These are archived reviews of Bistro 33 from 2009. For more recent comments, please visit the entry.

2009-01-19 10:53:42   Food is little overpriced, but atmosphere is nice for Davis. My favorites include their sweet potatoe french fries and Seared Prawn Dish. They also have great panni's. —AnneBrowning

2009-02-09 15:28:11   the server with blonde hair who puts it in a pony tail is FINE!!!! what's her name and is she single? oh yea the food is good but the portions are extremely tiny. I feel this is a cheap way to steal people's money. —Bojangles

2009-03-25 08:36:20   I had the worst expereince here last night. My huband and I came in early, around 5:30. We waited for a good 10 minutes behind a large group of ladies to be seated, while the hostess delt with them and took phone calls. When we were finally seated, no one waited on us. The place was pretty empty, servers looked bored, and the server that was taking care of the rest of the row we were sitting in completely ignored us, along with every other server that walked by. We gave them a good 25 minutes before we just up and left and went over to 2K Thai. This is the 2nd time this has happened to us. I don't know about the servers working there, but if I were a server in a place with moderately priced food, I'd probably be fighting other servers to take on as many tables as possible to get the tips. I guess neither the restuarant, nor the servers wanted our money! I don't think we'll be back. —AmLin

2009-03-27 21:33:00   I came here with my friend and we loved it. The service was fast and the waitress were all very friendly. They refilled our drinks more than once and asked if we needed anything. The food is expensive to be honest, but the food tasted wonderful. I had the garlic chicken and sweet pea risotto. I love the experience and enjoyed every minute of it. I would recommend this place if you're going on date or taking an old friend/family out to eat. The atmosphere is nice. —ChiYang

2009-04-01 05:28:25   In the Sacramento Bee 1 April 2009, Rick Kushman (The Good Life) writes about "Tips for Restaurants." He writes, "I asked a few locals what eateries might do to bring in eaters." and got this response, "'It starts with good food and good service,' said Matt Haines, co-owner with his brother, Fred, of several restaurants, including 33rd Street Bistro, Riverside Clubhouse, Tre and the three Bistro 33s. 'That's always the foundation, but now we have to deliver even more.'"

Having had erratic and lackadaisical service here myself (inside and out, breakfast, lunch, and dinner)I have to wonder if either the Haines brothers are completely unaware of the reputation—well deserved—that Bistro 33 has for poor service or if—and this is more likely, I think—business is simply so good in Davis that they don't care. —DavidRobinson

  • Very well put. —AmLin
  • While I don't doubt your experiences, my wife and I have had nothing but pleasant experiences here, and most of that is because of the service. We often go for their Mojito specials, especially in the warm weather when we can sit outside. The service is almost always top rate with servers constantly checking to make sure we're satisfied. We've even made the habit of inviting friends of ours to go with us because it's such a fun time. I can't say much for the food because I rarely eat there. It's usually just for drinks, but we always have a great time. —condemned2bfree

2009-04-26 21:37:54   They offer a great breakfast on weekends. I usually sit at the bar and have an egg dish or fruit plate with coffee. (I really like their coffee.) Servers like Angelica and Kevin who work weekend mornings are friendly and offer great service.


"2009-05-08 05:07:00"   I went yesterday afternoon with a friend during happy hour to grap a few bites and drinks. The bartenders almost completely ignored us, one only slid a happy hour menu towards us after I repeatedly joked with my friend about having difficulty reading the chalked on menu. Of course he ignored us after that, never asking if we wanted anything, had a drink order, etc. Annoyed at the lack of customer service, my friend and I (we both have experience in the restaurant industry) went out to the patio. We didn't wanna waste our time and money at the bar. On our way out I could hear the two workers behind the bar snickering at us. Our server out on the patio was attentive and was a far cry from the utter lack of customer service at the bar. The mojitos and appetizers I had were good but I'll go out of my way to avoid the lazy bartenders I saw today if I ever go again. I'd hardly like to add to their tip share for the night. —klaw

2009-05-11 11:13:46   Went to bistro for mothers day with our three kids. As usual (why don't we learn??) the food was awful and came 45 ms late. We ordered omlets with the "buffet" and the omlets came 1 hour after we sat down. This place is only popular because the location is fantastic. Its great to sit outside at Bistro but from now on we'll just get drinks or deserts there. —poggle

2009-05-28 11:45:46   Bistro 33 hosted a wonderful memorial fundraiser for the family of Steve Larsen last night. Thank you, Bistro 33 for providing your patio space, staff, food and beer for this special event. Great tacos! —LaurenMcNees

2009-05-29 21:54:06   this place is a black hole for shitty service and shitty management, the only thing it has going for it is they know how to hire hot girls to work there —BEEGEEFREE

