The old Macaroni Grill on Crenshaw Blvd. in Torrance is now StoneFire Grill. It opened just a couple of weeks ago and we thought it was a good time to go yesterday since it was the middle of the week. Sandi, Mertz and I met there. It is still the size of the old restaurant, big and spacious. The one big change is a counter in front at which you had to place your order. This would not be a good place to go to when there's a line. Fortunately, we got there early so they didn't have a line yet.
They have an extensive menu. What restaurant has 18 different salads? From the grill they have tri-tip, chicken, salmon, ribs and sea bass pizza, pasta and sandwiches. They have family meals, crowd pleasers, kid's menu and dessert.
Mertz ordered the Traditional Greek Salad; mixed greens, Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, green peppers, tomato, radishes, red onion in an olive oil vinaigrette dressing. Sandi had the Asian Salad: choice of quinoa or grilled chicken with mixed greens, Mandarin oranges, scallions, red peppers, snow peas, wontons, toasted almonds, sesame seeds in a sesame ginger dressing.
I ordered the petite size Grilled Salad; choice of quinoa (which was not my choice), mesquite grilled chicken breast (my choice) or tri-tip with avocado, artichoke hearts, red cabbage, cucumber, tomato, Gouda cheese with a Dijon mustard Vinaigrette. I also ordered a small Chicken Tortilla Soup. The soup was delicious with a bit of a kick to it. My salad came and I looked at it and almost cried. It looked awful. It was like someone put me on a horrible diet. They had mistakenly given me the Mediterranean Salad Bowl; Farro Salad, quinoa, homemade hummus, and Mediterranean chopped salad served with Jerusalem Pita. It was my worst nightmare...the only thing lacking was coconut! I told the server that that was not what I ordered. His response was: " Oh" pause....."I will call the manager and let him know." I told him I didn't want it. He then left with the salad. The manager came with the salad and apologized. He left it for us to consume. Mertz, Sandi and I had a small bite of the Farro and Quinoa. We all thought it was terrible. I can't understand why this would be on a menu. Mertz was not happy with her Greek Salad. It had way too much dressing. Sandi thought her Asian Salad was just o.k.
My Grilled Salad finally came and it looked promising but it was a big disappointment. Even though it looked like there was a ton of dressing, it was absolutely tasteless. I asked for more dressing but that did not help. The veggies were chopped up in pieces and they were crunchy but had no flavor. A rabbit might have been happy.
It must not have occurred to our server or manager when they stopped by our table that my salad was almost the same quantity as when I started and the extra salad looked untouched. For a new restaurant, I think they should have trained servers who would aim to please. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out something was not good when they see a plateful of food untouched.
It's a shame that all 3 of us will not be going back to StoneFire Grill in the near future. By the time we left, there was a long line of people waiting to order. We unanimously thought we would not go anywhere where we have to line up just to place your order unless of course, it was spectacular.