861 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9006934.086849 -118.376340
Neighborhoods: Central LA, Melrose
Telephone Customer Service – It's Valentine's Day and I thought it would be nice to make reservations for two at the restaurant for tonight. To my surprise, when I telephoned the restaurant at approximately 1PM, the operator answering was extremely rude and unhelpful.
I asked how late today would they be open, and the operator said, "late." I asked how late is “late,” and she replied again with her abrupt response, “late.” When I asked if any reservations were available for today around 8PM, the operator asked, “reservations for what?” I was afraid I may have called an incorrect number to the restaurant, but the operator verified I was calling the correct place... (310) 652-5252.
I didn’t make a reservation, as the operator’s attitude may have been a strong indication as to what my meal or restaurant experience would have turned-out to be… a boorish experience. Oh well, I’ll enjoy my Valentine’s dinner elsewhere.
Overpriced Food and Bad Service - 50% Scam – This place was disgusting - first of all waited forever to get seated and there was no one in the place. Then they adveritse a 50% menu 5 nights a week which is a total scam. We got a $98 bill. They said its only certain items on the menu - funny how the menu doesnt state which items - this is robbery - this place will be out of business in no time - DONT GO - The manager was ruid and was too bust with his friends to help us
Wonderful descriptions but the food and drinks don't deliver – It had been a while since my last visit to Mark's restaurant, but with the 5 nights of happy hour, I thought it was time to return. I was wrong! Service was slow, which played in their favor because we waited so long for our drinks and bill that we just left without staying to complain. I ordered a chicken dish with sundried tomatoes and pine nuts, only it was cheap oven dried tomatoes and no pine nuts to be found. On a minor note, the drinks were listed at $9 but we were charged $10, which was not a big deal except it added to an already annoying evening. To sum it up: Service was slow, drinks were bad and overcharged, food was plain and with cheap (missing) ingredients. I won't be back.
Salty food, drafty patio with too much street noise and crowded tables. – My husband and I both had the beet salad and sea bass. The beet salad was not what I expected but was good. It was a mousse. The skin on the sea bass was tough and the fish itself somewhat mushy. It came on a bed of very very salty spinach. The service was good, but the patio room where we sat by the door was drafty. Apparently they remodeled since we were last there, but didn't really address the patio's problems with noise from the street and draftiness. There just aren't any good tables in the place to sit, because they are all crowed together. The booths are the best, but very difficult to get.
Last time I was here the food was salty and that was over a year ago. Adding salt to make food taste good is a sign of a below average chef, and at their prices, even with the so called half-off, it isn't worth it.
best restaurant around – I have been going to Marks for 20 years. I went to see Lea perform friday night. The food was fantastic, the music & singing was perfect and incredable and the service was outstanding!!
The worst service in the business... – My boyfriend and I decided to come to Upright cabaret (inside Mark's restaurant) to see Lea Michele perform her cabaret act. There was a $30 minimum food and drink requirement for the show. We started out with the trio of taste, which included coconut shrimp, chicken quesadillas, and filet mignon tacos. The shrimp were only ok (fairly tasteless, actually), the quesadillas were greasy and the tacos were nice and spicy. As the "waiter" put the appetizer plate on our table, he spilled the sauce for the shrimp in my lap! Not a good way to start out the evening. My boyfriend decided on the Kobe beef cheeseburger with the parmesan fries and I had the lamb chops. The burger was pretty good- lots of nice flavors. The parmesan fries were fantastic. I highly recommend them. The lamb I had was only ok. I asked for it medium rare and it came out more like rubber. The entire dish was overpowered by the minty polenta (basically, all I tasted was mint). The food wasn't even the worst part. I have never in my life had such horrible service in a restaurant. We were there for approximately 20 minutes before anyone even came over to talk to us. It took 45 minutes to get our appetizer and 1 1/2 hours for our entrees to appear. I already mentioned the lap spillage. We saw our waiter maybe a total of 2 times the entire evening. We also asked him for napkins to mop up the sauce in my lap, which never materialized. I know that the waiters at Mark's are hired basically for their looks, but they should still be able to do their job. I give them an F for service. Food gets a C (and that is generous).
