|This entry refers to a departed business that has closed or left town. All information here is for historical reference only.|
|217 E Street|
|Please fill in hours|
|2009-10; replaced by Agave|
Chaat Cafe or Cafe 217 (or is it 217 Cafe?) replaced Soga's in November 2008. It offers a variety of Indian snacks and drinks. It also has a bar area. The restaurant is part of the Chaat Café chain of restaurants, which currently operate in California and Texas. The restaurant was recently covered in an article in The California Aggie.
21 and seven bartenders:
- Greg (Compton's finest... even though he's from Long Beach)
- Michelle (drinks more drinks than she serves.)
Agave is now at this location.
2008-12-01 20:11:47 The good: Service was reasonably fast. Very nice atmosphere. I suspect that they got the furniture from Soga's. Prices are mostly towards the low end. Stuffed naan was fairly tasty and quite filling.
The mixed: The staff seemed to be having fun with their jobs, which was great to see. Some of them were definitely new to the restaurant, so it didn't seem like everyone was sure of how to do things yet, and there were definitely some bugs being worked out in the restaurant. But the restaurant had just opened, so I'd expect this to improve a lot over the next few weeks. The staff was quite friendly and pleasant.
The bad: Some of the food seemed processed. It might not have been, but it seemed that way. For example, the contents of a stuffed naan seemed like some sort of paste, even though it was supposed to be a type of meat. This was still tasty though. What really disappointed me was that the mango lassi did not contain any actual mango (one of the primary components of any mango lassi), but was only (barely) mango flavored! The mangoless lassi was also not particularly good. I would get some of their other food again, but not their lassis. If you want a good lassi, go to Katmandu Kitchen.
On the IDoNotExist IndianFoodMeter, this place scores a 5/10 for the food, a 1/10 for the mangoless lassi, and an 8/10 for the prices. I'd recommend this place if you want to get a quick and tasty snack. Not so much if you are looking for great Indian food (try Katmandu instead). —IDoNotExist
2008-12-19 23:54:52 I have dined here twice and it has been pretty good. The first time I ordered a papdi chaat and a paneer wrap, the wrap was ok at best, but the papdi chaat was quite good. The second time I ordered papdi chaat again as well as paneet curry with naan...again, the papdi chaat was the highlight. The entrees are alright, the appetizers seem better. Being new, I assume they have kinks to work out, but all in all the restaurant seems to be pretty good. The staff is great, very social and inviting; the atmosphere is low-key and chill. —Davinder
2008-12-22 01:29:35 Went here today with 3 other people and we ended up walking out of the restaurant. This was a lifetime first for me, but not unwarranted.
We were able to place our orders in a reasonable amount of time, but then the waiting began. We waited... and waited... and waited... About 25 minutes after we ordered, our waiter came by and apologized for the lack of food (not even an appetizer had made its way to our table). He explained that the kitchen was a bit short-staffed today and it would just be five more minutes. And, oh, our drinks would be comped to assuage us.
I have no idea why our waiter felt the need to lie to us, but after another 20 minutes had passed, our food was still nowhere to be seen. How unprofessional is that? You tell people that their food will be out in five minutes when you actually have no clue whatsoever what is happening back in the kitchen? And of course he was avoiding our table so that we couldn't ask what the hell was going on.
So after 45 minutes spent waiting for our food, we got up and left. Went next door to the Pita Pit for some quick eats seeing as our entire lunch hour had just been sucked out of us. I'd like to try the food here, but amazingly the service seems to have gone downhill even further than the last year and a half at Soga's. I didn't know that was possible. —BrooksParfitt
2008-12-22 01:42:23 I wonder if they might have suddenly found themselves short staffed because of the holiday? Of course, they should have planned in advance for staffing issues if that was what was happening, since it's not like the holiday isn't an expected event... —IDoNotExist
2008-12-24 01:56:57 I had the same lousy experience as Brooks. Actually, my wife and I tried to go in the other night, and when we walked in around 7:30pm, we were told that they closed the kitchen because there weren't enough customers and "they weren't making money." I can't fault them for wanting to make money, but I was annoyed. If a place is going to close every time business is slow, I'm going to think twice about going out of my way to patronize it—so this practice makes business even slower over time (see the comments on 3rd & U Cafe).
So then the next day at lunch we decide to give it another chance. Same as Brooks, our food took 45 minutes to arrive, and one dish was brought out 10 minutes before the rest of the food. The weird thing is, our server, who appeared completely exasperated (perhaps for good reason, but I don't deserve to be on the receiving end of it), did promise the other entrees would arrive soon, but made no apology at all when they were finally delivered after the first dish was long gone (in fact, said nothing—just set the dishes on the table and walked off). I know they just opened, but for a place where "fast" is the first word on the menu, an apology or some sort of acknowledgement would have been nice. Then to top it all off, the server (again without a word) returned my credit card and receipt by placing it on the opposite corner of the table from me so I had to stand up to reach it. I don't have the heart to stiff a server, but I was tempted.
