2350 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040534.021694 -118.464752
Open 7 days a week 11am-10pm
Neighborhoods: Pico, West LA
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One of the worst restaurant experiences I've had in years, certainly the worst in Santa Monica.
Came in with family of 3 around 6:45 for dinner. They seemed completely flummoxed by how to fit us, which was weird, considering there was an abundance of double tables that were completely open. The place was not busy at all. They said we could eat upstairs, and then proceeded to let us seat ourselves.
After dropping off menus, the server didn't come by for 10 minutes. When he did, he asked us for drink orders. As we gave them, he turned around to leave us, without even asking if we were ready to order. We had to ask him to stop to place our order.
We ordered beef shawarma, grape leaves, falafel, and rekakat. The food took an exceptionally long time to come, around 35+ minutes. Nobody ever checked on us during this time. Not once.
Halfway through waiting, I realized we didn't even have silverware. After waiting for a long time, I decided to go downstairs to ask for silverware. Ask the guy at the register for silverware and get a very curt "You'll have to wait sir". No "Right away" or "So sorry, we'll take care of that". Nope. Note that he was not servicing other guests, just behind the counter. Finally the guy hands me some wrapped silverware, which I then took to my family. NO server, instead I got to do it myself.
After 35+ minutes the food arrived. It was all MEDIOCRE to POOR. We've eaten at places like this in NYC, London, Paris, all exceptional.
Zen Garden was SUBPAR which was completely surprising given that we're in Santa Monica, CA, where there's some exceptional restaurants and a culture of great dining service you come to expect by default in town.
Incredibly disappointing. NOBODY ever checked in on us. Not once. The Server is NOWHERE to be found.
Finally, after an hour in this place, I had to ask the server walking by for the check. Get to wait another 10 minutes...... waiting.... waiting. Finally the check arrives. I immediately handed him my credit card. By this time, even the most casual observer could tell we were ready to wrap this up and leave.
But he didn't return with the check and card. Again, remember that this place was NOT busy at all. Lots of open tables....
After 5 minutes or so, I started running the timer on my phone, out of sick curiosity if the guy would ever come back. At around 12 minutes my wife insists that we leave and head on downstairs to ASK for my check and card.
At that point, I deal with some schmuck behind the counter and he CAN'T FIND MY CHECK OR MY CARD. He's LOST IT. I kid you not. After insisting that they give me my card back, he calls over an older guy. That guy can't find it either.
They apologized, but still can't find my bill or credit card. They then proceed to both text or call other people trying to find my bill.
This process took easily another 10 minutes, at which point I told them I was ready to call the police. That seemed to work, because they found it shortly after that. Even then, the younger guy held onto it and had to BE TOLD by the older guy to hand it to me, despite my requests that he hand me card.
The older guy offered to void the entire bill. I told him I couldn't care less whether I paid or it was free, I just wanted to be done with the entire affair and leave.
I will never patronize this place ever again. Horrible service. Mediocre, overpriced food.
I love the greek salad with chicken, It's so filling but very fresh and YUMMY!
By the way call ahead if your in a rush(I do all the time)!
The chicken shawarma here is amazing! – I came here last week looking to get a quick bite on the go and the food was amazing! I normally get chicken shawarma wherever I go but I have never had such juicy chicken in my life! Not only was the food great but it was very affordable!
Really great food! And the prices are just right :] – I ordered the chicken shawerma and tabouleh...and man was it good! It was large portion too I finished it all yummmm. but not too over bearing, the tabouleh was fresh and it was my first time . My girlfriend had ordered the beef steak kebab with humms rice and salad...the busbousa it,s so yummmm, I'll be sure to order that again next time.
Overall great experience and the owner was very nice and attentive.
Will go back! :]
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