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Sep 14, 2011 12:02 PM

Why do you stop going to restaurants? Let's start with UMAMI Burger... [Moved from Los Angeles board]

I am DONE with Umami Burger. This was an actual conversation I had yesterday (9/13) with the bartender at the Studio City location:

Me: May I have a bottle of coke?

Bartender: Sure. Are you ready to order?

Me: Yes. I'll have the Hatch Chili Burger, medium rare with extra cheese and extra green chilies.

Bartender: I'll have to check with the kitchen to see if we can do that.

Me: I am willing to pay extra. Last time I ordered the burger I was disappointed at the amount of cheese and green chilies on it. Why do you need to check with the kitchen?

Bartender: Hold on a sec.

Bartender: I'm sorry but the kitchen manager says that we cannot do that. You see UMAMI Burgers are precisely...

Me: Don't even bother with an explanation! I'll take my check for the coke.

So Hounds my question is: Why do you stop going to restaurants?

Umami Burger
12159 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

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  1. decline in quality, increase in price, crowds exceeding ability

    5 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      +1 to NS1's reasons.

      Hey Ory, you should also avoid Father's Office and Gjelina too. I generally avoid placed with completely inflexible "no modification" policies.

      Father's Office
      1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

      1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

      1. re: ns1

        hmmm...yogi was right....nobody goes there anymore...its too crowded

        1. re: ns1

          On a related note, I refuse to go to Jitlada based on the horrendous service reviews encountered on this board. Sure the food might be good, but there is NO WAY I'm taking friends there and risking horrendous service/pacing issues. I got a reputation to keep up!

          5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

          1. re: ns1

            i don't see going back there any time soon as well, but for different reason.
            took a group there and Jazz helped us order.
            stupid me didn't ask her to keep a running tab about how much we were spending.
            ended up costing over $50/pp.
            suspect that there was some "steering" going on in the recommendation process.
            that combined with the horrendous drive from where i live .. . . . . .

        2. 1) when my food or drink is served on dirty dishes

          2) when i've ordered two servings of spring rolls, and need another tablespoon of peanut sauce in addition to the sauce served to cover me for both dishes and the restaurant decides to charge me an upcharge for it.

          3) when the tables are so filthy that your arms stick to them BEFORE your food arrives

          4) when the portions of fish at a sushi bar/izakaya are so small that it ends up costing me >$40 for lunch for one ordering ONLY saba and tap water

          5) when most of the food tastes like it has been procured from the cheapest institutional source, then poured into a deep fat fryer for preparation

          6) any place that reheats premade falafal balls in a microwave before serving them.

          7) any place that has fish on the menu and when it is served it smells "old"or "weird" and seems tough. even if i'm not ordering the fish, the smell of it being delivered to adjacent tables will ruin my meal.

          8) any place that institutes an upcharge for serving bread with an entree (unless we're talking about asian food)

          9) any restaurant where the price: protein ratio for entrees becomes inadequate. (i don't like paying a lot of money for bread or potatoes or rice.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: westsidegal

            "6) any place that reheats premade falafal balls in a microwave before serving them."

            I agree, however will make one solitary exception for the falafels @ Hy-Mart. Sure they're microwaved, but they taste GREAT in the hymart veggie sandwiches.

            That said, premade falafel from a Mediterranean or falafel joint is a no-no

            1. re: westsidegal

              3.1) when the tables are stickier after they cleaned it.
              3.2) needs to wipe the table dry with napkins (and they will not replace them).

            2. Indifferent service is probably tops, but, I usually give up when I can't get a glass of water refilled for an entire meal, drives me crazy (a component of indifferent service).
              Actually, my wife & I took our small kids to the new Daily Dose downtown. We sat outside & there were, maybe, 6 people smoking, which caused horrible smoke drafts blowing right on us.
              Guess what? We packed our food to go & won't be back!

              1. --when the busboys hover and grab anything THEY think you're through with

                --when the salad obviously comes out of a big bag of so-called "spring mix" (which is mysteriously available all year long)

                --when the volume shorts my hearing aids (hey, we old folks are entitled to eat out too)

                --when it's been seen on TMZ

                6 Replies
                1. re: LarryT

                  yeah, why do busboys do that?

                  Are they short of dishes and need to wash mine before they serve the next guy. It makes me feel like I pig for finishing everything on the plate instead of letting them clear it away with food still on it.

                  1. re: PaulF

                    Most busboys get pressured to remove obviously empty plates from tables ASAP by the management and personally, I'd rather they do this than sit surrounded by empty plates and bowls.

                    1. re: Michelly

                      Thanks for the explanation.

                      I get a few are a bit over zealous. It almost seems like they are pulling the plate out from under my fork.

                      But if that's how they are being trained, then I get it. Thanks.

                      1. re: Michelly

                        That may be true, but if one whispers to them, that they are NOT finished, the patron's desires should be respected, regardless of what they have been told.

                        It should be about the patron. Not everyone will have completed the course, at the exact same time as some others at that table.


                      2. re: PaulF

                        I see similar with wine glasses, with about a quarter pour still in them. We accumulate wines, and try them with many courses. If my quite comment "do not take that one yet," does not work, then I will NOT be back. If they need more glasses, then there are restaurant suppliers, who can sell them more.

                        I also will NOT tolerate any server taking a used utensil, and placing it back onto the table, for the next course. That is why a restaurant should have plenty of flatware. I have had several discussion with my country club on this matter. When a utensil has been used, just replace it.


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Not even when you dine at Applebee's or Ruby Tuesday or etc; or your local Chinese dump with your chopsticks? ;-)

                    2. Definitely when they won't take something off the food. Like change the bread for a sandwich. I just avoid the places now that won't accomodate you on small things. I am not talking about redoing the whole dish. I am paying for my food and I want it they way I want it. To be honest I am tired of a lot of places and the prices they are charging.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: paprkutr

                        The mister is not technically allergic to jalapeno, but it really doesn't agree with him, as the polite saying goes. Restaurants that can't handle the jalapeno question properly get taken off our list because he just don't want to risk 24 hours of shooting abdominal pain.