The Succulent Fig
$$ Contemporary American Cuisine with a Japanese Twist
Amber M. Rating: 2/5 stars 9/12/2015
My husband and I heard good things about this place, so we gave it a whirl. What a debacle! I asked our server, this blonde who looked about sixteen, if any entrees on the menu were vegan. She pointed out the almond-crusted tofu with ponzu sauce. I asked her if the ponzu had katsuobushi flakes in it. She gave me this vacant stare, like I’d just spoken ancient Hebrew. She clearly had no idea what I was talking about. She was probably new. I almost felt bad for her, but not quite. Being new and young is no excuse for not knowing anything about the food you’re serving. I decided to spare her further embarrassment by telling her to just hold the ponzu, but of course, when the dish came out, it was drowned in ponzu. The girl claimed she had told the cook to hold the ponzu, but I’m sure she just forgot. I won’t be coming back here any time soon.
Ian S. Rating: 3/5 stars 11/15/2015
Stopped in with two buddies after work. I ordered a bottle of Christmas Ale and a quarter-pound teriyaki burger with sweet potato fries. When my beer came out, it was warm. Why the hell would the waitress bring me warm beer? Nobody drinks warm beer. I gave the beer back to her and told her to bring me a cold one. She came back a minute later and said that none of the Christmas Ales were cold—they’d just put them in the refrigerator. I asked her what was cold, and she said the Oktoberfest and the Sapporo were. I hate Oktoberfest, and I’ve never heard of Sapporo, so I just told her to bring me some ice water.
When my burger came out, it was underdone. I asked for medium-rare, but the burger she brought me was practically mooing. Either she didn’t get the order right, or the cook didn’t know what medium-rare looked like. I suspect it was the former. Miss Warm Beer also forgot to bring me ketchup, and I expressly asked for ketchup when I ordered. This joint needs to stop hiring waitresses just because they’re good-looking young blondes. I’ll take an ugly waitress with a brain any day over a dumb knockout. I’m only giving the “Sucky Fig” three stars because the sweet potato fries were delicious.
Sandra G. Rating: 1/5 stars 12/21/2015
Brought my 2-year-old son here for lunch because they have a great kids menu. My son only drinks milk, and he only drinks it if it’s warm. I relayed this information to our server. She said she had a boy who was about my son’s age, and he liked his milk warm, too. About three minutes later, this smelly, sweaty guy in a stained apron brought out the milk. I touched the cup, and I could tell immediately that the milk was too hot.
When our server returned, I handed her the cup and asked her if she’d let her son drink milk that hot. She said she wouldn’t and apologized. She brought us another milk that was the right temperature, and she didn’t charge us for either one, but I was still pissed. You’d think the mother of a 2-year-old who liked warm milk would be conscientious enough to check the temperature of the warm milk she was serving to other 2-year-olds. She’s lucky my son didn’t drink it. If he had, he would have burned his tongue, and I would have sued.
Kristen H. Rating: 4/5 stars 1/18/2016
My girlfriends and I ate here last night. The food was okay. My salmon was too salty, but the ginger risotto was unbelievable, and the fried sesame balls were heavenly.
The meal was a little awkward because our server was this girl we all went to high school with. She dropped out our junior year for some reason. I know she knew who we were, but she didn’t say “hi” or show any sign of recognition. If anything, I thought she was a little cold. I don’t know what she has against us. It’s not our fault that she didn’t graduate and ended up waiting tables instead of going to college.
Rob Q. Rating: 3/5 stars 2/9/2016
Dropped in for a drink last night. I had a White Russian and some sushi. The White Russian was good—a tad heavy on the vodka, but I like them like that. The sushi was disappointing. The rolls were too small and tasted stale and cold—like they’d been sitting in a refrigerator for a couple weeks. Also, this weird thing happened. There was this one blonde waitress working the room, and about ten minutes after I arrived, a toddler came rushing out of the kitchen, grabbed her leg, and yelled “Mommy!” I got nothing against kids, but don’t bring them to work. This is a restaurant, not a nursery.
Nancy P. Rating: 2/5 stars 4/5/2016
Normally this place is great, but yesterday, they were really off their game. My scallops were rubbery and bland, and there were only three of them. The Sauvignon Blanc was sour to the point that it made me wince, and the vegetable dumplings we ordered for the table were mushy and oily. Worst of all, our server seemed distracted the whole time, constantly looking at the door. Mid-way through our lunch, this older woman comes in, hands our server an envelope, and says, “You got in.” Our server takes off her apron, drops it in a booth, and walks out the front door with this lady. If you get accepted to some school or program that you want to get into, good for you, but don’t quit your job in the middle of your shift. You’ll never get anywhere with a work ethic like that. I’ll probably see that girl back in Cleveland working at some other restaurant in a year.
Jack’s work has appeared in WhiskeyPaper, Literary Orphans, Midwestern Gothic, The Molotov Cocktail, Jellyfish Review, and a number of other publications. He lives in Cleveland with his wife and their three children. You can find him on Twitter @jsomers530 or visit him at www.jacksomerswriter.com.