DCFoodies.com Palena: Was It Really? - DCFoodies.com

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Jun 23, 2004



Well Amalah, first of all let me apologize on behalf of the restaurant for giving you such a lacklustre experience. It is our mission to make sure that all of our patrons leave more than satisfied, and feel that they recieved their moneys worth.

We certainly seek out constructive criticism, and do our best to take those suggestions and apply them to the operation. Service, timing and hospitality in general, are all things that any given business can always improve. No one is perfect. And it really is unfortunate that your service was "distracted", and believe me when I say this is something that will be improved. So when you do decide to dine with us again(which by the way, we are glad to hear)we're sure that you wont be dissapointed.

Theres just one thing that upsets me when I read your review. The part about the waiters "unfortunate resemblance" to an almost universally unattractive actor. Well, I genuinely believe its not your place (or anyones for that matter) to criticize someone (who provided you with a service) based on their looks. It has little to do with the restaurant, your service or the qaulity of your food. Its not only hurtful, but unprofessional. So as a favor to Palena, the waiter, and the idea of open restarant forums, we respectfully ask to you to edit your review, and remove the part about the the waiters looks. We wouldnt want you to remove anything that we believe influenced your experience. But an unattractive waiter has nothing to do with the flavor of your soup.

Thank you for your time.


I am glad that you are taking Amy's review into consideration. I hope no one was insulted by her one, very short remark. I'm sure that if you check out Amalah.com, you will see that Amy is also a comedy writer and she can't help but notice these things.

As far as professionalism goes...This is a blog (and a hobby), not a newspaper. No one here is getting paid or recognized in anyway except for positive emails from readers. So we don't have to be 100% professional all the time. Sometimes we mix a little comedy into the reviews and that will continue.


Also! I think that actor is cute! ReallY!

When I said "unfortunate," I meant unfortunate for Jason, who had to listen to me quoting a teen sex comedy and getting the giggles all through his birthday dinner.


Um, is it wrong that I am highly amused by a comment that criticizes your professionalism after promising that you won't be "dissapointed" on your next visit?

Yeah, I didn't think so, either.


I wonder if Justin realizes that he's actually the one who's demeaning the waiter in question? It was he who called the actor "universally unattactive", which is certainly not that case. I think Eddie Kay Thomas is quite cute as well. What I got from Amalah's statement was that she was a little distracted by the cute waiter who didn't make eye contact. Sounds like sour grapes to me, Justin. Shame, shame...we know your name!


Ok, about Justin's remarks: 1) I used to work at Palena with him. 2) He doesn't represent the restaurant as a whole because... 3) he IS the waiter in question.

Now his comment makes a little more sense, no?

I am no longer at Palena, and neither is Justin, but I still love it. I sincerely believe that you went on an off-night (which every person/business has) and, in addition, I know that Palena has just gone through a major change in staff (not the great managers, just servers/hostess/etc). Try it again - and definitely also try the more-relaxed cafe, in which you can order a la carte from the prix fixe menu as well - and you won't be disappointed.


Why do you get mad when Bartenders card you? They're just doing their job. As a former bartender, I can tell you that people who make a fuss about being carded come off as silly and self-important. It's just part of the restaurant experience--get used to it. The penalty for bartenders who fail to card people is far more severe than that for the underage drinker: fines, jail time, community service and termination of employment. With all these things on the line, why should a bartender not err on the safe side? I would be a little more understanding if you had gray hair or wrinkles, but, judging from your picture on this site, you really don't look old enough to be complaining. On a lighter note, I do enjoy your reviews. It's nice to read reviews that aren't from a snotty elitist food critic every once in a while. Keep 'em coming.


Wait a second! I (Amy, Jason's wife) wrote this review, not Jason. And honestly, I do not care when we get carded. I get annoyed when I'm NOT carded, because I'm in my late 20s and hanging on to that under-30 look for dear life.

No, if you reread the review, you'll notice that my peeve was not that we got carded, it was that the bartender didn't notice Jason's birthday on his ID. (We were at Palena on his actual birthday.) I know he was busy, but like I've said, we've had bartenders in Dupont and
bouncers in Adams Morgan notice our birthdays on our IDs and mention it or offer a drink on the house.

Anyway, not being defensive or anything...we TOTALLY understand that bartenders have to card and welcome it. We both waited and bussed
tables and know the crap that restaurants can get for not following the rules.

Tony Mannino

Anyone know if the name 'Palena' originated from a small town of the same name in the Chieti province of Italy???


Wow - it appears that not one but TWO of your readers cannot fully comprehend the written English language.

Even half drunk it is clear that you were neither calling the waiter "unfortunately" ugly nor were you complaining about being carded.

What is truly "unfortunate" is justin's inability to catch your subtle wit. Luckily, thanks to fantastic restuarant reviews like this one, I can now go to Palena with my girlfriend and tell everyone we say Finch. Hopefully it wont be an off night!

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