Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ford's Filling Station

I’m never going back to Ford’s Filling Station ever again.

I’d made dinner reservations at Cobras & Matadors in addition to Ford’s Filling Station because I couldn’t make up my mind on where I wanted to go. I decided to let my dining partner, who’d never heard of either, choose. Unfortunately, he chose wrong.

I was running late, and knew we were going to miss our 9:30pm reservations. I called C&M to cancel and got voicemail. Of course I did, it’s a decent restaurant and they were busy on a Friday night. FFS picked up on the first ring. They were more than happy to move our reservation back. After hanging up, I commented upon this and my dining partner said, “Maybe we shouldn’t have called the other restaurant first?” I laughed, sure that it would be fine. I was wrong.

FFS is in downtown Culver City, a formerly shady part of town that in the past several years has undergone a Renaissance of sorts and is now well-lit and mostly clean. When we arrived, I’d expected to see a gastropub of NYC's The Spotted Pig variety, and was surprised to see that it is an unremarkable in-line space between an alley and some sort of take-out joint.

We were seated quickly. The waitress rattled off the specials in the usual fashion, but I didn’t pay much attention because I’ve read Kitchen Confidential and now know better than to pay top-dollar for rotting leftovers. (And she was really pushing the Kansas City steak special, which proved to me that Bourdain is right.) After I told the waitress three times that I couldn’t eat a whole steak, I went with the lamb dish because it sounded complicated. My friend ordered scallops. We ordered a few cheeses to start with, and a bottle of wine off of the severely lacking wine list.

The cheeses were dropped off by another member of the wait staff as he was walking by. I thought it was customary for the waiter to point out which cheese was which. Apparently not. We simply played a guessing game. Not much later, our dinners arrived: my lamb, white beans and escarole and my friend’s….Kansas City steak special.

When we protested they took it away, leaving my dinner to cool as I waited for his. I may know nothing about wine, and only little more than that about food, but I do know customer service – and this place isn’t cutting it. Between the mediocre-to-poor service, lamb that resembled rope and wine that my dining partner described as “barely passable” we were far from impressed.

Total Price: $120 for two, exclusive of tip. This included 1 bottle of blah wine, 3 ounces of cheese, 1 mediocre and 1 barely edible entree. Needless to say, it’s overpriced as well.


briana said...

This being the case, you are formaly not allowed to marry Ford now... Change of plans, I'll start working on our new trajectory.

christianne said...

Though you have to admit, my plan to marry Ben Ford so I could inhereit both of his filthy-rich parents' money was pretty brilliant. Calista's little nutter Liam will probably get it all now.