Today I skipped my usual random selection because a coworker suggested we go try Green Olives, a new restaurant on Zinfandel between White Rock & International, which opened very recently. We’ve been watching this building with interest ever since we saw the sign go up and a liquor license notice posted in the window. No one had a clue what type of restaurant it would be (the sign simply states Restaurant • BBQ • Bar • Grill) until I stopped in yesterday to grab a menu. Turns out it’s another Mediterranean / Middle Eastern joint.
We arrived today at about 11:40AM. The space is fairly large and empty feeling, it’s just a big rectangular room with tables and practically nothing in the way of decoration aside from the curtains and the bar. They do have a fairly nice patio. Of course we were sat right next to the only other occupied table (seriously?). We were given menus and had our drink order taken and filled relatively quickly. The soda here is something like $1.91. They didn’t seem to have it listed on the bill when she first brought it to us, but our credit receipts clearly reflected the addition of about a couple bucks.
As far as salads go they have just three, a garden, a Caesar and a Greek salad. I went with the Greek [cucumbers, tomatoes, sliced red onions, bell pepper, feta cheese and olives]($6.99) and added chicken for $2.99. The server was obviously still learning. I had to show her the Greek salad on the menu, then after saying I wanted chicken she asked if I wanted to add shrimp or chicken. I rolled with it and said chicken again. My coworker ordered the Chicken Thigh Kebab (served with saffron rice, tomatoes and salad)[$10.99]. With that, she was off – but without taking the menus. She didn’t pick them up until she had brought the 2nd of our dishes. You can see them in the photo below, still chillin on the table.
I say that because my salad arrived a full 10 minutes before his kebab plate. The pacing was really off here. Obviously the salad was my entree, so these should have arrived together. My salad was pretty nice looking with lots of cheese and a good amount of chicken. There was basically a whole tomato in it, maybe more than one. I had to carefully cut these into more bite-sized chunks. This was more difficult than it sounds because the bowl was quite full and not very stable for the task. Many pieces of lettuce and chicken went overboard. The dressing was essentially just olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was tasty and strong, especially down towards the bottom where it was more concentrated. The chicken was decent, it definitely could have been a little more tender and moist though. Everything else about the salad was very good. All the ingredients were delicious. The olives were a bit of a pain in the ass though because they were not pitted and I didn’t really have anywhere to put those. The kebab plate looked good, the chicken looked a lot juicier for sure.
This place is clearly still trying to figure itself out. The food was fine, but the service and atmosphere was just off on virtually all counts. They didn’t have any music playing but you could sort of hear the channel that the three TVs were set to. There is one really bizarre table that is set very nicely, as if it’s for a VIP or something. But it’s just in the middle of a bunch of other tables, it’s so strange. I figured out why that was though later on when I visited their website. The website, by the way, is laughably generic, full of stock photos and really horrible to navigate. Of the actual photos of the restaurant/food they do have, including a surprisingly nicely put together video (they must have spent all the tablecloth money on the graphics), nearly all of them were taken showing this table and this table alone. It kind of misrepresents the place. To their credit, on the About Us page, they do show the rest of the dining room in a couple small photos. I found this quote to be really funny: “It’s there that we perfected our organic, hand-crafted cuisine, and it wasn’t long before people from all over the world were flocking to our small neighborhood restaurant for a taste of perfection!” You just can’t say something like that when you’re this new. There were a total of 4 other people there during what should have been peak lunch by the time we left, and a whopping 2 Yelp reviews so far. I know, I’m ranting about things that are pretty insignificant on their own. It just really got to me today for some reason, all these things together. On the plus side there seems to be another restaurant being constructed next door, so I’ll be looking forward to that!