Houston's, Gulfstream, and Hillstone's new no reservations policy


#1

I called to make a reservation at Houston’s in Irvine yesterday and was told quite snippily that they didn’t take reservations. We have often made reservations in the past, so I pointed that out to this person. She replied, again snippily, that they used to but now are not. So I hung up.

Then I thought maybe we’d go to Gulfstream in Newport, but no they take reservations either any more.

So I Googled the Hillstone Group (owner of these and other restaurant chains) and apparently this is a new nation-wide policy at most or all of their restaurants. What a shame! Unclear as to why such a policy would be canceled or what the cancellation is trying to accomplish.

We’ve always liked their restaurants a lot. Consistently good food, good wait staff, pleasant ambience, very well-managed. We often went there before a movie, so a reservation was important so as to have a clear time frame for lunch or dinner and then the show. Now, I guess we’ll have to find alternatives.


#2

The Hillstone in SF takes reservations.

Could be they had too many no-shows.


#3

Does one really need reservations at Houston’s?


#4

Yes, “one” does. Unless you want to wait up to an hour. Of course, I’m speaking to the bleak OC dining scene.


#5

Those Gulfsteam biscuits are good…if we ever drop by, we usually scope out for a table in the bar area…the wait for that isn’t terribly bad…usually about 20-30 minutes.


#6

When my office was in Park Place Irvine, I was in there for lunch meetings with clients at least twice a month, so reservations were really handy. Necessary? I guess not, but it sure did help.


#7

I love Bandera (Brentwood) and it still takes reservations. Hillstone Santa Monica also takes reservations. Both are via Resy.


#8

I’ve always known the Houston’s in Pasadena to not take reservations, but Bandera and Gulfstream would. Surprising if they got rid of them at the less-busy spots.


#9

Was curious, so called Bandera CDM (walking distance from my mom’s and place we go most often out of the group) and they no longer take reservations due to late arrivals/no shows.

Wait time could be up to 2 hours on Friday and Saturday, with new policy 45 minutes tops. Although as person said, regulars “know when to come”- which basically means your name is added to the top of the list.

Did not ask about locations in LA, but this policy applies to Gulfstream, Houston’s and R+D Kitchen in OC.