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Chodorow - Justified for todays Ad?

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  • jcm Feb 21, 2007 09:50 AM
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I have never been to his new Kobe joint, but taking out a full page to combat a poor review seems a bit childish. I am glad the nytimes took his money for the stunt, but it decreases the likelihood of myself or any of my friends from eating there.

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  1. Kobe strikes me as critic-proof, and a reservation search at Open Table shows they are fullish during prime dining hours. So I'm not sure what Chodorow wanted -- or needed -- to accomplish with the ad. I checked out his blog, which doesn't score very high on the readability scale. But I would be interested in seeing his revenge reviews.

    1. Fascinating to me that the other foodie chat sites are going on endlessly about this and there is nary a breath of discussion here...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Carrie 218

        Why would that be fascinating? People think about Chowhound as a place to find out what food to eat at restaurants and not gossip about the owners of those restaurants. It is the thing that makes it stand out from the pack for that reason. There's a zillion places on the web to do that. Despite all, it is the NY Times of food forums ... all the food talk that's fit to eat ... not the National Enquirer, so to speak. Seeing a lot of that sort of stuff here would make me nervous.

        1. re: Carrie 218

          hi can you tell me some sites where the chatters are chatting? i need to do some research, on exactly this issue. thanks!

        2. I'm with you... EVERYONE is talking about this...

          2 Replies
          1. re: mr_fro2000

            where? what sites? i need to find out, tx!

            1. re: bklynbiker

              eater.com has a link to ten of them.

          2. Although he may have a point (it could be argued that critics have too much power), he came off as whiny. It would have been much more classy to say nothing and succeed in spite of the negative review.

            1. I agree that the NY Times full page ad may backfire ultimately but I agree that the critics need to check themselves. Specifically, Frank Bruni is fairly harsh but additionally unless the restaurant is listed in the $25 or less section, I do not even consider it. Many of the restaurants especially those like Kobe are way off the scale on affordability. It seems that if the owner can drop $30k on a full page NYTimes ad, he should be able to pay his workers better.

              1. I thought it was ridiculous. It sounds like he has an axe to grind with any critic who blasted his restaurants, not just Bruni and the Times. And bringing up his former restaurants Banana & Caviar, or whatever silly name it was, and the fiasco with Rocco--it was like a treatise: "My Restaurants, Past and Present, and How Critics Killed Them." Methinks he's giving the critics too much power and perhaps should just face the possiblity that they were bad. It's like he's been feeling this way for a long, long time and finally could not hold out anymore. If his new Kobe restaurant is doing so well, what's the point? The past is past. What a waste of money to throw at an ad. As an earlier poster pointed out, better to spend it on his employees or donate it to some charity.

                1. I hadn't checked this board today and followed a link from eater.com strangely titled "chowhound suspiciously mum on Chowdorow"

                  My gut instinct: I respect Bruni and I think his reviews are fair. But if Mr Chowdorow truly believes the review was unfair, he deserves kudos for his ad. On the other hand, if he knows the review was fair but posted his ad as a way of getting good publicity, shame on him.

                  The ad: http://www.chinagrillmgt.com/pdf/Resp...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Brian S

                    Thanks fo r posting the link.

                    I knew nothing of this until the above. I'm not from NY, never been to his reastaurants, hardly ever saw the show "The Restaurant" although I was aware of it.

                    I read the ad. I nearly fell over when I saw he would folow the reviewers and review the reastaurants himself. It may not be good for his business (who knows), but I think it's a hoot! Why not?!!?

                  2. I hadn't even heard about this until I read it here...had to Google to find this link to read the full-page ad and then the comments to Chodorow's blog....I think the first two comments are hysterical! :-)

                    http://www.chinagrillmgt.com/blog/vie...

                    Edited to say - as I read more of the comments (..."at the end of the day...you are to restaraunts what diddy is to hip-hop.") I'm just sitting here giggling. What a self-indulgent fool he is.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Why did you have to Google to find the ad since I posted the link to the ad right above?

                      1. re: Brian S

                        Brian, I think you and I posted at about the same time, so I didn't see your post before posting mine.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I guessed that and shouldn't have said it. sorry

                          1. re: Brian S

                            No problem. :-) (P.S. to Engineering - time stamps on posts would be GREAT - then we'd know if there was a close overlap on posts.

                    2. At the beginning of the advertisement Chodorow says that it should be about the restaurant, not about him (at least the Times' reviews should be, he says). A good idea, but also inconsistent with taking out a full-page ad to lambast the Times. At that point, Chodorow makes it about him, not his restaurant(s).

                      In fact, one could argue (though I'm not certain that it's a strong argument) that it's already all about Chodorow and not the restaurants. At soon as he put himself on TV, he made himself, intentionally or not, one of the characters of a medium that will always put character drama over restaurant/food quality.

                      1. Lord, what an ego. He doesn't get hurt, only "innocent bystanders." Huh? What's that supposed to mean? Isn't it nice to be able to get your name in the press at will? All it takes is lots of money for an ad and internet access.

                        1. Bruni didn't get it with Kobe Club. He could have a lot of fun with his review, instead he choose to take it seriously. I've eaten there and the place is way over the top, but the food isn't awful, just excessive, especially in price. But Kobe Club is not about the food; it's a scene. . .a night club designed as a steakhouse. And it was mobbed when I was there. So Chodorow is right when he says the restaurant is critic proof. That being said, his full page add was petty but we are seeing a battle of egos here. And he is wrong about Banana & Caviar; the name was terrible, but so was the food. Still, it is entertaining to see these battles and in a way, Bruni could use a kick in the butt. He is a good writer, but he tends to drift off in his reviews and at times, falls in love with his own prose. And his choices of restaurants to review can be very curious. In the case of Kobe Club, I think, at least for the short term, Chodorow will get the last laugh. In some ways it's the perfect restaurant in our times.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: BronxBoy

                            I agree with you... although I love the fact that Bruni is honest and doesn't hold back, I think he does tend to 'drift off' w/ his reviews. As Chodorow mentioned in the 'ad', Bruni did spend quite a few sentences dissing Chodorow, which at the end of the day was irrelevant to his review of the actual restaurant.

                          2. From the NY Sun: "The cost of a full-page advertisement in the New York Times Dining In/Dining Out section is $83,916, according to the company's advertising department."

                            Yikes! If you have that kind of money at your disposal, more power to you. But man, what a waste of money--could've done a lot more good with it than taking out a self-indulgent ad.

                            http://www.nysun.com/article/49104

                            1. Self indulgence is a sign of our times. And that's what Kobe Club is all about. Bruni mistakenly thought it was about the food, which really is not too bad if you want to dish out the big bucks.

                              1. ya'll have seen the blog?

                                http://www.chinagrillmgt.com/blog/

                                100 comments on the first (and only) post so far . . . . funny stuff on those boards.

                                1. I'm out in Nevada in a town nobody's heard of, so I was wondering what you locals think of Chodrow's restaurants, his image, and China Grill Managemant in general. I agree, as a total outsider, the blogs are a hoot!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: enbell

                                    My impression is that his restaurants have more sizzle than substance. But since I havent eaten at most of them this isn't a very informed judgment. 20 years ago, China Grill was a big innovator. Possibly NY's first elegant fusion restaurant! Innovator no longer, but their summer $25 lunch deal is still a good deal, with massive portions.