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“A quaint, European experience.”
Review of California Canteen - CLOSED

California Canteen
Price range: US$0 - US$30
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups
Dining options: After-hours, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Central L.A
Sedona, Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A quaint, European experience.”
Reviewed 28 December 2011

This hidden gem is definitely a great find! Nice atmosphere and friendly staff. Food is fantastic. I had the rosemary chicken with fries. Sauce was delicious and the chicken was nice and juicy. My friend had the filet, which was also very yummy. Oh, and the home-made creme brulee is to die for!! We'll most certainly be back!

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Coconutz33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

31 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hanford, California
1 review
Reviewed 11 November 2011

the place is good, walking distance from the hotel. service is great

Visited September 2011
Thank maria d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“walking distance from Universal or Hotel”
Reviewed 11 November 2011

service & the food is great, accessible to us going to Universal studio

Visited August 2011
Thank hilario b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Hollywood, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great little hideway”
Reviewed 3 November 2010

Blink and you'll miss this restaurant as you drive by. HIdden, but a great restaurant. It has fantastic food with a french flavor and the service is great. Parking is scarce but there is always a valet. Lunch specials are reasonably priced and they have a good wine selection. very nice!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank marc90069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Monica, California
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Skip This Place It Is ABYSMAL.”
Reviewed 28 September 2010

I hate reviews that are all negative. I find that there must be SOMETHING positive to say about a retaurant. A least one thing. Here, I am hard-pressed to do so. I suppose the best thing about the restaurant was the room itself - but even there I have a caveat - we ate in the room that includes the bar - and it is a charming space. But we were sat at a table right next to the door to the outside seating area. So we were brushed past 50 times - by a waiter and many times by smokers who would trail their cigarette smoke back in with them. In hindsight, we should have asked to be moved - we didn't - in hindsight, WE SHOULD NOT HAVE EATEN IN THIS RESTAURANT - as I will describe.

The food and service at the CALIFORNIA CANTEEN are very possibly the WORST that we have ever encountered in Southern California.

We had just seen a show at Theatre West and THEY recommended the restaurant.

Let's begin: The waiter simply did not know how to serve dinner. Hadn't a single clue. And he did something I have rarely seen before - and after a short while we started to count the number of times this thing occurred - the waiter checked the table 84 times during our meal. 84 TIMES! But he did it very oddly - he would approach my partner - from behind - my back was to the street - I was facing in to the restaurant - my partner was facing the street with his back to the restaurant - the waiter would approach our table - stop about three feet from the back of my partner - crane his neck - scan the table - and then walk away without filling wine or water - without saying anything to me - without making any eye contact - he would then go away for a minute or two at most AND THEN DO THIS AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN! 84 TIMES!

My partner ordered the meatballs as a starter and they were HUGE - four big meatballs - too much sauce - the flavor was bland and dull - it looked and tasted like somehitng my mother might make - no sense of style - no art. I ordered the duck pate - and it was dreadmire and clearly from a can - the kind of thing one might find at Albertson's. (Really? REALLY?) The dish was served on a very perfunctory salad simply covered with cornichons - at least 8 of them - 8! - the bread was just this side of Wonder Bread - two different cuts of the same bread served in a basket with this store-bought pate - it was vomit inducing. Even now - just thinking about it - I have a queasy stomach.

I ordered the lamb shank that looked like a turkey drum stick when it arrived. It was fat - huge globs of fat and cartilige hanging from the meat - served with rice that seemed to have been scraped from the bottom of the pot - half of it was too soft and overcooked and half was solidly crunchy - like stale Rice Krispies - meat-flavored, of course - but come on? Not another restaurant I know of would serve it. My 10-year old nephew could have made a better meal.

I am a strickler about vegetables that accompany a meal - THEY NEED TO BE COOKED - there is a PROPER way to cook them so that they development and realease their full flavor but do not become a starchy puddle - but above all else THEY MUST BE COOKED. All the vegetables I was served were raw - they MIGHT have put the vegetables NEXT to the stove at some point - perhaps while they were ruining the lamb shank and rice - but that was all the cooking that occurred - the broccoli, carrots and green beans were raw. I think all businesses should be run efficiently - but saving your cooking gas is the wrong way to economize in the kitchen. (You might start with firing Michel, the rudest waiter in L.A. - that should save you his minimum wage - at the very least.) My partner ordered a pasta dish that also featured COMPLETELY UNCOOKED VEGETABLES as well as under-cooked pasta - things must be bad in the back - poor mangement - perhaps an unpaid gas bill - all making for a very bad night out.

NOW ON TO MICHEL: Our waiter did not bring our main dishes to us - another waiter - Michel - did so. A ruder and more repulsive waiter I have yet to encounter in So. Cal. Dumpy, balding, with an ugly grey beard and glasses - this person literally slammed our dishes before us - and as my partner had ordered pasta, Michel brought a large bowl of cheese for sprinkling - shredded - not grated as it should be - and looking like something one buys at Ralph's made by Kraft - and as soon as the pasta plate hit the table, the waiter immediately barked at my partner with a broad French Canadian accent - "One or two?" Meaning one of two spoonfuls of the (entirley wrong) cheese he was proferring. Pressured and amazed - my partner stammered, "One." It was flung on the dish and then Michel stomped away. I am still telling people about this - days later. It is still amazing and very hard to understand. I don't mind that they hire idiots - just make them work in the back washing the pots and pans which is entirely more suitable to a person of Michel's caliber. HE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED NEAR THE PAYING PUBLIC. HE'S BAD FOR BUSINESS. We will never go back there again - and I am certain I am not the only person who feels this way. BAD FOOD AND ROTTEN SERVICE = NO MONEY FOR YOU.

We asked for the check without having dessert or coffee. The restaurant is supposed to be Quebecois - but every time we have visited Montreal - that fast-paced and entirely gay friendly city - we have had great food, great service and were welcomed. Perhhaps the people who run and work at California Canteen were exiled and we are the unlucky recipients of their wandering. SKIP CALIFORNIA CANTEEN - IT IS ABYSMAL!

1 Thank cgtravers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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