If they can't deliver what they promise on the menu because they don't feel like staffing the place during business hours, then they won't do very well. That would be a shame though, because the place has potential, and it is a good fit in the local casual dining scene. I've sorely missed Samosa Chaat since New Dehli gave way to Indyna Bistro and cut the portion in half for the same price. But next time something like that happens, I will walk out. In fact, had I been in more of a feisty mood, it's the kind of thing that I would have brought to the attention of the manager. So far the only thing fast about the place is the speed at which the management wishes to make a buck, but there are plenty of places in this town where I can count on being treated well. I hope 21 and 7 becomes one of them, but they have a lot of work to do. —MatthewPearson
2008-12-24 02:43:04 It's a little bit stunning that restaurants think that they can survive in a restaurant heavy market like this without good customer service... —IDoNotExist
2009-03-06 22:07:51 The waitstaff was very friendly, the restaurant was clean, and they were very welcoming of our larger group. This will be a great place to gather with colleagues if they can fix a couple of things. The main disappointment for me was that not only did our food take quite a long time to come out, but the plates were delivered in rounds about 15 minutes apart. The kitchen shouldn't be sending out plates unless the whole table's order is ready or at least close to ready. The food was very reasonably priced and tasted pretty good. It's not as good as Raja's, but you wouldn't expect that. The mango lassi was bland. It was an orange color, suggesting they remembered to put in the mango, but it only tasted like yogurt. Mine also had an odd flavor that reminded me of fried food. I'm not sure what's up with that. I personally won't probably be back until I hear some better reviews of this place, but I'm glad I tried it. —MicheleTobias
2009-03-07 02:15:57 Greg is an awesome bartender. He's very polite and personable. The staff is very hopsitable. You'd be hard pressed to find a nicer bunch of people. —dj123
2009-03-08 03:05:41 Wow this is a great place since they've been redone! I think Brian was our server and he took great care of us. I can't wait to go back. Everything was good the service, product and speed with which everything happened. I can honestly say it is the best experience I'VE EVER HAD IN DAVIS! WOW! GREAT! —DoryArp
2009-03-12 04:52:26 I had lunch here with some office-mates today, and I was really impressed! The service was great, and the food was fantastic and reasonably priced. Try the Paneer wrap, it's cheap and delicious. —KyleAmbroff
2009-03-13 08:53:12 In general I think their food is pretty good. It's a less traditional version of Indian food, but the Tandoori Chicken Pizza is delicious none the less. I usually take my food to go, and except for the time their oven wasn't working and they failed ot tell me until I arrived to pick up my food, I have had all good experiences. The first time I went there and dined in, they gave me someone else's appetizer, and in general, it looked like the staff was a little inexpereinced. Hopefully that will improve with time. —AmLin
2009-03-19 22:50:10 I got back into town after a few months away, & I was tired from the long plane ride. We decided to stop in for a quick bite on the way home. There were only a few people sitting at the bar & three or four tables with customers. The server that took care of us seemed like he was the only one working the in the front of the house. He seated us, was waiting on the tables & going behind the bar. When he took our order, he didn't write anything down & seemed distracted. We waited over 30 minutes for a vegetarian appetizer sampler. The pakoras were room temperature & spongy, like they had been sitting in the window for a while. Only one of the two curries we ordered was brought out, & our order of rice was forgotten as well. By the time the server checked back, we had eaten so much bread & had been waiting so long we just told him to make sure the missing items weren't on our check. The curry we had was their version of a chana masala (chickpeas w/ onions) & it was pretty tasty. The server seemed nice, but he had too much running around to be efficient. I get the feeling the kitchen was understaffed as well. With their slogan being, "fast, fresh, casual" I think they need to work on the first two. I would go back again when I had more time to kill, perhaps for a cocktail, as their drink menu looked interesting. —AprilAries
2009-04-12 20:06:36 I had never had this worst of an experience in the entire area of northern california. My family and I came here to quickly to try the restaurant. When we entered, the entire place ways empty except for a few drunks at the bar. This should have been our first sign to leave. We grabbed a menu that had been half heartedly scattered across the check out area, which was also vacant. A dirty rag was also laying on the counter. My family browsed the menu for a few minutes until a quirky man appeared. He immeadiatly asked us if we wanted to sit down. I told him we wanted to order the food to go, and then we ordered 3 pitas, some potato naan, and "promised" to be non spicy samoas. My family sat down at a small table, and the man disappeared. An HOUR later, our food was thrown towards us, and so was the bill...which was 50 dollars. We payed and then exited. Later, when we opened our food, we found that the potato naan was missing, and the samoas were SUPER HOT. The pitas had tasted like they had been made several weeks ago. Additionally, the pitas had no flavor, and almost everything was cold.
