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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.

                      2. Really we don't go back when the food is not good. Sometimes we've not gone back when we felt the prices for the food were out of line with the quality. Recently, we gave a local place with a good reputation 2 chances. The food was mediocre (at best) and the service was not welcoming. We won't go back. Why should we? We gave a new place one chance, and the food was not good and the wait person hadn't been well trained. The food was reheated stuff from Sam's. I know these places have business, but honestly I don't know why.

                        1. #1 for me is rude service or a restaurant unwilling to work with the customer... which is what happened with you. It sounds like the burger joint was taking themselves too seriously. I'm unwilling to give my hard earned money to someone I dislike or someone that dislikes me.

                          Terrible food is a distant second since I'm always able to find something that I'll enjoy.

                          1. The better my cookings skills have become, the less patience I have eating out where I am served mediocre food. It's not worth the time and money to eat blah food.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: three of us

                              1) Texting in site of guests.
                              2) Using "ni*&%#$ within my earshot
                              3) Mouth breathing servers
                              4) Bartenders who give away drinks
                              5) Cocaine on toilet paper dispensers
                              6) Unsolicited touching from floor servers
                              7) Men being served before women
                              8) Too many children under 10
                              9) Fingers in food when arm service is used
                              10) Water poured from the side of the pitcher

                              I could go on...

                              1. re: postemotional1

                                Hmmm...I kinda like when the bartender gives away drinks, and the when the waitress touches me

                                1. re: Gatogrande


                                  Now, if I could only find a restaurant, where the lovely waitress touches me, and the sommelier asks if I would like to sample a glass of the Latour '70, just so that other guests are not put off by it... [Insert a big grin here.]

                                  Actually, the latter has come close to happening, when the sommelier has asked me to taste a few wines, that he/she was thinking of adding to the list. I do appreciate that, even if I do not get "touched."


                                2. re: postemotional1

                                  I don't mind #s 4, 7, 10... ;-)

                                  Regarding #10 - it seems like a reasonable way to get both water and (more) ice into the diner's glass... Perhaps in the highest of the highest places a fresh glass of ice is separately provided everytime your previous glass of water is depleted and you express a wish to have more ice in one's glass, but at "moderate" places this practice seems fine to me. Only if the server spills ice and water all over me or the table would it then become an issue...

                              2. Most of the time, we don't go to restaurants because we can make the food better ourselves! And, we make it the way WE like it -- without even paying extra!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: roxlet

                                  We feel similar, but then are seldom at home, as we travel about 250 days per year. Restaurants are not a luxury, but a necessity to us. Still, I always expect them to beat what I can do at home, in those few days, that we ARE at home.


                                2. I cease dining at a restaurant, when things change drastically, like the chef, or maybe the management, or when they "dis" me badly. Sounds like a major "dissing" here, but could be wrong.

                                  I feel the same about inns, lodges and resorts. As I am the patron, most of it should be about me. When it is not, then I move on.

                                  Going back, and in the Phoenix Metro Area, we had similar. We were dining at a new restaurant, that had just opened in a favorite spot, and they had their regular menu, plus a tasting menu. My wife asked for one item from the tasting menu, and was denied. I explained that I would gladly pay whatever, for that one item. We were told that there were only enough of the dish, for those ordering the tasting menu, though it was now quite late, in their hours of operations. Well, that restaurant closed within a few weeks, and I do not wonder why.

                                  When I wish to order a bit off the menu, I am very clear that I am willing to pay, whatever the rate will be. If the restaurant gives me some "attitude," I go elsewhere the next time. After all, I am the patron, and I vote with my AMEX card.