Lazlo’s Gets it Right ... Twice

By: Mr. Wilson on May 26, 2009
I have picked on Lazlo's a fair amount over the past couple years, both on this blog and "in real life". Two experience in the past week may force me to reevaluate my position. That makes me very happy. By accident, The Wilsons ate at Lazlo's twice last week. The first was an outdoor experience at the Downtown Lazlo's; the second was with my in-laws in the lounge at the South Lazlo's. On both occasions service was back up to what I consider to be Lazlo's standards, and the food was excellent. The two experiences were so positive that after many months of actively filtering Lazlo's off my list of possible restaurant choices, they may be on their way to repairing their reputation. Maybe. No restaurant can betray my trust like Lazlo's did and just get back into the rotation without a little hard work. Time will tell. In the mean time, I would love to hear your latest Lazlo's reports. And what the heck, let's toss sister Fireworks into the mix as well. How are they doing?


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

May 26, 2009 at 1:34PM

I have been enjoying Lazlos and Fireworks for awhile. I rarely have problems with service or food quality. Even when it is busy, service seems pretty snappy. On one occasion I had a hair in my food, which was a huge turn off. Other than that all experiences have been great. I’m glad to hear that you are willing to give them another chance.

May 26, 2009 at 4:18PM

The wife and I were part of a group of seven that ate at the Haymarket location May 8. Service was good and completely acceptable, but not as great as we’ve all become accustomed too over the years. Waitress seemed green.

What was somewhat frustrating was the process of getting a table. Knowing it was a Friday and that we wanted to get in around 7 p.m., we knew it would be busy. We called ahead before leaving the house at around 6:30 and were told that the wait would be at least an hour and 20 minutes. So, we called the others in our party and said it would be after 8 before we could get a table; told them not to rush; let’s just meet in the bar and have a drink. The wife and I get there a little before 7 to find out that it now would be only about 45 minutes before we could get a table. We head to the bar. Before I get my beer, our buzzy thing is going off and our table is ready. Huh?

Under promise, over deliver? Not sure if that’s the strategy or if they had a cancellation, or if there’s something out of whack in their seating/planning. When we got there, there was no one waiting for a table. There were plenty of open tables, if we would have had a party of four. I don’t know if they don’t have enough wait staff or what, but going from an hour-twenty-minute wait to almost immediate seating seemed really odd and makes it kind of hard to plan.

Food was great. We’ll keep going there regularly.

May 26, 2009 at 4:18PM

That’s great to hear.  I’ve been critical of them myself.  Ironically, I’ve had rocking service a Fireworks.  We love the cola cake and go there at least once a month for that.  My wife isn’t as into Fireworks food as I am, but the catfish with a side of mac and cheese!!!

May 26, 2009 at 4:28PM

The cola cake is always a win at Fireworks as long as you still have room.

May 26, 2009 at 8:12PM

Lazlo’s in the Haymarket has had a much higher than normal turnover in the last couple of years.  When I worked there, 90% of the staff in the kitchen and in the front of house had at least one years experience there and many had been working there for well over 3 years, which is an eternity at a restaurant.  Fireworks seems to still have many of the same people there as when it first opened.  Consistency is the key, especially for Lazlo’s team concept, which is different from Fireworks.

May 26, 2009 at 10:42PM

‘bout time you changed your mind!  Just kidding…

But seriously, either my standards are lower or I’ve just lucked out, because I never experienced any of the problems at Lazlos/Fireworks that have been mentioned here or on Yelp.

Still a fan!  And now I’m adding “cola cake” to my to-try list.

May 27, 2009 at 8:27PM

I went to Lazlo’s South over the weekend and thought service was back to the way anyone that is a long time patron expects.  They’ve messed up what used to be the best Long Island Iced Tea in town, but aside from that a great experience again.  Welcome Back Lazlo’s!

Mrs. Wisco
May 28, 2009 at 12:35AM

We’ve been to Lazlo’s a few times recently - both the Haymarket and the South locations. For a good casual meal, I like their food a lot. So, I put up with the service. But, I hate how all the waitstaff share all the tables so no single person is responsible for serving your table. One person takes the drink order, one brings in, another takes food order, another brings it, etc. It’s more like robots than true service. I mean, it accomplishes the function, but doesn’t have the personal touch.

May 28, 2009 at 3:10AM

Service was bad a few years ago, but my experiences of late have been GREAT.  I have always really liked their food and will continue to go ... it’s kind of the default place to go when thinking of where to eat downtown.

Make sure and ask for a basket of beer bread (complimentary) ... ask for creamy garlic dressing for dipping too (minimal charge for the dressing).  You have to ask, it’s not on the menu perse.

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