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Souplantation Trauma

One of my relatives chose to go HERE, out of all the places offered in Los Angeles County to go to for a birthday dinner!

You know you're not at the right place for food when...

-there are TWO hand sanitizer dispenser-stands when you walk in.
-children under 5 who have not had their d-tap vaccine are hacking all over the food.
-you stand for 20 minutes in a line resembling something out of a Russian gulag as your salad wilts even more.
-you have to listen to Justin Bieber being blasted out of a 10-year old's i-phone at the table next to you. For an hour.
-you can't even get a BEER, for Crissakes!

Why, my fellow Chowhounds? Why oh why?
If you have had a similar Souplantation experience, unburden yourselves below.

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    1. re: olyolyy

      The onion soup is OK.
      But a good soup is so easy to make at home.

      This relative's first choice was Tokyo Wako, but I managed to talk her out of it. So I should be grateful. :)

    2. Sounds like the hand sanitizer is the high point and clearly needed given the hacking children. I don't care for that place at all but as far as the hand sanitizer goes, look at it like a cruise ship. If you find yourself dining at a buffet with the masses, hand sanitizer will be the best thing on offer.

      1. Went twice, not by my choice, totally horriffic. Quality isn't allowed in the building!

        1 Reply
        1. re: treb

          Yes! Horrific is the right word!
          Thank you, my fellow Chowhound.

        2. Never been! Is it anything like Jason's deli?

          I suppose I would rather have the patrons use sanitizer before touching universal serving implements if it is a self-serve setup, but I agree that it's mere presence would make me rethink the cleanliness of such a setup.

          One of the self-serve froyo shops near me has in its instructions 1) sanitize your hands, 2) choose a cup, etc.

          1. Well, I would point out that Sweet Tomatoes is designed to be a child-friendly restaurant for parents to bring kids for a simple, inexpensive meal. They feature kid friendly foods and tend to make them more bland so that kids will eat them. I wouldn't have selected that place for an adult birthday dinner. There is the expectation of having lots of children around, dining, playing and chatting; not a quiet dinner atmosphere with adult cocktails being served.

            I enjoy getting take out from there occasionally, its cheap and the salad stuff at my location is generally very fresh. The soups are very good - nothing gourmet or extrodinary that I couldnt make at home, but its nice when I'm too busy.

            Edited to add: I think its nice they provide hand sanitizer for parents to have their kids clean up as they walk in before dinner. I'd rather that than nothing! And have you ever tried taking several children into a public restroom to wash their hands, touching all the germy stuff in there?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Mellicita

              fwiw,
              as a working single mom, i don't think i would have made it through the early days without souplantation.

              it's true, now that my kid has grownup, i don't go there anymore, but i am still grateful that they took care of almost all the cooking during the early elementary school years.

              the schedule of a working, single, mom is a perilous thing.
              no time to shop. no time to cook an adult meal AND a child's meal. the child's food is eaten in such small portions that most it will rot if you try to get it from the supermarket.. . . .

              the word from me is: GRATITUDE.

              1. re: westsidegal

                I understand: for me it's one kid who's a vegetarian (and dislikes beans and most vegetables) and another who should probably open his own bar-b-que joint when he grows up! Without my crockpot, Trader Joe's, and a weekly pizza night, I'd completely lose my mind. :)