Horrible food! – The only possitive thing about this place is the service, which wasn't that bad. The place felt cramped, and even though there was no music, it was very noisy: bad accoustics.
The bar is very tiny, which forces you to get a table, instead of having a drink and appetizers only at the bar. It was my first time to Mark's and as someone in my early 30s, I have never felt so young at a restaurant. Certainly don't go here when you're looking for a hip, young cute gay crowd. Go if you're older, gay, and like looking at barely 20 year old waiters.
But now to the food. HORRIBLE! We ordered 3 appetizers, and one entree to share between the 3 of us. The chicken tenders were tasteless, dry, only 3 small pieces, way to over fried, and not good at all. Get McDonalds chicken Nuggets instead. The Sasimi Tuna looked like a mess. Small, a few slices of tuna and LOTS of avocado. So much avocado that the tuna had more of an avocado taste then a tuna taste. The Calamari were very small small rings, and more fried dough then fish. The big plate had half of the plate filled with two sauces and a little bit of Calamari, most of it just lomps of fried, tasteless tenticles. The Salmon entree was pretty looking. At first the taste was good, but after chewing on it a bit more, it was too dry, and way too salty. My friend had a peer martini I tasted: not good. Their Monday night "deal": all food half price. We asked about this when we got the bill, cause it seemend a little high: the prices on the menu are already marked at half price, so you really don't get deal, but just a menu that is slighty cheaper then the regular one.
So, to recap: nice and fast service, which is good so you can get out as soon as you are able to eat the food or leave most of it on your plate. The worst quality of food in any restaurant I've ever been too!
Best Substitue for an Appetite Suppressant – Cheeky service by "hot" twenty-something waiters is the biggest draw at this dinosaur. The food was terrible: the meat loaf was rubbery and hard, like it had been microwaved! The replacement chicken (offered by the commiserating waiter) was tender but over-seasoned and ultimately appetite-killing. At $45, including my drink and a pity tip, this was culinary travesty. Too bad! Mark's has a high standing in the community and a good public image. If only their food was up to the bar. Their catering business is so good that it's really a shame the restaurant is so neglected. I hadn't been in years; won't ever go again. In a city full of options, this one is best forgotten.
Excellent! – I had not been to MarK's in years and decided to bring two friends from out of town. We were all very impressed by the food and its presentation. Great quality for the price. The cuter than average waiters in this predominantly gay restaurant certainly add to the atmosphere also. Nice comfortable modern space without a lot of fuss. Using the restaurant's valet parking is easiest on La Cienega.
Not Just For Mondays Anymore – We heard about a wednesday lobster dinner special (under $30) and decided to check Mark's on a regular night. First off, vibe felt totally different-- a bit more "metro" than the crowd and food of mondays i've been. Also, surprised to see the menu was very different from monday. Really big, which is kind of a red flag to me-- wonder if they can do it ALL great. Our ADD made us feel better about our pre determined plan. Our fourth friend decided to go it alone and venture, waiters recomendation, on seabass. The waiter was sweet and attentive, and aside from forgetting a drink, we had no issues. (Young kid, so wasn't sure what service would be like at first.) I'm a wine guy, and was impressed with list. Stick to the list, house pours wouldn't do your dinner justice. Caesar starter salad was right sized classic for our little lady friend; our clam chowders were great-- once they cooled (careful! was very hot). And the loner's beet salad was a more substantial and bettter looking version of Monday's. Before i knew it, we were surrounded. Guess we're last to know. Be careful where you sit, some areas are louder than others. Our three lobsters arrived with corn on the cob (which kitchen removed from cob for my dainty partner). Aside from the silly plastic bib, the lobster dinner was a go for all three of us. Our other friend's seabass was almost gone before I asked how it was. No complaints. At first was afraid lobster would be like rubber, but was more tender than expected--we were told the secret was cooking the lobster in vodka! All for that. Getting full-- and noisy up front. Our waiter insisted on hot chocolate chip cookies and ice cream; we're suckers for chocolate. Most of the desserts on the menu seemed pretty basic, the only complaint I have. The chef (who didn't look much older than our waiter) came through room. I asked about the vodka secret-- he told me the vodka wasn't in the kitchen for the lobsters... whatever works. GO!
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