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Restaurant complaints thread

momopi_IHB

New member
I'm creating a thread for people who'd like to complain about certain restaurants, or specific dishes at a restaurant.



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Fogo de Chao



So I drove all the way to Beverly Hills for my friend's b-day dinner at this place. It's right next to many famous restaurants in the area, like Lawrey's, Stinking Rose, etc.



Expectations were high and the meat selection was decent. The waiters came and refilled our side dishes and wonderful cheese bread. However, the salad bar was... for lack of better word, "cheap".



Yes, I understand that I'm going to a Brazilian steak house and salad bar is not the primary dish here. But c'mon, I paid ~$280 for 4 people. You'd think that they can afford to lay something better on the cold cuts section.



The meats at this place looks good but if you eat too much at a time, it makes you feel "greasy". It's better to eat moderate amounts with bread and salad in between. I think they brush oil on the meat or something. My aunt's family is from Brazil and I don't think I ever had this problem at their dining table.





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Sushi rice (Sushi meshi)



Sushi rice is made with short-grained Japanese rice with just the right level of "stickiness". Depending on the chef, it can be lightly seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, salt, etc. It's formed by hand to achieve the correct consistency.



Sushi rice should NEVER:

- Fall apart <em>too easily</em>

- Be cold

- Be too dry

- Be mushy

- Be made with wrong type of rice

- Packed too tight (or too sticky) to fall apart in your mouth



If you dip the sushi into sauce, or order a sushi where sauce might soak, then it's understandable that the rice might not hold together.





Kura Sushi, Costa Mesa -- bad sushi rice. If you disagree, compare with Kaisen Kaiten Sushi Bar in Santa Ana:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kura-sushi-costa-mesa

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kaisen-kaiten-sushi-bar-santa-ana <-- better



Both places are rotating belt sushi, but Kaisen Kaiten's sushi rice is better. Not excellent, but better. Kura's sushi is below expectations for me, but their chicken karage was pretty nice with spicy dipping sauce. If you have to dine there, order chicken karage with bowl of steamed rice and miso soup. Skip the sushi.





Sushi Kappo Suzumaru, Tustin -- this is an old family run place and I really hate to bash them, but their sushi rice falls apart too easily. At some places, you can sort of delicately pick up the sushi and get away with it. This place, no way. You can't even pick it up by hand without having it fall apart.



On the other hand, they have many specialty dishes on the white board that's interesting to try. Bring someone who can read Japanese or ask the Chef's wife (?) to explain it to you. Their home made tofu dish (note: not fried or agedashi) was far superior to Ikko's. However, for sushi, I'd have to recommend Ikko in Costa Mesa over Kappo Suzumaru.



http://www.yelp.com/biz/sushi-kappo-suzumaru-tustin

http://www.yelp.com/biz/ikko-japanese-restaurant-costa-mesa <-- better
 

momopi_IHB

New member
Tomikawa on Jeffery in Irvine



Lukewarm, watered-down miso soup. Steamed rice too dry. -- I'll stop here.



If you have to dine here, the combination box provides decent amount of food, though at mediocre quality. Order cooked items that's hard to screw up, like salmon.



This restaurant is owned by the "Octopus" chain. Same recommendation goes for their sister restaurant in downtown Brea.



===========



Thai Spice on Jeffery & Irvine Center Drive -- cannot even make decent fried rice. Tom yum soup is OK.



Pho Factory next to above Thai Spice restaurant -- mediocre pho. Someone else wrote a review:

http://phoking.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/pho-factory-irvine/
 

momopi_IHB

New member
Itamae-san (master chef) training for sushi chefs



Traditional sushi-chef training takes about 10 years of instruction under a master. In old days the apprentice enters at high school age, and if proven to have talent, becomes a chef by mid 20's. These days the apprentice usually start after high school (unless family restaurant) and the length of apprenticeship may be shorter, but it still take years to become a good chef.



An apprentice (minarai) starts by doing basic kitchen chores and learn by observation for few years. After a while he is taught how to gut fish and cook sushi rice properly. If he doesn?t exhibit any decent skills, this is where he?d stay, with pay below or equal to the serving staff. This is also where you'd find the restaurant owner's friend's kid and the daughter's boyfriend/husband with no job skills, washing rice in the back and kept out of the customer's view.



If the apprentice shows skill, he is allowed to work in the front as shimoita (?below the board?), an assistant to the sushi chef. This stage typically take 3 years, where he?d learn how to use various Sashimi h?ch? & other knives properly. Knife skill is very important as it impacts the quality and texture of the nigiri. At this stage the apprentice is not allowed to make sushi for the customer without supervision, though he could make other stuff that require less skill, such as cut rolls and hand rolls. At this stage he is paid at or above the server?s wages.



If the student chef is good enough, he?s promoted to nakaita (?middle board?) where he is allowed to make sushi for the customers without supervision. At this stage he is paid about twice the server?s wages or better. The skill level of chefs at this stage can vary widely, from barely acceptable to very good. Foreign sushi chefs who didn't receive "proper training" but learned through years of experience may be evaluated at nakaita level by their Japanese peers.



