I've eaten at Maya a number of times, once in New York and four times at this location in San Francisco. Though the quality of the food stands the test of the time, this upscale Mexican restaurant just fails to deliver an acceptable level of service.
Tonight, I was there with a group of four for a very early (in my book) reservation: 7pm. With cocktails, guacamole, appetizers, main courses and dessert, we were out less than 90 minutes later... unacceptably fast by any means.
The service was also completely unprofessional - our main courses were presented while the appetizers were still on our table - not acceptable for a cheap restaurant and certainly not what I expect when paying more than $50 a head. The Maitre 'd didn't speak or understand enough English to even take our drink orders (two margaritas, on the rocks, with salt) or dessert orders (what kinds of ice cream do you have.... ice cream... helado... while pointing repeatedly at the menu).
The food, once spectacular, is now just acceptable. The guacamole and warm chips were the definite highlight, followed by good beef tacos on handmade corn tortillas. The carnitas were poor for the price, easily beaten by those made by Tres Agaves, Pancho Villa or even Mexico au Parc. Even the margaritas were lackluster.
It's a shame. Simply polishing the service (which, to be noted, has been this brusque if not this unprofessional since they opened years ago) would have left a better taste in my mouth, even though the food failed to do so.
I don't know why I went back. For $50 per person, there are many better options for Mexican in town.