1700 Lombard St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1914639.945159 -75.170264
How good does the food have to be to over look rude and obnoxious service (or LACK thereof)? NEVERNEVER NEVER again.
Worst service ever. Food is okay for pre-prepared Italian. I eat out in Philly 2-3 times a week and have never had such a bad experience. I'm still shocked I was treated so rudely.
Small and Friendly. Great after theater dining experience. Have to try the shrimp and mushroom appetizer. Better yet order this appetizer and an arugula salad and combine the two. Wow............ Very pleasant wait staff I'm going to guess name Earold attending community college and plays soccer. Met owner and engaged in conversation. Both very attentive and friendly. Food is very good and served very hot right from the kitchen.. Not rushed and very reasonable pricing.
good food, bad service.
The food is pretty good. $13 for a pasta and shrimp dish. It's cash only, which is fine since the pricing is pretty good. They do charge a corking fee altho it's $2/bottle. I've been to a ton of Philly BYOBs and I never paid a corking fee at the 2 LA Viola's, Branzino, La Fontana, Bellini, etc.
So it was a Saturday night, we were squished in a corner on top of the neighboring tables. We were there over 2 hours because the service was slow. We had to ask for bread, more water and such. The wait staff was plain rude, especially when I asked them about the check. So they put in a 18% tip, which I can understand for a group of people but they put the tip on not just the total bill but the tax too. I find that just plain wrong, I do not have to pay tip on tax. And being that the service was horrible, we didn't even think they deserved the 18%.
I was there once before during the week and the service was good because we were the only table of people there. I think they are just too overwhelmed during there weekend.
Surely Philadelphia has better!.
In Philadelphia on a brief visit and stumbled into this place. We should have known that it's not exactly in the "whatever we can do to please our customers" business when we were told that it's cash only. My husband wanted to leave right then, figuring if they don't mind inconveniencing customers when it comes to payment, they won't mind inconveniencing them in other ways. But I was hungry, the food smelled good, so at my insistence, he checked his billfold and I checked my purse and we thought we had enough, so we stayed.
I am surprised they are still in business. The food was just okay, but the service was arrogant, even rude. I thought maybe they only treat out-of-towners like that, but came here and read a review (too late, unfortunately). If La Baia were in a small town and it was the only place to go, that would be one thing. But Philadelphia is a great food town, and it surely has many wonderful restaurants from which to choose. As tourists, this place left a bad taste in our mouths. Who wants to be treated poorly in return for just average food?
Worst experience EVER.
I advise anyone to stay away from this place, unless you enjoy being insulted/yelled at by the restaurant owners.
Service was rude from the minute we walked in. We were meeting friends who had been holding a table for us. Granted we were running a bit late, but there was NO ONE else waiting so we really didn't think it was necessary to treat us like criminals.
The restaurant is so crowded that one has hardly room to breath. When the lady who would later serve us (presumably one of the restaurant owners) was standing by the door, my friend could not get up to go to the bathroom. I asked her politely if she could move to the side so my friend could go use the restroom, she told me in a very rude voice to "just wait" (not sure what she was doing...).
We were also told that we would have to vacate the table in 45 min (although it turned out no one had reserved our table)
We were later joined by two other friends who did not eat an entree (but four of us ordered appetizer, entree, dessert and coffee, spending over $30 per person), but at no point in the process did they have to make ANYONE wait on a table or turn anyone away because we were "taking up" their precious seats. I suppose this was still enough reason for them to categorize us as customers who came to take advantage of their restaurant. Our candle at the table was never lit, and every one of our dishes was served with a good dose of contempt.
When the bill came, we were quite surprised to find corking charges and roughly 20% gratuity added to our bill (neither was mentioned anywhere on the menu or by our server). When we politely inquired about these charges, we were yelled at by the restaurant owner (presumably husband of afore-mentioned lady) that he had been in the restaurant business for over 20 years and that we were not in a position to tell him what to do.
Food was decent but by far did not offset even a fraction of the terrible experience.