A properly trained nakaita, after years of experiences, may attain the status of Itamae-San. A popular master chef can make 6 figures from salary and tips, and get a cut from the sushi bar?s daily bill. At this stage he may also open his own sushi bar and train apprentice.



This kind of time-consuming dedication is not always feasible in chef training overseas. In America the typical sushi academy is a 3-6 months program. Only about 20% of the graduates from these schools go work in traditional sushi restaurants, the rest end up in some kind of ?fusion? restaurant where more emphasis is placed on cooked dishes. A small % of graduates from these compressed courses have good talents and can make good sushi.



In cases where the chef isn?t highly trained/skilled, the restaurant tend to favor fish that?s more forgiving, like salmon and ?spicy tuna?. I?ve had sushi at many restaurants, and some of these had chefs with skills lower than the Mexican lady working at ?Sushi Boy?.



Many sushi chefs are actually not experts at picking fish. They depend on specialized middle-man merchants to pick through wholesale markets and find them the best fish, delivered to the restaurant.
 

kcmkane_IHB

New member
I've got a complaint. In all my years in California (I moved here in 1995) I have eaten at least one Double-Double per week. In those 13 years, I have made literally the same order each time --- "with onions, no tomatoes". In 13 years not ONCE have they ever screwed up my order. That was quite a run.



Well, I went to the new Distict branch of In-N-Out a couple of weeks ago for the 1st time. And guess what --- I got home and pulled that beautiful burger out of the bag what do I see? TOMATOES!!!!! Ewwww, those drippy, slimy seeds distorting an otherwise exquisite work of art. Disgusting. I'll never go back to the Distict In-N-Out again. Thanks for creating this thread --- hopefully my experience will spare other IHB readers the same miserable dining experience as I endured.
 

stepping_up_IHB

New member
In defense of tomatoes....



Where I'm from we don't trust paper. Wealth is what's here on the premises. If I open a cupboard and see, say, 30 cans of tomato sauce and a five-pound bag of rice, I get a little thrill of well-being, much more so than if I take a look at the quarterly dividend report from my mutual fund.

- Garrison Keillor



The metaphor of the melting pot is unfortunate and misleading. A more accurate analogy would be a salad bowl, for, though the salad is an entity, the lettuce can still be distinguished from the chicory, the tomatoes from the cabbage.

- Carl N. Degler



A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.

- Laurie Colwin



It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.

- Lewis Grizzard



When I eat a tomato I look at it the way anyone else would. But when I paint a tomato, then I see it differently.

- Henri Matisse



Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world - except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is lean and the tomato is ripe.

- William Goldman, The Princess Bride
 

IrvineRealtor_IHB

New member
[quote author="CK" date=1215823254]I've got a complaint. In all my years in California (I moved here in 1995) I have eaten at least one Double-Double per week. In those 13 years, I have made literally the same order each time --- "with onions, no tomatoes". In 13 years not ONCE have they ever screwed up my order. That was quite a run.



Well, I went to the new Distict branch of In-N-Out a couple of weeks ago for the 1st time. And guess what --- I got home and pulled that beautiful burger out of the bag what do I see? TOMATOES!!!!! Ewwww, those drippy, slimy seeds distorting an otherwise exquisite work of art. Disgusting. I'll never go back to the Distict In-N-Out again. Thanks for creating this thread --- hopefully my experience will spare other IHB readers the same miserable dining experience as I endured.</blockquote>


I'm with CK on this one.... Still never been wronged by the In-N-Out. Make the onions grilled, though. I like my tomatoes in pasta sauce, ketchup, or salsa forms only, as The Maker intended them.
 

kcmkane_IHB

New member
[quote author="stepping_up" date=1215826606]In defense of tomatoes....



Where I'm from we don't trust paper. Wealth is what's here on the premises. If I open a cupboard and see, say, 30 cans of tomato sauce and a five-pound bag of rice, I get a little thrill of well-being, much more so than if I take a look at the quarterly dividend report from my mutual fund.

- Garrison Keillor



The metaphor of the melting pot is unfortunate and misleading. A more accurate analogy would be a salad bowl, for, though the salad is an entity, the lettuce can still be distinguished from the chicory, the tomatoes from the cabbage.

- Carl N. Degler



A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.

- Laurie Colwin



It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.

- Lewis Grizzard



When I eat a tomato I look at it the way anyone else would. But when I paint a tomato, then I see it differently.

- Henri Matisse



Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world - except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is lean and the tomato is ripe.

- William Goldman, The Princess Bride</blockquote>


LOL --- who would think tomoatoes would create such passion, both for and against.
 

momopi_IHB

New member
Try the tomato salad with sesame dressing at Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen in Fountain Valley. Very interesting flavor.



Every year in a town called Bunol in Spain, they have a "food fight festival" called Tomatina. Basically you strip down and throw tomatoes at each other.



