Kate Mantilini’s Woodland Hills
Address: 5921 Owensmouth Street, Woodland Hills, CA
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Today the Chef and I went to Kate Mantilini’s for lunch. We had passed it a couple of times made a mental note to dine there. So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw that there was a Groupon for Mantilini’s. After catching a movie, we headed over to Kate Mantilini’s.
If you have been following my blog you will know that I am rarely, if ever, disappointed in a restaurant. Today was the rare exception. I cannot think of a time when I have been more disappointed in a restaurant. Seriously, I have never, ever been this disappointed.
From the time we walked in, I got a bad feeling. We walked in and waited and waited for the hostess to greet us. The restaurant was really busy so I didn’t really think anything of it. After a while we were finally seated. The waiter came over and made a snarky comment about the hostess and how he said not to seat us yet. He took our drink orders and walked away. About 30 seconds later another waiter came by and asked to take our drink orders.
I ordered a glass of the house white and Chef had a Blue Moon. While we decided on an entrée, I ordered the Crab Cake tapas. Whatever I was expecting, this wasn’t it. One lonely little cold crab cake came out and was set between us. I laughed, thinking that it was a joke. Not a joke actually – $9 for ONE crab cake is no laughing matter. Add to the fact that it was cold. It also wasn’t very fresh.
When I go to a fine dining restaurant and pay a lot of money for food I expect two things – food made fresh and good quality. Kate Mantilin’s offered neither of these. Something that I find hilarious is that this is considered fine dining. It is the first fine dining restaurant that I have ever seen that offers meat loaf and chicken pot pie. These two dishes are as far from fine dining as one can get.
For an entrée I had spicy salmon and Chef got the New York Strip Steak. The “spicy” salmon wasn’t spicy at all. It was served with a chipotle mayonnaise and salsa. The chipotle mayo was a little spicy but didn’t go with the salmon at all. It was served over a bed of (canned) corn. It was very underwhelming for the $19 price tag.
Chef got the Prime New York Strip Steak. His steak was $25. When he ordered it the server asked “Do you want the sliced New York Strip?” Chef looked confused and said no. Knowing him, I knew what he was thinking – “You don’t need to slice it, I can do that myself.”
The food appeared shortly afterward – too quickly actually. If the food were fresh and a decent quality, it would have taken a little longer to prepare. From the time that we ordered until the time that the food got to the table, it was less than 15 minutes.
The “steak” that he ordered was far from Prime. It looked absolutely disgusting and cheap. It was served with a mushroom gravy and overdone fries. I could tell that Chef was completely disappointed with his food. He didn’t have to say anything, I just knew. I also had a very similar feeling.
The waiter came by to collect our plates and offer dessert. I ordered the strawberries and whip cream. There was six strawberries on a place cut haphazardly, served with whip cream that was falling off the plate and some warm chocolate fudge. The only thing not disappointing was the chocolate fudge. That was actually pretty great.
While I was having dessert the server dropped off the check. I find this to be incredibly rude and appalling. We weren’t in a rush and he could have waited until we were completely done to drop off the check. Well, we get the bill and it came up to $100. We were a little confused so we looked at the itemized list closely. His $25 steak rang up for $40. This steak wasn’t even close to a $25 steak and surely wasn’t a $40 steak. Chef called the waiter over and asked why it was different than on the menu. The waiter, Kevin, said “We have two New York Strip Steaks. The sliced is $25 and the other is $40. You got the $40.” Chef explained to him that nowhere on the menu is there a $40 steak. Kevin said, “No problem, I will just take off your dessert, it is about the same difference.” I explained that it actually wasn’t the same price difference and that the dessert was considerably less than $15.
Kevin went to get the restaurant manager and we waited. The manager came over and asked what was the problem. Chef explained to him what had happened and the manager, obviously annoyed, said “So what do you want me to do?” Chef proceeded to explain to him that what he ordered and what he was charged for a two different things. The manager said, “The one that you ordered isn’t on the lunch menu, it’s on the dinner menu.” We seriously had no way of knowing this. Neither of us had been here before, much less memorized the dinner menu. Again, the manager said, “So what do you want me to do?” Chef said, “Charge me for what I ordered.” The manager didn’t respond or say anything he just walked away rudely.
Kevin came back with our adjusted check. We paid and left promptly, vowing to never, ever return again. Our total came to $83.00. Luckily we had a $50 Groupon to soften the blow of horrible “fine” dining. Please, take my advice, don’t ever, ever go to Kate Mantilini’s. Well, if you are a glutton for punishment, have lots of cash to throw around and love horrible food, check it out. You will not be disappointed. On the other hand if you have any sense at all, go somewhere else. I have had better, fresher food at chain restaurants.
Here is a breakdown of our overpriced/underwhelming lunch:
Tapas Crab Cake – $9.00
Spicy Salmon – $18.50
Sliced Steak – $25.00
Strawberries with cream – $7.95
Blue Moon – $5.95
House white wine – $10
After our Groupon discount, our total came to $33.28. Even this amount was too much to pay for lackluster service and poor quality food.