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Jul 16, 2001 03:44 PM

Long Beach East Village: a tiny rant

  • h

It seems like my options for an entirely enjoyable meal in my neighborhood have been dwindling.

By the time a new neighborhood joint gets their kitchen up to speed, the service goes to hell. Attitude is served in heaping portions, repeatedly, driving me away from the only nabe places with decent food.

I have a lunch date with a friend tomorrow who wants to see my new condo. Will I put her head on the chopping block with mine at the local purveyor of ‘tude, the laughable “Utopia”? No!

The East Village is undergoing fledgling artsy-fartsy renaissance. Could this artsy-ness be the culprit? I am at the end of my rope, this is my neighborhood and I hate the shame I have for the restaurants’ service. I am considering writing anonymous letters informing the owners about the repellent effect of the affected staff.

As for tomorrow’s lunch, I would rather schlep across town than subject my friend to the rudeness of a pimply Euro-trash wannabe.

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  1. I suggest that you don't write an anonymous letter; instead, write a letter you believe states the case clearly and calmly, sign it, and send it. Be specific about what aspect of the service alienated you - was it slow, ignorant, rude, or all three? Use names if you know them, but do speak up. Restaurant managers need to know when their staff is driving people away, and your sending a letter is a service to them. You should sign it because in doing so you stand behind your words and establish the possibility of a dialogue with the management. Anonymous letters aren't taken as seriously as signed ones, because there is an assumption that anyone who won't allow themselves to be identified doesn't want to correct a problem, they want to vent anger.

    Do send the letter - if you are silent in the face of bad service, you do nothing to improve it. I have written letters to restaurant managers and seen a subsequent improvement in service, and it's not just because if they don't act I can publish the letter... Any intelligent manager knows that for every person who writes to complain, ten people don't but also don't come back. They need to know that they have problems so they can try to correct them, and if they don't they deserve the loss of business. Speak out and you do something to improve the situation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Richard Foss

      Thanks for the advice, Richard. I am not fuming mad, just frustrated about the fact that I know they have great food at these places, but that I may have to endure snotty service (it ruins my appetite). I will try to compose some constructive letters to the places that have worthwhile food and hope for the best.

      For lunch, I decided to pick up tortas at my favorite taqueria and brown bag it in my condo, that way we didn't have to worry about time or service. We munched happily and it worked out just fine.

      PS: I miss Carolyn's posts, too bad she got henpecked to death.