<img src="http://www.backpackers.com/files/latomatinagirl.jpg" alt="" />

<img src="http://www.rbg.ul.schule-bw.de/span_internet05/tomatina-Dateien/tomatina3.jpg" alt="" />





And the clean-up afterwards:

<img src="http://www.rbg.ul.schule-bw.de/span_internet05/tomatina-Dateien/la_tom1.jpg" alt="" />
 

kcmkane_IHB

New member
[quote author="momopi" date=1215832789]Try the tomato salad with sesame dressing at Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen in Fountain Valley. Very interesting flavor.



Every year in a town called Bunol in Spain, they have a "food fight festival" called Tomatina. Basically you strip down and throw tomatoes at each other.



<img src="http://www.backpackers.com/files/latomatinagirl.jpg" alt="" /></blockquote>


Tenmagnet saw that photo and is racing to Ralph's to stock up on tomatoes for the weekend.
 

tenmagnet_IHB

New member
[quote author="CK" date=1215833103][quote author="momopi" date=1215832789]Try the tomato salad with sesame dressing at Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen in Fountain Valley. Very interesting flavor.



Every year in a town called Bunol in Spain, they have a "food fight festival" called Tomatina. Basically you strip down and throw tomatoes at each other.



<img src="http://www.backpackers.com/files/latomatinagirl.jpg" alt="" /></blockquote>


Tenmagnet saw that photo and is racing to Ralph's to stock up on tomatoes for the weekend.</blockquote>


Yeah, that?s a great pic.

Next time I?m in Spain forget Barcelona, this place is rocking.

I can totally see myself with her at the Tomatina, giggling and tickling each other.

She gives off that eager to please vibe, love that!
 

tenmagnet_IHB

New member
[quote author="stepping_up" date=1215842717]Ten, humble Ten, at a lowly peasant market such as Ralph's? I couldn't see it. No, $10/lb Bristol Farms tomatoes for him :)</blockquote>


Very funny!

I forgot to correct CK.

I?m sure it was an honest mistake on his part.

Mainly shop at Gelsons and Whole Foods but go to Bristol Farms on occasion.

Sprinkles is over there and I only allow myself one ?cheat? day a week.
 

stepping_up_IHB

New member
Gelson's? Please don't admit that... it's so yesterday, like last year yesterday. Seriously, Bristol Farms is so far above and beyond Gelson's in terms of high quality selections. Gelson's is just over priced average groceries and no ambience whatsoever. And with all your boasts about achieving goals and such, you can't tell us that you'd let your self discipline go out the window over a grossly overpriced cupcake? :)
 

tenmagnet_IHB

New member
[quote author="stepping_up" date=1215844984]Gelson's? Please don't admit that... it's so yesterday, like last year yesterday. Seriously, Bristol Farms is so far above and beyond Gelson's in terms of high quality selections. Gelson's is just over priced average groceries and no ambience whatsoever. And with all your boasts about achieving goals and such, you can't tell us that you'd let your self discipline go out the window over a grossly overpriced cupcake? :)</blockquote>




It now appears that I have a dilemma on my hands.

You made a compelling argument so I?ll take your comments under consideration.

As a big fan of personal attention, I really like Gelsons and feel that their customer service has always been exceptional.



What can I say, one ?cheat day? a week for Sprinkles as a reward is acceptable.

You make it sound like I dropped out of Jenny Craig.
 

stepping_up_IHB

New member
Nah, I just thought you were implying that you avoided BF due to the temptation of those cupcakes that has the Sprinkle's owner laughing all way to the bank. You have to admit, aesthetically Bristol is just gorgeous. The products are wonderful, but the experience of being in the store is worth the price of admission. Even my mother in law, who was a die hard from day one Gelson's fan, made her last visit over a year ago.
 

tenmagnet_IHB

New member
I agree with you about Sprinkles being over priced and over hyped.

That place is making bank!

The women of OC love those designer cupcakes.

When I have company coming over, usually pick up a four-pack.

It?s a hassle but worth it.
 

tenmagnet_IHB

New member
[quote author="skek" date=1216168351]I can't believe I'm joining a cupcake discussion, but <a href="http://www.susiecakesla.com/index.html">Susie Cakes</a> just opened up in the same corner as Kean Coffee and Promelis (17th and Irvine in Newport Beach). I'm not a cupcake eater, but I've picked up some for guests and they rave about 'em.</blockquote>




I?ll have to check that place out next time I?m in the area.

Stopped by Kean a few months ago didn?t notice a cupcake place.

Designer cupcakes are super popular right now.

So much so that I?ve incorporated them into my dating ?playbook?.
 
What, no cream puff fans? The Beard Papa at MainPlace never has a line, it's less expensive than Sprinkles, and less easy to replicate at home. My only b*tch about the Beard Papa at MainPlace is because business is slow, they don't often have flavors beyond the original vanilla. That said, I think that's the best flavor of the bunch.
 
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