It was really crowded but they had some tables. The food there is usually good, but the service can be hit or miss. I should have known, considering how crowded it was, that today was going to be one of those "miss" days.
We were at dinner for almost 2 hours. We didn't really order a lot - chat papri appetizer, and we split 2 entrees (chana masala, chicken jalfrezi and garlic naan). No special drinks to make or anything. Just very basic and straightforward, so it really shouldn't have taken 2 hours.
The kitchen seemed to be good about getting the appetizers out, but the entrees seemed to be stalling. I'm not sure what was going on but their timing seemed off. There were 3 people serving and taking care of the whole restaurant, but of the 3, 1 guy was hustling, 1 guy was working at a moderate pace and the other 1... I'm not sure what he was doing. He would mostly help set and clear tables, and then help out with the other tables if he felt like it. Needless to say, the food took awhile to come today. We didn't even get the free pappadums that usually come out when you sit down without asking for them, which has never happened before. Everything was just a little off.
But the wait for the food wasn't even the worst part of it. It was the fact that no one was ever around when they needed to be around, and this wasted so much time. It took over 10 minutes before someone even came and took our check once it was ready! But it's not like they just weren't there. They passed by at least 10 times and it was clearly ready to go, but they never took it. Other people had their checks finished during that time, so I don't think they were just ignoring checks. It felt like they were just ignoring us!
The water problem didn't help this perception. We were out of water almost the whole night. A number of times, we asked for water and they forgot. Then there were 2 times that I signaled to the third guy working, the one who helped when he felt like it. He saw me, acknowledged me, looked over, and when I asked for water, he just turned and walked away. I was really turned off by that. He had no problem getting the beers for the men at the next table. Was it a gender thing?
If that wasn't enough, we couldn't finish our food and asked for it to be wrapped up. They never wrapped up the naan, which wouldn't be a big deal if we didn't have to pay for it. I'm not going to pay $5 for naan when we barely ate half of it and had requested to take the rest of it home! They apparently threw it out instead of wrapping it up, so after 15 minutes or more, they finally got us new ones. I wasn't in it for new naan; I really just wanted the rest of what we ordered because we were going to eat it and so it wouldn't go to waste!
One thing after another, and it was just a really disappointing experience. The food itself is good, and it's our favorite Indian place in the neighborhood for the food (there is one I just won't go back to because the food was just bad the last time we went), but I'm not sure I'm going back anytime soon because the service was so bad tonight. Just disappointing. Took a lot of time and was kind of aggravating. That was on top of the girls who left who decided to stand right in front of the open doors smoking, blowing the cigarette smoke into the restaurant, instead of standing about six inches or a foot over in front of the closed windows. So inconsiderate! I know that's not the restaurant's fault, but all in all, just a disappointing night.