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Red Pearl was a nightmare

Went there two Fridays ago for a friends B'day dinner. We were a party of 15, with a reservation made two weeks in advance and were given 2 banquette tables for four that were next to each other. We were literally dumped off at the table and after 3 or 4 min I had to go up to the host stand to ask the moron host, (who was too busy "chatting with the girls" he worked with than doing his job on a very busy night), to bring us additional chairs. We were also left to our own devices and had to extend the table leaves ourselves to make enough room. After at least 5 more mins, there were still no additional chairs brought to us, so I went up to an empty fourtop and began to bring the chairs over to our table myself. Suddenly, the host/hostess became uncharacteristically alert and ran across the dining room to reprimand me for taking the chairs and told me he was taking care of it. I said if we didn't get chairs in two mins that I was keeping them or we would leave. He huffed away and a minute or so later we were brought some hard, uncomfortable chairs that were different from all the chairs in the dining room.
The waiter was super nice but way too busy to serve us. Our first round of drinks took 25 mins, NO JOKE, so we immediately ordered a second round which still took 20 mins.
The food came out in drips and drabs, THAT WAS NOT HOW WE ORDERED IT and two entrees were completely forgotten yet were on the bill. Of course they removed the items and we cut our losses and skipped dessert. We moved to the bar/lounge, where the incompetent female bartender was as slow as possible, and had major attitude.

To sum it up, THIS PLACE SUCKED. It is a hangout for wanabees and posers, and people of no substance with an inept staff that would rather be at an audition. While the food was actually tasty, (gourmet chinese takeout and all) it was in no way good enough to have to endure the dining experience there. I give this place 1 year and they'll be out of business.
AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL

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  1. Sounds like a solid contender for the Worst Restaurant in LA post below!

    1. I went once and while most of the food was good I really had a problem with the service from the host to the "wine director." I would go back for the food but the people that work there are really stupid, do not know how to act in a restaurant, and just don't care.
      There are some things are are forgivable but when the server throws a dessert on your table and doesn't even notice that you have no utensil to eat it with and it takes five minutes to flag someone down to get you utensils and then another five minutes to receive the utensils, well...

      Don't even get me started on the "wine director" whose vocabulary did not go beyond the word "cool" and who recommend a really crappy wine to my friends that did not go with the food at all. I ordered my own bottle of wine, "cool", and was quite happy with my pick.

      http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

      1. okay, so the service isn't great at Red Pearl. But I have been there about 6 times, and I have to say the food has consistently been good, the wings really tasty, the dim sum more than serviceable, and other dishes quite pleasant as well. I would suggest going with parties of no more than four, and maybe you won't have the same issues.

        Also, regarding the wine complaints...what Asian restaurants can you think of that have a great wine program? It is really hard to pair wine with Asian food, even for advanced 'wine directors' or whatever they choose to call themselves (there are only 75 certified master sommeliers in the country, and maybe only one or two in Los Angeles believe it or not)...so order their signature cocktails, which for the flavor and the money, go better with and are a better value than any wine on the menu.

        I'm usually a real crank, so the fact that I'm boosting Red Pearl is a bit odd...I hate hip trendy Geisha House-esque places. But here the food is good, it's not overly expensive, and I forgive them their weaknesses.

        7 Replies
        1. re: olivethegreat

          I have gone on Sunday nights when bottles of wine and sake are 1/2 off and that's really the only time I think it's kind of worth it. I've had trouble finding food that I really like. The restaurant got some strangely decent mentions in the LA Times and Los Angeles Magazine and I think for a while those reviews encouraged me to believe it was better than it really is. Also, on Sunday nights, they play this weird "erotic techno" type of music even though the restaurant is clearly filled with neighborhood families. In addition, the female wait staff seem to have been encouraged to be overtly sexual with male guests and it bothers me as I'm obviously eating with my boyfriend (and this is the only restaurant I've ever noticed this at - so it doesn't come from a jealous, crazy girlfriend type of place).

          1. re: Julefish

            Hey Oliver. To put up with terrible service and being treated like dirt by an incompetent staff because the food is "good" to me seems like too big of a trade off. I guess we each have our preferences for what is most important in a dining experience, but for you to suggest that a restaurant can only handle parties of up to four people is not only absurd, but further proves how inept they are at this place. Based on your thinking, perhaps you should suggest to them to not allow any tables of more than four to dine there.

            1. re: globlamega

              I had terrible experience there as well. The service was an abomination. They have no regard for their customers whatsoever. And it's just chinese food. There was nothing fabulous about any of it. Dim sum is not culinary excellence. I'll take the mediocrity of Kung Poa and get treated with some decency while I'm there. I am not narcisstic enough to have to be in a so called "cool" place just to say I was there. Red Pearl is a MUST AVOID for anyone with a brain and any self respect.

              1. re: JSny

                I went to the Red Pearl in Huntington Beach and was also not impressed. And as far as 'just chinese food' well, I wouldn't give it the decency to call it that. I went to try the dumplings and was so disappointed, but then, they are not Chinese owners or cooks, so I should not have expected so much.

                1. re: justagthing

                  I'll say it one last time, this place SUCKED. Pardon my poor yet well suited language

                  1. re: globlamega

                    A woman from my office had simliar experience at Red Pearl as well. She said she could not believe that it seemed as if no one was in charge of the place and how bad the service was.

                    1. re: JSny

                      I was invited to join a few people the other night and went for the first time. I'm sorry, but the food was not good at all. Dumplings were 100% frozen food - horrible. The green curry tasted so bad that I couldn't take another sip. We had five people in the group and ordered a variety of food, but the only thing I liked was the asparagus that came in the "bacon-wrapped asparagus" dish. You really can't go wrong in making such a simple dish like that. C'mon, people, we can have WAY better Asian dishes than what they serve there.

        2. WOW - I must have really lucked out when I went a few weeks ago. Let me first tsart out by saying I typically hate trendy places with annoying Hollywood-types, but I didn't get that vibe here. I went there with SO and another couple and we had a really nice dinner. We did have to wait at the bar for 30 minutes for a table, but the staff was very friendly. I thought the food was very tasty as well.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Obessed

            i've had good experriences there as well. been there 3 times and never an issue...

            1. re: Obessed

              i had a birthday dinner there back in june, and we all agreed that the food was great, drinks were good, but service was spotty... i don't think they're very well equipped for larger groups, to say the least.

            2. You should have talked to the manager. That type of service is unacceptable.

              1. Update for early August 2007 - still sucks. Any place that has early 20s girls in hot pants is not likely to be a contender... the "Kobe beef" was dry, the water dumpling had some ungodly dry meat concoction filling, the drunk noodles were drunk alright, nearly every dish (tried five) was awful. And the dining concept? VERY thin. Go elsewhere.

                1 Reply
                1. re: gourmandizer

                  I must have really lucked out too. I went with a small party. The service was good, friendly, not condescending. Oddly enough, we all really enjoyed ourselves and vowed to come back. I say that because I was worried that it was going to be one of those wanna be hipster joints with awful food...
                  It's a real shame that the service is so shaky. It really does have potential.