Go If You Enjoy McDonalds or Applebee's and Don't Recognize Quality Food. If you are looking for only a sliver above the quality of Applebee's then this is your restaurant. Unlike the previous reviews, the service was good, but the food was sub-par. I went for Restaurant Week tonight and felt majorly ripped off. Starter: I first noticed that the dressing on the Caesar salad was clearly not homemade. The greens were good, but the dressing was bottled. The bread was also clearly frozen or reheated. The calamari had a nice grilled flavor but was chewy. The "stuffed mushrooms" were not stuffed at all-the mushrooms were from a can, and the appetizer was served as slop-on-a-plate, much like the filling of a Chunky's vegetable soup can. Entree: The pasta was NOT fresh, but frozen. The sauce lacking any spices; the gnocchi undercooked; the lobster ravioli overcooked and not freshly made (more like lobster-food-substance than lobster) and overall just bland. For dessert: The tiramisu was sopping wet as though it had hardly finished thawing out from a freezer-grocery-store-box. The espresso was essence-less. I left feeling bloated and over-MSG'd like I used to when I went to Applebees and TGI Fridays and completely ripped off for the quality of food at $35 a head - plenty of great restaurants at this price in Philly outside of Restaurant Week. Most places use Restaurant Week to break even and advertise the restaurant - this place seemed to use the occasion to cut back on quality and make an extra buck.
Nasty owner, nasty servers. I usually don't mind dining at a restaurant if the food is delicious and the servers are rude. This place serves average food. It's not as good as so many claim. I order risotto (with vegetables) and it was not risotto!! I was served long grain white rice- NOT risotto. White rice is MUCH cheaper than arborio rice. So, if you order one of the two risottos listed on the menu, don't expect to get what you read. In addition, the WHITE RICE (NOT risotto) was reheated in the pan and was served to me burnt and crispy. What a horrible "risotto"! Other diners got pollo involtino (which tasted like old chicken that had been in the microwave for too long-- in other words, really bad leftovers), penne arrabbiata (burnt penne that was reheated in a pan), and a shrimp orecchiette alla pugliese (small amounts of shrimp that were basted in frying oil). Lastly, I have to mention the bread and oil that's served before dinner is served. The oil tastes much like Canola oil-- definitely not a high quality extra virgin olive oil. Lastly, the owner and the servers have to change their attitudes and cannot treat diners like garbage, especially when they serve such garbage. Change the menu to read what you really serve ("Fake Risotto", "Burnt Penne Arrabbiata", "Frying oil Basted Shrimp Pasta"). The only good thing was about that night dining here was the wine that WE BROUGHT!
First visit to bistro: Food is good (not great); staff's attitude is not made to order.
My first visit to Bistro la Baia:
STAFF is curt--not necessarily rude, but could definitely use an attitude adjustment. I smiled at them incessantly and was as polite as can be, but didn't get much response.
FOOD is good, but not amazing. I had lobster ravioli and my Dad had shrimp pasta, both good.
ATMOSPHERE is clean, cozy, comfortable, inviting. Other diners seemed intelligent and eclectic.
PRICES are amazing! Our bill for the night was $34 (two entrees and bottled water).
OVERALL I would give it 3.5 stars if that were an option. I wouldn't give it a higher rating because the food was good, but not spectacular and because the customer service left me feeling cold-shouldered. However, with prices like these, I may not be able to resist a subsequent visit.
Amazing food, courteous waiter, romantic and very inexpensive!. Having never been to La Baia, I read the 20+ reviews here. More than 50% of the reviews mentioned how poor the service was and how they were treated so badly, but almost 90% of the reviews admitted that the food was great! I called and scheduled a 7pm reservation to beat the rush that I read would push us out of our seat. The Maitre d' explained in a very professional manner that if this was our first time dining with La Baia, that we should know that they are cash only and a BYOB. Very important information! We arrived at 6:55pm, and were greeted and seated by our waiter, a polished Italian man in his 40?s. He offered us water while we were getting settled and presented us with menus a minute or two later when he returned with our water. He un-corked our wine and poured our glasses while he told us of the days specials. At no point were we rushed or treated any way but with respect and courtesy. The restaurant was 40% full, the food was amazing (I had a house salad and gnocchi, he had a Cesar salad and the penne with eggplant. We both RAVED about how delicious it was after each first bite. The dressing on the house salad was wonderful as is the dipping sauce for the fresh from the oven bread!) and the atmosphere was cozy and romantic. Perhaps the previous ?rude staff? has been replaced or they?ve read the reviews and lighted up, but our visit was very enjoyable and we plan to dine there again soon. Did I mention that the bill was $40? Very affordable! Worth all 5 stars!
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