Flora Restaurant in Oakland has been one of my favorite eateries in Oaktown for some time, but after last night, not anymore.
As I write this, it’s Oakland Restaurant Week, a kind of marketing effort to promote Oakland restaurants that choose to participate in the program ran by Visit Oakland.
So, in the act of doing my part for Oakland and Oakland Restaurant Week, I decided to go out for dinner. At first, I thought, I’ll go to Pican, then I re-thought that and figured I’d go to Pican on Thursday. Then, I remembered my great times eating at the bar at Flora, and being able to watch meals prepared from that perch.
Here’s a video of one of Flora’s chefs, Katlin, to show what I mean:
So, I walked into Flora looking for another great food experience like that one. I opened the door, and told the greeter that I wanted to sit and the bar. She smiled and said “go ahead.”
So I walked over and noticed that my favorite place at the bar was open, so I went over and sat down – and waited. And waited. And waited. I waited as a salad chef was tossing a salad in a bowl before me, but said nothing. So finally, I said to him “can I get some service by someone.” And he said that he wasn’t the person do so that, which I understood as he’s the chef, but he would get the waiter who’s supposed to be there.
So this man walks over from the other part of the bar, where it was taken with just about every seat filled, (which is one reason why I didn’t want to sit there, aside from my desire to see the kitchen), and rather than accomodate me, proceeded to interrogate me as if I was an intruder. “Why are you over here? Who told you to sit here?,” he said. I told him that I was allowed to walk over to that spot. “Well, I’m not serving here, I’m serving over there – they should have sat you there. I can serve you from there, or get you someone else, but it will take time.”
That was so out of line, that all I said was “That’s Ok, I’ll go somewhere else.” And I immediately walked out.
Flora has to remember to present its best face at all times when it’s open. And workers there must be instructed to be nice and accomodating to customers, and not mean and overbearing.
I walked out, and decided to go and visit my friend Michael LeBlanc and enjoy Pican Restaurants famous chicken and mac cheese dish.
I was treated with the basic respect anyone wants.
That should not be an issue.