El Compadre is no Friend of Mine

flaming.jpgFlaming Margarita’s aside, every time I’ve stepped foot in this restaurant on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood something has gone wrong. From multiple hour waits in the bar with plenty of empty tables available, mixed up entrees and unfriendly staff I’m taking the hint and going elsewhere.

The last time I went to El Compadre it happened to be Monday, so we got a table right away. Our waiter stopped by for a moment to say hello and took our drink order. He looked like a slick Fonzie from the seventies complete with unbuttoned shirt.

Drinks arrived and we sipped our flaming margaritas and munched on chips and salsa for 10 minutes or so before the Fonzie is back to take our order. In the meantime I noticed two guys have been seated at the table in front of us. I watch them get drinks and make their order before Fonzie comes back to check on us. I’m getting amused, because I’ve yet to have a positive experience here. Eventually we give our order and spend the next 40 minutes in conversation. In the meantime I watch the guys at the table in front of us get their food, start eating, get a bootie call half-way through their meal, quickly pay the bill and leave – before we can get a second drink. Then a nice Goth couple is seated at the bootie call table and they’ve got drinks before I can put a fork into my Mole Enchiladas!

Food finally arrives and I realize my enchiladas are mediocre. And I try to think of a reason to continue eating before throwing down the fork. Plates were cleared in a jiffy, but the check was nowhere in site.

The boyfriend and I then spent the next 30 minutes discussing the 4th, 5th and 6th dimensions before moving onto the moral implications of leaving the restaurant without paying. I wanted to leave that moment, I was willing to pay; but there was no check. How can you pay when your waiter forgets about you? I was ready to walk out and was building my case on why it was not morally wrong in this situation, when finally the check showed up. I was a little disappointed, but we paid the bill and were out of there.

Sorry El Compadre. I won’t be coming back, I can make flaming margaritas in my kitchen.

photo by shinyrobot via flickr

14 thoughts on “El Compadre is no Friend of Mine”

  1. I’ve always had good experinces there except for the last time the then-fiance and I ate there… everything was ok except they got her order wrong. oops!

  2. One of my biggest beefs is waiting to pay. A wonderful meal can be spoiled because of this. A bad meal becomes really, really bad when this happens.

    I have one foolproof method to handle a too-long wait for the check. Get up, pick up your things and head for the front door. Usually, you’ll have someone’s attention very soon.

    If you make it to the front without being stopped, don’t leave (because that would be theft), but wait there. Tell any employee within earshot that you want to leave. Become more adamant if required, though it rarely is.

  3. Agreed that you have to complain on the way out. You’re never going back but other people might. Maybe complaining will improve their chances.

    Of course maybe it won’t either.

  4. Way worse than the service at El Compadre is the food @ El Coyote on Beverly. Love the place, the vibe, the drinks but everytime I’ve been there either the food was horrible or I ended up getting sick later that night or the next day. This has happened to many people I know that have visited El Coyote as well. Crossed it off my list years ago.

    Not good. Astounds me that they still pack em in after all these years with all the negative word of mouth going around.

  5. Strange, I usually have good experiences there. Service is always a little slow but I’ve never had the check deal happen to me there. I have to admit that a late arriving check is one of the most annoying restaurant experiences so I am not suprised you are crossing them off your list. Did you tell management? Did they say anything? Try El Cholo’s, the one in downtown.

  6. I’ve had good experiences at the Compadre’s further east on Sunset in Echo Park. Both times I’ve gone, it’s been fairly quiet so my friends and I got plenty of attention from our waiter.

  7. thank you Coffe Burt, every opportunity needs to be taken to tell the city how much el coyote blows. it just amazes me that people go ape over that place.

  8. I’ll second Cindy’s comment. I have nothing but bad experiences at the original Hollywood spot, but the Echo Park location seems much better.

  9. Count me as one who goes sentimentally and nostalgically ape over El Coyote, thus it just amazes me that people go so crazy hating on the landmark.

  10. i know, el coyote hating is a losing battle. you all enjoy it and don’t worry, i won’t be the one hogging that table.

  11. I majorly endorse the food at El Cholo. Its not exactly a hip atmosphere, but I love it. However … downtown? There is no El Cholo downtown. There is an El Cholo in Koreatown, in Santa Monica, and in Pasadena. But not downtown. Though, I imagine westsiders think Koreatown IS downtown … unfortunately its about a 15 minute drive from downtown.

  12. Thanks everyone for your comments. I’ll be sure to check out El Coyote and compare it with my not so friendly Compadre. Ok, enough of the silly jokes.

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