Over the years, I have eaten here a couple of times. Not sure if a new owner/management has taken over, but there is something seriously wrong with the way they conduct their business. I have a group of 5-10 people that I dine with on a regular basis, and we frequent a lot of Laguna Beach spots. 6 weeks ago, I dined here with a group of about 8 friends. About an hour after leaving, I realized I had left my sweater on the chair in the restaurant. I called immediately, but was told that it was "too busy" for the guy that answered to look for it, and that if I wanted to talk to someone I could call the following day. I found it interesting, actually insulting, that they weren't too busy to charge me for my meal and take my money, but when it came to providing any type of customer service, I wasn't of value to them. Long story short, over the course of the next 5 weeks, I left 5 different messages with the girl that answers the phone during the day (not sure of her name, but same girl every time) requesting a call from the manager. In addition, I sent an email through the company website complaining about the lack of response, and even showed up there during the day--to find they were closed. NOT ONE of my phone calls was returned, and the email I can assume was promptly deleted upon receipt, as I never received a response to that either.
Tonight, I made the unfortunate mistake of returning with a group of friends, half of whom had never eaten there, for the half off Wednesday dinner. I was finally able to meet this elusive "manager" who told me he had never received my message and would look for my sweater. I had no hopes of it being there, and to be honest I am embarrassed for having given this place another chance--I guess I am a sucker for a half price menu. Sure enough, the service was a JOKE, the manager was a jerk, and after ordering two dishes and getting something completely different than I ordered, we left. Example, ordered sashimi salad, got seaweed salad, ordered eel & avocado handroll, got a spicy tuna handroll with a quail egg??? On my way out, I walked by the manager, let him know that after the way I was treated prior and the horrible service we as a group received, I would never be back. His response? "See ya."
I have a business degree from USC, currently getting my MBA, and have a deep understanding of the importance of customer service. Customer retention is critical, especially in an economy like this. Not one of the people in my party will be back. There is an often heard statistic that a typical dissatisfied customer will tell eight to 10 people about his or her experience. One in five will tell 20 or more (and thanks to the internet that number grows exponentially). I grew up in OC, spent 10 years in LA, and not ONCE in my entire life have I felt compelled to spend the time or energy sharing a consumer experience. While these losers don't deserve my time or energy, I can't NOT let people know about my experience, in the hopes that they won't have to go through the same. There are so many amazing restaurants in Laguna, with awesome service and great food. After reading other reviews I am obviously not alone, this place is just not deserving of your time or money.