In their defense, I saw the reviews on Yelp, and I went anyway…
I guess that’s on me but there are definitely some favorable reviews in there too, and I wanted to give River Rock at The Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City the benefit of the doubt. But I’m afraid they served up nothing but disappointment from the moment I walked through the door.
We were rather rushed out to our table on the patio. Probably because inside, it was empty and the buffet wasn’t done being set up yet. But then, the patio wasn’t set up either. The ground was wet, the tables weren’t set with anything except Tabasco and A-1 sauce (interesting sauce choices and hello? napkins, plates, silverware…), and there’s no decor outside anyway so aside from being next to a little lake, it was rather… ordinary.
A series of unfortunate events unfurled once the five of us were seated.
- We sat there for a long time before the waiter finally showed up. He was surprised to see us. It was incredibly awkward.
- Things came out slowly. First we got waters and then delightful little baskets of mini croissants with chocolate dipping sauce. But the plates, napkins and silverware didn’t arrive til later. So we stared at the delightful little baskets for a while, which was tortuous.
- Eventually our drinks came. Eventually sweetener and cream came.
- The food came and that was the biggest disaster. Everything was lukewarm or even cold. And one of our orders completely got by the server — he never put it in. He didn’t even seem apologetic about it. He came outside twice to ask my friend what she’d ordered as if she’d misplaced it and he was just trying to help her find it. She asked if he could just bring her a side of eggs and he walked away without acknowledging it leaving us to wonder if they were coming or not.
- He was inside doing lord knows what when she finally gave up, went inside, and asked for a side of eggs so she’d at least have something to eat. They came out quickly, actually, but were overcooked and buttery. I give her credit for eating them but I am sure she was famished by then.
- My dish came with a side of potatoes and a side of fruit. This is what my plate looked like:
- Yeah, that’s a slice of orange and half a strawberry.
- And this is what my eggs looked like inside:
- We asked for salt and pepper. It never came. One of my friends went inside to get it.
- We asked for drink refills that never came. Twice or three times we asked.
- We asked for to-go boxes (for the more edible items) that never came.
- The check came and we were so grateful to not have to wait for it, we put it all on one card just to expedite getting the eff out of there. I half expected (nay, I completely expected) that my friend’s last-minute eggs would at least be taken care of but no. No discount, no apology, not a word.
- Around us, I could see other tables waiting and food getting sent back. The only thing the server consistently seemed to be waiting on were the bottomless mimosas. Those things got refilled ad nauseam. Maybe their policy is that a drunk customer is the customer who doesn’t notice their food taking 35 minutes to show up.
On our way out, I couldn’t let our experience go unnoticed. I slipped inside and asked for the manager and told him our experience had been horrible.
“Like how?” he asked.
So I gave him this list as I’ve given it to you. And frankly, he didn’t seem to care. Or maybe he just wasn’t surprised. I still don’t understand how we got through that whole meal and never heard an apology.
All that said, because we enjoy each others’ company, we had a nice time. And, I guess, now we have a story to tell… and Yelp reviews to write.
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