After my fantastic dinner at Great White in Venice Beach the night before, I was ecstatic to introduce Ted to the Great White location on Melrose. As he’s incredibly busy (being a doctor does that), we’d had to wait two months to exchange birthday presents. So, at our appointed time and date, we arrived at the Gracias Madre host stand with excitement.
Upon our seating, I knew they’d read my desire for a beautiful table with a wonderful view of the restaurant when I reserved the table on Resy. Ted and I settled in, exchanged gifts, and began reviewing the menu. The host was great, the view was great, the interior design of the restaurant was beautiful.
It is here, that I must say, the restaurant peaked. The moments before our waitress, Maja, introduced herself and began the evening’s service was the best.
It all went down hill from there.
For the TLDR of it all, Great White Melrose had most atrocious service I’ve had in visiting all three Great White locations.
Our server was giving mid from the moment she first greeted us. When she asked us what type of water we wanted, I requested 5 mins for us to look and decide on our full order. I wanted to have a complete order of drinks and courses ready to set the vibe of the evening.
Apparently, my request for time wasn’t heard correctly. The server shot back: “So, flat water then?”
Annoying – but this was minor in comparison to what was to come.
Soon the server came back with our water and to take our order.
We both ordered the MEZCAL MARGARITA. But, this was after I accidentally said I wanted the CUCUMBER MARGARITA, then clarified that I wanted the mezcal choice. Randomly, our server stated that the mezcal margarita also had cucumber in it. But, the only difference was that it had mezcal.
No shit. That’s why I ordered it.
Next, we stated we wanted the DIAVOLA pizza (salami picante, local honey, mozzarella, smoked chili oil), the STEAK FRITES (garlic spinach, béarnaise) and the CHICKEN KEBAB (cucumber salad, woodfire pita, spiced yogurt).
We said the pizza. We stressed the pizza. When our waitress read our order back, we both thought we heard the pizza. That’s because we SAID WE WANTED THE PIZZA.
So, when our drinks came out, we assumed our pizza was next. But, what came next was the steak and fries alongside the chicken kebab plater.
This was rather confusing to the both of us. Was our pizza coming after our main courses? Was it coming at all? Did the kitchen forget? We looked around to ask our waitress. However, she’d disappeared after taking our order.
So, we ate our food and waited, looking around when we could.
Honestly, the steak tasted average, only made slightly better with the béarnaise sauce. I looked around to ask our server for a bit of salt and pepper.
She was – again – still nowhere to be found.
At this point, we both became frustrated. Ted waved down the first server we saw to ask about our about our pizza, another drink for my friend and where our waitress was. It had been close to 30 minutes and we hadn’t been checked on.
Magically, she immediately reappeared after we did this, which felt rather weird. So, Ted calmly and casually asked her about our pizza. He said that we’d ordered it – but it hadn’t arrived. So, we just wanted to know if it was still coming out, if the kitchen had forgotten about it, and what was going on.
Now, this is where things turned south.
She became incredibly defensive and hostile, actually blaming us and claiming that she repeated our order, stating we hadn’t said pizza.
My friend and I were shocked – we literally were JUST asking when our pizza was coming out and if it was ordered properly. Instead of faking like she cared, apologizing and even caring about being curious, she started blaming us.
Now, I’ve NEVER had a server argue with me about what was ordered. So, there’s a first time for everything in life.
She then attempted to changing her tune and said that she could put in an order of the pizza for us. But, after the what the hell is going on feeling I had, I didn’t even want to look at her face again.
But that time, the interest in the pizza and dining was over. I immediately lost interest in ordering another drink, staying another moment or even and being physically present in the restaurant.
Through being absent for the majority of our meal, blaming us for her not hearing part of our order correctly and general sub par vibe, she’d killed our interest in continuing our dining experience.
Ted, already tired after working two overnight shifts at the hospital, started fading. I saw this and truly tried to save the vibe of the night. But, couldn’t do anything about it because I also felt annoyed.
As a final insult, I noticed that after greeting the new patrons the table next to us, she looked at our table and walked away. Clearly, she’d seen I’d stopped eating my meal and was waiting for her to fake like she cared about us enough to ask if we needed anything al la if I wanted a box.
After she walked away, I internally rolled my eyes and – yet again – waved down another waiter to request a small box and do her job.
Note that we had to ask other servers to assist us twice, since our waitress couldn’t be bothered to.
Welcome to dining in West Hollywood. Except this isn’t a reality show – this is real life.
This was in stark contrast to the customer care and service that Gabrielle – my server at Great White in Venice – had given Amanda and I the night before. The difference was laughable.
By this time, both Ted and I were completely over it. We asked for our check. In prepping the Toast handheld to close us out, she asked if we had “downloaded the app”. When we said no, she tried to sell us on the app and how you instantly accrue points.
Hard pass. Saving money is one thing for customer retention. However, know what’s better? A server that gives a shit.
Tipping in Los Angeles is already outrageous, with the presumptuous tip selected at 20% at the Toast handheld they give you. When I saw this, I smirked. Ted and I left tip percentages that were appropriate to the level of service we’d received.
It was refreshing to convert to a European mindset for a few minutes, remembering that a gratuity percentage is not mandatory. It’s only a suggestion.
All this BS over something that could have easily been taken care of by actually managing tables and treating customers kindly?
But, I didn’t want us to leave the area on a soiled note. Immediately after, we went next door to Gracias Madre and had a much better experience for dessert.
It’s unfortunate as I loved my introduction to the brand at the Great White Larchmont location. I also loved sharing the Venice Beach location with Amanda. Each Great White location is beautifully decorated, with its own tones and vibe that fits where it is. Plus, I really wanted to introduce Ted to the West Hollywood location, as he had limited time off and has a stressful life.
But, between the cunty attitude of our specific waitress and the challenge of parking on Melrose Avenue?
It’s not worth it.
Hard pass. Next.
Great White – Melrose
8917 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, California 8917 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA