Poor service & Low food quality.

    I used to write reviews for every restaurant that I visited but now I typically save it for the best and the worst. For the worst, I understand restaurants that have bad/busy/down days and I don't bother writing a review before giving them another chance.

    I'm not giving Playt another chance.

    It was such a subpar experience that we left food uneaten (still paid the bill) and left within 30 mins of being seated.

    First, the service was a fail. We made advanced reservations for 5:30pm on a Saturday and when we arrived we weren't greeted for some time. The restaurant was nearly empty. Finally, made eye contact and a nice curly haired lady seated us. Took another several minutes before getting water. Another several minutes for our orders to be taken, etc.

    Mind you, the restaurant was almost empty. There was a male server who was prancing around, dancing, skipping us even when said curly haired lady gestured him to our table. He ignored us and danced around the host table while we were looking around for someone to take our order.

    Curly haired lady was the one who attended to us the whole time and I don't think she'a s server. +1 star for her.

    The food.....was.....terrible. I would have tolerated the service had the food not been so bad. OVERLOADED with salt in every dish. I like salty but this was unbearable. Overcooked shrimp, unripened tomatoes, bitter greens.....we literally tasted the 4 dished we ordered and then just stopped.

    We finished our drink, flagged down the busser who then flagged a server who then flagged down curly haired lady and we left after settling the bill. We were so annoyed with the whole experience (and hangry) that we didn't attempt to take up any issues with a manager and actually paid for the food we didn't eat...JUST TO LEAVE as fast as we could.

    Ended up going to another spot to eat.

    Would never give this place another chance and surprised that it was associated with Pican.

    thumb Susie O.

      My friend and I had dinner here last night, it's a modern take on southern comfort food, my friend had the short ribs over grits which is delicious by the way and I had the buttermilk fried chicken and it came with their fantastic baked macaroni and cheese and pork braised greens, I will definitely be returning for the shrimp and grits and the short ribs and grits... we also had the fried catfish fingers and they were excellent.... if you're looking for some good modern southern comfort food then I would definitely recommend this place!

    thumb Erykah B.

      Delightfully surprised to try this new place to us in downtown Hayward as its very local to us.

    I enjoyed a manhattan before dinner. Perfect.

    I ordered the ribeye, med-rare.  It came with yams and Chinese broccoli.  I cleaned my plate.  I never clean my plate.  I don't know what their seasoning is on that steak, but aghhhh never change it. The yams (could have been sweet potato) were amazing too.  Even the broccoli was cooked perfectly- not overcooked, crunchy.

    He had the burger.  He said it was juicy, very tasty.  It also had tons of seasoning.  Expect some of that "juice" to drip down your fingers. Fries had some seasoning but not enough to change the potato color. He finished his plate too.

    Service was VERY friendly. Our server had a good sense of humor too.  The day we visited, there was a fire down the street which was probably the reason why the power went out in the middle of our meal! But luckily, our food was cooked and was brought to our table just as the lights and music powered down.  We little candles at our tables and we continued to eat.

    The ambience before the power went out was nice.  Music was R&B retro when we were there- I liked it.  Decor had clean lines, reminded me a little of The Jetsons.

    I'm sure we will return.

    thumb Theresa O.

      Best shrimp and grits I've had in California. This classy spot has solid cocktails and delicious southern cuisine. The service is courteous and able to provide suggestions. If you're in Hayward, then definitely check out this hidden gem. -

    thumb Lacee E.

      My husband, daughter and I were seated at a high bar table for 6 instead of a small table for 4...I asked why we couldn't have a smaller table and was given the answer of "because the other tables are reserved", even though there were at least 3 unoccupied tables for 4 and 2-3 booths for 4, so we accepted that answer and sat.  We ordered several dishes to share including a glass of wine for each of us.  My Chardonnay was served at room temperature so I sent it back and was given a cold wine... thank you but Chardonnay should be served cold the first time.  The food came and we were not impressed by the presentation or flavour which was lacking!  Time to go to the restroom... ughh.  You can smell the restroom just walking down the hallway and I had to hold my breath the entire time I was in there due to non-existent ventilation... I felt like I needed to take a shower after that experience.  We finished our wine and time to go home... there were still at least two tables and booths unoccupied all during the time we were  there until we left.  The owner, however, was very nice so 2 stars for him.  We just won't be returning.

    thumb Lourdes B.

      Overpriced; Food quality is worse than those chain restaurants (Chili's, TGI Friday's).
    Spent $120 for a family of 4 (2 adults n 2 kids, aged 5 and 3).

    Poor Service; employees seem to be busy mingling amongst themselves.

    The single star is for their outdoor seating option.

    thumb Janel P.

      Really tried to give this place a try.  Had a reservation and was seated when we got there. This is where it took a turn for the worse. Got water and menus and left seated without any help for 15 minutes. Saw and spoke to Mr. Leblanc who passed by our table at least three or four times and never acknowledged someone would be with us after our initial hello. Our waiter who was supposed to wait on our table was too busy trying to make sure a larger party was seated first. Service is terrible here and I will never come back. This is definitely not the vibe or class of Picans.

    thumb S J.

      I went to Playt because the same owner did a great job at Pecans. If only he could duplicate what he did there. The service, if you want to cal it that is beyond TERRIBLE. We were seated quickly because I made a reservation through OpenTable. Once seated, we waited 15 minutes for someone to take our order. No one did so we left. NEVER got a chance to taste the food and I never will. I will NEVER go back. One of the easiest things for a restaurant to do, is to take your order. Sad commentary.

    thumb Mark J.

      I have been here twice. Once for happy hour with our work crew and another time shortly after with my fiancé and son.  Happy Hour was good. Service was lacking but kitchen was on it. Very good food. Dinner. Was much more crowded and well staffed. Service and food was excellent! We will be back. Bathrooms need improvement but the experience of the over all dining and quality of food and ambiance was terrific. The owner was present both times.  Very impressed with him and this restaurant. I highly recommend.

    thumb Shellie T.

      I passed by this restaurant almost everyday without ever eating here until today.

    Playt is a southern food restaurant. They offer seafood dishes, meat dishes, veggies and appetizers. Lots of alcohol beverages like beers, wine and mixed cocktail drinks.

    The wait: my partner and I waited around 5 mins before the bartender greeted us and sat us at a table. They were busy and looked like they may have been short-staffed. When we got seated, water and the menus we brought to us. So many good menu items on there that had us switching back and forth on our final decision. To be waited on, again it was a little longer and I think it was because they may have been short-staffed.

    Our orders: I decided to have the shrimp and grits. My partner ordered the Cajun Salmon dish. We ordered corn bread and fried green tomatoes. My partner also ordered their smoked Gouda Mac and cheese. Water to drink.

    The food: Fried green tomatoes were so good with the cornmeal crust and tasty Cajun dressing. I finished the tomatoes and couldn't stop eating just the dressing off my fingers. The corn bread came  with butter that melted when rubbed on them were amazing. The corn bread was so moist and sweet. I felt so good eating it. Shrimp and grits were so flavorful and so warm. The grits were buttery and melted on my tongue. I could not stop making "mmm" noises when I was eating it. The Cajun salmon, my partner enjoyed but said he liked my dish a tad bit better. Our table conversation mainly was about how good everything was and how much we want to bring family over here to eat it too. I tried the Mac and cheese, very cheesy and not greasy or heavy like you would think it would be. Just the right amount of cheese in it. Light and satisfying. Not going to lie, the portions were smaller but we had appetizers and everything on the table we were sharing with each other had filled us up.

    The staff: Aside from being busy at the bar, the bartender was consistent in checking in with us and making sure we had everything we needed. True southern hospitality was what we got.

    Our tab: For those dishes, and just water to drink it all came out to $71. Okay, it's a little up there but this is food you want to eat every once in a while to treat yourself to something good. Unless you can afford it everyday, this food is special and not your average restaurant.

    Will we be back? Hell yeah. I still want to try their chicken pot pie, or lobster ravioli, or fried catfish.

    thumb Elizabeth A.

      This time we had the chicken again, because OF COURSE we're gonna have the chicken.  It's really fantastic fried chicken.  To be clear, I never eat mac and cheese.  I find it an abomination.  Not Playt's though.  I gouda eat my mac n cheese there.  The only complaint is that the greens are a bit salty, but they're pork-flavored greens.  I think that's just what they're meant to be.

    The cornbread?  The bad news was it was supposed to have blueberries but they were all crammed in the corner of one piece.  The good news is that the cornbread is fantastic.  Like the best cornbread I've had in my life.  So moist. So sweet.  It was fantastic.

    The catfish fingers?  Lightly battered.  Crispy on the outside.  Nicely cooked on the inside.  Tasty sauce.  Tasty slaw with it.  Good stuff.

    The portabello mushroom entree made me think, "Ah, I guess I could be a vegetarian."  I still had chicken, but the mushroom was delicious.  The presentation had a patter of several different ingredients across the plate. Olive oil, vinegar, something green, and maybe another thing or two.  Not sure. Gorgeous for sure.  I wanted bread so I could sop up every last drop.  There was no suffering eating the succotash, either.

    The Cajun fries were the low point of the meal.  The fries were not bad.  In fact, they were great for fries.  Crispy.  Salty.  Spiced.  At a regular meal, they'd be a high point.  It's just that all the rest of the food was so much more flavorful.  When the unfried food is so good that good french fries are bland, you got DAMNED GOOD FOOD.  I did end up dipping the fries in the oil/vinegar mix of my mushroom entree.

    Finally we had the apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  The ice cream scoop was big, but the cobbler was huge.  There was so much sweet, rich, tasty cobbler that I wanted more ice cream to mix with it.  How often do you have a dessert and think, "Wow!  There's still more?"  Yeah, we thought that.

    Yeah, we overate.

    thumb J S.

      Maybe our mistake was coming here on a Friday night because the the place was packed and service was VERY mixed. As new as this restaurant is, we were not prepared to be ignored for a total of 10-15 minutes at the host stand, trying and failing to make eye contact with any server that would walk right past us.

    Finally, a female server with curly hair approached us and asked us if we had a reservation. We did not. She then proceeded to tell us that the only availability was at the lower lounge table, next to the bar, but took off before we could even tell her that we wanted to sit there. Again, we were just left stranded at the host stand, unsure if we should wait to be seated or just go sit there ourselves, as the table had not yet been cleaned.

    After waiting another 5 minutes and trying to tell other servers our situation and having them telling us "someone will be right with you," we took it upon ourselves to bring menus and seat ourselves. We had to ask a busser to clean the table for us, as no server seemed to notice we were there.

    After another 10 minutes, it was the bartender that found us and asked to take our orders. He was very friendly and helpful, as was the busser who ended up bringing all of our food to us. The only time we ever even saw a server was when we had to flag one down for our check.

    She had orange flat-ironed hair and was definitely not happy to "serve" us. Considering the only time she even helped us was to clarify a side order and bring us our check, I am not sure what she could be upset with us about.

    I really hope it was not an issue of discrimination. She was very friendly, making small talk with the African American party next to us, but literally would not even look me in the eye. And even though I was the one who flagged her down from the bar, she approached their table first and attended to their needs and made drinks for other tables before she brought us our check.

    When she did bring us the check, she did not say anything, did not even look at us, just dropped it on the table and left. Same as when she picked up our check, after we had put our card in it, and when she dropped the receipt for us to sign.

    It's really too bad. The ambiance is nice. Perfect for a fun night out or to celebrate a birthday. It is quite loud in there, though, so don't expect to have private conversations. The food is actually really good and the Mac n' cheese is probably the best I'd ever had at a restaurant. However, the prices are way too high at this restaurant for this low level of service.

    I hope they are able to work out their service kinks soon, as I noticed multiple parties at the door looking just as exasperated as us to not be noticed, let alone greeted.

    Note to the owner: Bring on more personable servers. Maybe some people who can put aside their own biases or frustrations and can perform their jobs like a professional.

    thumb Diana T.

      Not my favorite.   The food reminded me of southern cuisine but was just not the same as good hometown cooking in the region I'm from.  I felt like the food was not genuine in the style they're trying to represent.  The only part of the meal that my friend and I truly liked was the cornbread; the rest was overly presented and underwhelming in content (it was just not that good.).  I'm disappointed because the flavor was even lacking.  I've been wanting to try this place for awhile.  Will not be returning, theres better cuisine (and much better "southern style") cuisine around.

    thumb Stacey S.

      I loved my catfish meal with the broccolini & yams! Catfish was cooked to taste & not salty

    What stole the show was that bread pudding, I was looking for somebody to slap it was good!

    Word to the wise, please make sure your cornbread is hot so that butter can melt!

    thumb Latisha M.

      I love this place. The only reason I give it a 4 out of 5 star review is because of the wait for drinks seems to be a reoccurring theme when I visit. Other than that, the food is great!

    thumb Lauren S.

      This review is for service, we didn't even get to try the food because the service was so slow. My bf and I were excited to try their brunch menu. We came in this morning. Waited a bit to be acknowledged that we were there and then eventually were seated. We waited about 15 min and no one even came over to ask us for drinks or even tell us we would be waited on soon. Other people walked in got seated and got waited on immediately. Idk why they didn't want to wait on us, but I won't be going back, hope your service gets better.

    thumb Victoria D.

      Food came out fresh ! The environment of the restaurant is very dope with a modern touch.

    thumb Diante P.

      Great catfish and grits ate all my food go from there nice atmosphere clean comfortable

    thumb Todd H.