Review of Buddha Bar Paris

Posted by Conor O'Neill on Sunday, January 6, 2008

We all know to expect snooty service in Paris but I’ve rarely found that and have enjoyed most meals that I’ve had there. So I was a bit gobsmacked by the Jean Marie Le Pen supporters running Buddha Bar in Paris.

The “evening” unfolded like this.

  1. We’re at Le Web 3 conference in Paris and we want to get some food. We also want to do so near the NetVibes party later on Rue de Rivoli
  2. Tariq Krim says that it isn’t a good area for food but Buddha Bar is ok.
  3. Four of us take the tube over, arrive into Buddha Bar and I ask if they have a table for 8 people (the expected number)
  4. Stormtrooper behind desk snaps “have you a reservation”. No, sorry, we don’t.
  5. Stormtrooper snaps “for how many?”. We say 8.
  6. Stormtrooper snaps “how many here now”. Emmm, only 4.
  7. Stormtrooper snaps “well come back when there are 8”. Oh ok.
  8. We go to the Bar. Then the beer rip-off story happens.
  9. Three people cancel on us, so we are now 5 and we go back to desk
  10. Stormtrooper snaps “yes?”. Emmm, we’d like a table for 5.
  11. Stormtrooper snaps “have you a reservation”. We were just here 15 minutes ago.
  12. Stormtrooper snaps “how many here now”. Emmm, 5.
  13. Stormtrooper picks up walkie-talkie and shouts into it. Someone shouts back.
  14. Stormtrooper snaps “follow that woman” and turns away from us
  15. Stormtrooper II shouts into Walkie talkie and points down the stairs
  16. We descend and encounter Stormtrooper III shouting into a walkie talkie
  17. She brings us to a table
  18. That’s it. We never received any other service from them
  19. After 40 minutes without menus, water, bread or anyone to flag down, we walked out. If I’d had a few drinks on me I’d probably have found it hilarious but as it was actually the worst non-dining experience of my life. You’d be better off in McDonalds.

We walked up Rue de Rivoli and found a nice pub bistro doing steak, frites and wine. A decent solid meal. I only wish I’d written the name of it down.

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