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Cyrus -- Downhill or as Good as Ever?

Downhill. The service was horrible. Went in October for my b-day. When we got there, no one greeted us so we kept on walking in towards the dining room, before we got there, someone yelled out "EXCUSE ME", almost like we did something wrong. Ironically, he was the only one that wished me a happy b-day that night. I never got the "special b-day treat" that everyone has mentioned in reviews I've read. Besides that, service was sloppy, they spilled water all over our table a couple times when they refilled our water and the guy that changed our flatware after each course almost just "tossed" flatware in front of us. To be fair, the food was good. We both had the tasting menu and was happy with all the savory courses. However, the desserts were a let down.

Recommendation for parents who like buffets

There is a cheaper version of Espetus called Cleo's (http://www.cleossteakhouse.com) in San Bruno. It's $16/pp for lunch and $22/pp for dinner. It's all you can eat. There is a salad/hot food self-serve area plus there are servers that come to the table and carve meat onto your plate. Espetus has more variety, better service and better quality but cost twice as much. I have taken my folks to Cleo's and they love it for the value and they think it's fun.

Gary Danko or The Dining Room at The Ritz Carlton?

As Scott M said, you can't really go wrong with either place. However, I had more fun and I felt more comfortable/relaxed at The Dining Room than I did at Gary Danko. The food was also more creative at The Dining Room. I'm not sure if it matters to you, but The Dining Room has brighter lighting. If I were to take my mother out, that would be a concern for me. I can already hear my mother saying that it's too dark to see what's on the menu and that she can't see what she's eating at Gary Danko. Neither place requires a jacket. I don't recommend it but I've seen people in jeans at both places. Enjoy!

Commis - Chef Counter or Regular Table?

I called two weeks ago to make a reservation for mid-October and was able to get counter seats. I asked if it's going to be a tasting menu, she said no, it's going to be 4-courses for $68. She also said between the two of us, we can pretty much order one of everything on the menu. I'm totally looking forward to it!