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Jan 13, 2001 06:53 PM

Very strange restaurant experience

  • t

Read an article in Gourmet Mag. about a Vietnam
restaurant in Westminster...Banh Cuon Tay Ho.
Arrived at 7:45 p.m. on a Wednesday. About 12 people sitting at various tables, eating. Smelled great.

Walked up to the counter (didn't know whether to sit or order from the counter, first), unfriendly person behind the counter said, "We have not food for you."
Obviously taken aback, I said, "What?" "We have no food for you. We are out of food."
Is there something wrong here? I've heard of restaurants out of a certain dish or two, but out of food. The 'deli' case next to the counter seemed to have plenty of food.
Quite embarrassed, we left....never to return!

Am I overreacting? Never, ever had happened to me

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  1. Awhile back my daughter and I went to a restaurant that had reopened at a new location after an extremely long hiatus. The neighborhood was scary, the ambiance creepy, and the first three menu items I asked for they didn't have. She eats there, but I haven't been back.

    1. The only thing they were out of was racial tolerance....

      The only time I've encountered a situation like this was also in Westminster about ten years ago. I am a white male and my companion was an asian woman. We ordered and they served us but a group of young Viet men moved into a circle around our table and stared at us and smoked cigarettes while we ate and generally tried to intimidate us. We finished our meal but I never went back.

      I go to Southeast Asia frequently and I've never had this happen there (or anywhere else).

      Westminster isn't known for its hospitality.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jeff F.

        It wasn't necessarily a rebuff: Tay Ho, at least the San Gabriel branch, does almost all of its business during the day -- banh cuon, the silky steamed rice noodle in which the restaurant specializes, is pretty much a lunch food. And once the noodles run out, Tay Ho is indeed out of food: everything else in the restaurant is more or less a garnish for banh cuon.

        I have myself been told a place was out of food when it obviously wasn't, mostly at Korean bars, but in at least a dozen visits to Tay Ho I have never encountered a problem.

      2. I hope you weren't wearing any shoes. that's considered to worst insult in the vietnamese culture. next time, carry your shoes in your hands and wear shrimp on your feet. then let me know how it goes.

        4 Replies
        1. re: elisha
          Sharon Peterson

          What the....?????

          I don't know if this is meant to be insulting, or racist, or just plain ODD, but I wouldn't pay the slightest heed to this post. On the other hand, she does bring to mind a valid point -- how much Vietnamese do you speak, TB? Obviously, something could have gotten lost in the translation.

          1. re: Sharon Peterson

            For strange restaurant experiences, I just posted a story on the Southwest board about Vegas.

            1. re: Sharon Peterson

              No, shrimp is the only footwear appropriate in this instance - you must have seen this before -

            2. re: elisha

              What? Oh great, a looney. Must be a full moon.

            3. tired of bad service, etc. if there is a translation problem, it's not yours.

              1. l
                loyal customer

                banh cuon tay ho hand makes their specialty flour sheets every morning so they are fresh for the customers.
                it closes at 800pm everyday,
                Arriving at 745, they had probly already sold out
                of their food.
                i suggest you come a little bit earlier
                and please don't blame them for serving
                only fresh food

                1 Reply
                1. re: loyal customer

                  Thanks for the info. I wasn't complaining about them serving only fresh food. I was complaining about them serving NO food.