I recently failed to find things when searching by name. I tried looking up a foreign song by its name, and a restaurant by its name, address and city (all in one query). Both those searches failed.
What did work was looking for the category of the song. It’s no secret that if your search is too specific, you want to broaden it, but sometimes it’s difficult seeing how to make something broader when you’re already searching on a general term.
To give an SEO analogy, if you wanted to read about improving registration page conversions, you might look up ‘conversion rate optimization blog’ and then dig around sites on the topic. It may take a little longer, but it’s a way to find stuff in the longtail when Google’s algorithms suck too much.
With regards to the restaurant, it seems the Google Places listing hasn’t been claimed. Presumably that’s why the query confused Google, which gave me a country-level view of its map. Obviously useless.
What did work was just looking for the address itself, which Google somehow does know. So if you’re looking for directions to a restaurant or place, type in the street address… not the name.