when Chef J came to the table to see how they were doing, the party sat silent. Crickets. There's never a good way to tell a chef to his face that his food isn't cutting it; but then again, we suppose she just did.
· Parc Life [LA.comfidential]
· The Dish: Shereen Arazm Opens Parc [Eater LA]