Overall, we had been charged for the 10 dollar potato naan, and very unhappy with the food. We will never eat her again, or recommend this place to anyone. Go to Katmandu Kitchen instead. —littlemissfashion
2009-05-10 12:05:11 We had Papri Chaat, Pani Puri, Aloo Tiki and Chicken Wrap and everything was top notch. Probably one of the best chaat places in northern California. —MichaelScott
2009-05-10 22:11:17 I have been searching for good Indian food everywhere in Sacramento area with absolutely no luck. Most of the food in this region is pretty bad and not authentic whatsoever (I am Indian). I tried the Chaat Cafe convinced it was not going to be good as I grew up around very authentic and good Indian food.
We ordered a Mango Lassie, Cholay, Pani Puri and a Chicken Tandoori Wrap just to get a taste. The Lassie came out and to be honest if was not good. We thought, great this is not a good sign. The waitress (Kellie) noticed we weren't drinking it and without asking replaced it. The second one was awesome. All the sudden we got our hopes up and began anticipating our snacks. The food came out fairly quickly and we were very pleasantly surprised. The food was very authentic tasting and was absolutely fantastic. Everything was great, and I couldn't believe the quality, taste and nice atmosphere. This is the best Indian food I have had outside of the San Francisco Bay Area.
We all need to do whatever we can to support these guys! I plan to eat here regularly and I hope others do too. Davis needs more places like this and I hope they can survive. Great job!
And no, I am not affiliated with this place. I am actually a very tough critic when it comes to Indian food and this place won me over. By the way, kudos to you Kellie for being a very good host. —Mitch2000
2009-06-05 05:54:19 I go to this place because it is decent and cheap. The chicken tikka masala is delicious and I love the garbanzo bean side that comes with the samosas. I do not go here because of the service. There is usually only one server at a time,and they always seem to hate being there. They are friendly but always look bored. They also constantly forget what we order. I've been here many times and most of the time atleast one item is forgotten. This is all forgivable, I usually end up ordering too much anyways so the not getting my food problem ends up not being a problem. There is one thing that I find unacceptable about this place and that is the bartender. One of the bartenders was shooting dice with a customer and was yelling the entire time. My friends and I weren't looking for a quiet dinner but we didn't expect shouting from an employee for over an hour. I've never had an employee of a restaurant be so unprofessional in front of diners. The worst part about it was how dumb their conversation was. I know that sounds snobby, but I actually felt dumber after being forced to endure that conversation. I've been waited on by this employee before and he has always seemed adequate, but this time he was not. He obviously needs to realize that it is not just a bar and there are people paying to dine there and enjoy their guests company. —rebeccap
2009-07-24 15:45:48 I have been to this place 8+ times and each time the service has been slow—I mean really slow. It has taken me 30-50 minutes to get a simple wrap, even when I've called ahead. The food is inconsistent. It's been good twice and the rest of the times I have been very disappointed. Today was another horrible experience, so I need to leave feedback. I will not be going there again. They clearly don't care about their food or service. To echo some of the responses above, the servers seemed to be bored and not happy to be there at all. They often refer to the kitchen staff with a negative tone in their voice. There is seldom someone there to great you, so you just stand around waiting for a little until someone notices you. To sum it up: horrible service, mediocre and inconsistent quality food (they left bayleaves and whole cardamon pods in my wrap—how I am supposed to see them to take them out): I do NOT recommend this place. Try Torch of India in Dixon or Katmandu in Davis/Sac. —ces139
2009-07-28 19:50:49 I think this will be the last time I'll step into this restaurant. I'm Indian and I love all kinds of chaat foods - the appetizers in this restaurant, which is the main reason I can't stop going there. I've been let down almost everytime due to their inconsistency with food. I never know how my regular orders will taste that day. It's usually too salty and sometimes very sour. To top this the service is terrible. The people waiting tables seem to talk well to you but that's about all they do well. They take forever to bring you water and cutlery, to take your order and to bring your check. All in all it's a big let down. Such a pity that a restaurant that's so great to look at can hardly keep it's act together. —Alaska!
2009-08-02 22:43:56 Pretty funny to see this bar so empty nowadays, even on weekend nights. The old Sogas was a very popular night spot for a long time despite having atrociously slow bar service. The bar service at 21 and seven is lightning fast now, since there is no one else inside. Maybe that has something to do with the $5 dollar well rum and coke I ordered, served in a classy plastic cup. Unless the restaurant makes a lot of money during the day, there is no way this place is going to last. —JakeJames
2009-10-14 20:11:19 So I've heard there is a new restaurant here now. Agave? How come this is not up on WIki yet? —kmnolen
2009-10-14 22:56:36 kmnolen - I am currently working on a new page for Agave. It will be available shortly with a menu, hours, etc. Thank you~ :) —VanMenz
2009-10-15 01:36:56 So the 24 seven Chaat Cafe is gone now? —IDoNotExist
2009-10-20 15:06:17 Yeah its gone. Check out the Agave page —VanMenz