2009-05-31 09:19:08   I, unlike most folks in Davis, have only been to Bistro twice. I cal already say, though, that the sweet potato french fries are one of my favorite things... ever. I love having the three different sauces to dip in (especially the truffle mayonnaise) and hey, the price is right. The salmon sandwich I had the first time was pretty good, too, but my obsession with the fries clouds my memory. Ah, yes, and the garlic chicken risotto is incredible. —KBathory

2009-06-01 14:59:51   The service is wildly inconsistent and the food is only so-so. I think the quality has gone way down since it opened. If you sit out on the patio then be prepared to be forgotten by the waitstaff. However, you can't beat their $5.00 comedy night and free poetry nights. It's a lot of fun for little to no money. —nkristis

2009-06-08 15:20:57   Shame on me for the last time. We ate on the patio after we have had shoddy service on the patio many times before. The server asked he we'd like an umbrella to block the sun. We said sure. Our appetizer did not come before our meal. He said there are two ordering systems. Not our problem I was thinking. He brings us the appetizer and says oops I forgot to bring the umbrella. He comes back later with the check, never asking if we wanted more drinks or dessert. He said he forgot the umbrella again. He said he was tired since it was the near the end of his shift. We'll I'm tired of crummy service from Bistro 33 on the patio. I don't even think it is worth it to eat inside. —jimb62

2009-06-13 11:39:19   The service is still awful. This isn't my first negative feedback, and I would typically still tell people to check this place out. Last night however, I went to Bistro with some friends for dinner and drinks. I stood at the hostess desk for near 15 minutes simply wanting to add our name to the wait list, which had the parties before me quoted at 5-minute waits. It was obvious from the tables packed with people but absent of food and the three or so groups of people waiting ahead of us that it would at least be an hour and a half before we would get our food. It was foolish of me to even chance a good dinning experience there. If you do go, definitely complain to the manager if anything goes wrong. I've taken issue with the service there with the manager twice and both times I either received a full round of drinks or dinner. So if you go and have a typically horrible experience, make sure and have the restaurant pay for it.


2009-06-13 20:32:20   My comments are limited to a few times eating lunch at the bar. Generally the service has been good. And like most of the comments, i like the food, but it's not something to really get excited about. —RocksandDirt

2009-07-26 00:50:49   I heard good things about this place so I decided to check it out. I wish I checked out the reviews here first though. My boyfriend and I were seated and waited, literally, more than 30 minutes before someone checked on us - this way only after we flagged down a waiter. But, he could not help us because we were not one of his tables. It was busy so I tried not to let it irk me. We were served water by one of the wait staff and waited another 15 minutes before we decided to leave. On the way out, my boyfriend asked to speak to a manager who replied "Sorry about that, something must have gone wrong." I don't know, 45+ minutes is a ridiculous amount of time to wait and to not be more apologetic. I guess they are regularly busy so it's no big deal to lose a customer. —toothpicks

2009-08-24 10:11:07   Although the cuisine here is fancier fare (in both senses of the word) than most places in Davis, it's a great place to go with friends. The food is good, and the ambiance is great! There are usually a lot of people, and I've never had a problem with service. I like the Mt. Ranier panini and sweet potato fries! I would go here more often if it weren't so expensive. —aileen

2009-11-11 10:52:09   I've had some pretty mixed experiences here. The service is variable. The food is occasionally wonderful but often cold, over-priced, and over-done. I think it is too pricey to forgive this inconsistency in food quality and service. I love the building and the grounds. —GJC02

2009-12-29 07:46:24   My favorite thing about this place is the way that if you complain about how incredibly terrible the service is, the management will accuse you of trying to rip them off and get a free dinner. The last time I went (I've been boycotting it for a couple of years now), we had to ask the busboy to find our waitress after 20+ minutes of waiting. Twice. When a waitress finally came over, she spent her first 2 minutes with us complaining about how she shouldn't have to wait our table, because she's only supposed to have four tables, not five. She then grudgingly took our order, forgot to bring our drinks, screwed up one of the entrees, and then double billed us for the drinks (which she still hadn't brought to us).

When I asked to speak to the manager and told him we had had problems with our waitress, he called her over to hear our complaints. When I said I'd rather talk to him alone, he said she needed to hear what I have to say. Whatever, I just told him about our experiences. She got defensive and loud, and his response was, "Well, why didn't you call me over before? I've been here all night? Don't you think it's a little suspicious that you're just telling me about all this now?"

Needless to say, we paid the bill (minus the drinks we never got), not a penny more, and got the hell out of there.

It wasn't the first bad experience I've had there (a bus boy poured water on my dad's leg when he looked away while refilling his water glass, looked down and saw what he'd done, and then just chuckled, shrugged, and walked away. No apology, nothing). It's definitely the last, though. I haven't been back since, and won't.

It's a pity the service is so atrocious, because the food was quite good. —TomGarberson