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Bad names

Maybe just me but I have a hard time eating in a place called animal or bestia. Something about "gjelina" also annoys me. Honey, let's go to pink taco?? Anyone have a similar experience?

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        1. re: sandylc

          I guess either way, their food is either FK good or FK bad.

      1. even though the food would probably be right up my alley,
        i can't bring myself to go to "fishing with dynamite" for that reason.

        2 Replies
        1. re: westsidegal

          Westsidegal. You are missing a great restaurant….Just call it FWD instead. http://www.eatfwd.com

          1. re: wienermobile

            i've had that argument in my head hundreds of times already.
            won't be going there unless someone else controls the decision.
            one of those "cannot unsee" visions

        2. Animal or Bestia don't bother me.
          Pink Taco and Ink Sack sound dumb to me. So does Trois Mec.

          8 Replies
          1. re: john gonzales

            Good ones.
            Jer-ne at marina ritz sounds more inglewood to me.

            1. re: jessejames

              sounds like the epitome of affectation to me

              1. re: westsidegal

                Bad choice by ritz. Ruins a nice view

            2. re: john gonzales

              ink sack: definitely a no-go for me... "cannot unsee"

              1. re: john gonzales

                Trois Mec(s). Someone should either learn French, or avoid names in it.

                1. re: lagatta

                  You do know that the misspelling is deliberate? I'm guessing that Ludo Lefebvre speaks ok French since he is.

                  1. re: Bkeats

                    No, I've never heard of that restaurant, or know who runs it. I don't even know what city or country it is in. Could google it, of course.

                    1. re: lagatta

                      Its in LA. It was opened by Ludo Lefebvre who is a classically trained french chef. He used to do popups in LA and then opened this as his own place. The name is a bit of a joke. If you are in LA and have the opportunity, you should try it.

              2. Another one is Pho King Delicious in Northridge.

                1 Reply
                1. There's Pho King Delicious in Northridge and Something's Fishy in Canoga Park. A sushi place should never be called that, IMO.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: boogiebaby

                    There's Miso Fishy in Santa Monica..... Again, I think it's supposed to be humorous and eye catching....

                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                          ... and just a little bit racist, to boot.

                          1. re: Tripeler

                            Do you feel all the "fishy" names are racist? I don't even think of them that way.....

                              1. re: melpy

                                Speaking of poor/inappropriate usage of miso, I think this restaurant's website (again in my city) needs some re-wording
                                (on menu cover):


                                1. re: melpy

                                  I'm just not seeing it. Many many people in this city don't even know what miso is......

                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                    Have you ever seen the movie "Full Metal Jacket"?

                                    In the second part of the film, the part after boot camp, the first line is spoken by a Vietnamese prostitute. Her big line is describing how horny she is, using words that sound remarkably like the pronunciation of miso.

                                    That's why people think it's racist.

                                    1. re: 512window

                                      Yes, actually, I have. Oh, okay, I remember that scene now, had to really think for a minute.

                                      I see what your saying. I think my point is, though, that most people who own restaurants name them in a way to get noticed, whether in good or bad taste. I highly doubt the intention is to alienate potential customers with a racist sounding name. Then again, not all intentions are well received.

                    1. Narcissism annoys me as much as bad taste. Hinoki and the Bird, for example. Do you really have to inflict your pet names on us?

                      1. Nope. You're weird. J/K......

                        I try to find the humor in it, and realize it is likely a marketing ploy.....

                        So would you go to a place named Fish? I remember reading a thread about someone who refused to go to Fishing with Dynamite, because it implied some detrimental method of fishing..... Some people need to get over themselves.....

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                          Makes me WANT to go to Fishing With Dynamite. Then there's the place in SF or environs called What The Pho? that tickles me too. However, I think I'd want to avoid naming my place something that the receptionist would be embarrassed to say when answering the phone.

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            Oh yes, completely agree. And I also want to go to FWD too, I think the name is creative.

                        2. I would recommend never eating in the Castro of San Francisco if this is something you're sensitive to.

                          "Sausage Factory"

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: plaidbowtie

                            That place has been there since the 1970s. I don't find Sausage Factory at all unusual.

                            1. re: Tripeler

                              Nor do I, or any of the other double-entendre named shops in the area. They always bring out my inner 13 year old.

                              1. re: plaidbowtie

                                Basically, the Castro is just a tourist trap. I spend a month or two in the neighborhood every year, and to me it seems like Fishermans Wharf for gay America.

                                1. re: Tripeler

                                  I think it depends- it certainly can be, and it wasn't what it was when I moved there 20 years ago, but there are still plenty of local spots. Perhaps not for food, with the exception of a very limited few.

                                  1. re: Tripeler

                                    heh when I lived in SF a friend and I compared the City and its distinct-ish neighborhoods to the areas of the old Disneyland.

                            2. We have L'Abattoir. I've never been, but it's one of the well-regarded restos in town:

                              This local place closed many years ago:

                              Now this place is um, phunny:

                              1. The place could be called "Wurst Restaurant on the Planet", "Never Eat O(u)r Meet", or "Nothing but the Nastiest"; if they offered great chow, I'd be there all the time. I don't even give a sh*t about how bad the neighborhood is or how hard it might be to park.

                                "Sticks and stones . . . ", after all. I guess what I'm sayin' is, "I'm game for the Pink Taco anytime, provided the fish is fresh!"

                                1. Two come to mind -- there's a small "chain" of Szechuan restaurants in the Philadelphia area called Han Dynasty; with a bit of creative letter-spacing, I've seen it referred to as Handy Nasty.

                                  The other one I always question is the donut place called "Krispy Kreme." Do you really want your donut "kreme" to be "krispy"?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    Han Dynasty makes sense for a Chinese restaurant. It was the dynasty that reunited China after the collapse of the Qin dynasty and considered by some as a golden age in Chinese history. It's just an unfortunate coincidence that the creative letter spacing gives a completely different meaning. The movie "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" is based on this time period.

                                    1. re: normanwolf

                                      And to add to that, the name of the restaurants' owner is Han.

                                  2. I'm sure I'm wrong in many instances, but I usually avoid restaurants with a thinly-veiled "dirty" name or a name that's a play on words. There used to be a place near the university here called Cluck U Chicken. Well cluck u too, I thought to myself, and never went there.
                                    A Mexican restaurant called Aunt Chilada's? Probably will go out of my way to avoid it, ditto the Pink Taco. What were they thinking?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                      Assuming theyve been in business a while, they were thinking of something that worked. Not all things appeal to all people.

                                      1. re: plaidbowtie

                                        True, I agree, but in the case of Cluck-U-Chicken, they went out of business.

                                        The Pink Taco, well, I never said I wanted them out of business, but I just can't unsee the name of the bar in "From Dusk 'Til Dawn" when I hear that name. Or unhear the old dirty joke.

                                    2. Those loo-themed restaurant chains like Magic Toilet, which have spread from Asia to the U.S., are off-putting no matter what they are called, especially because the decor and tableware follows through on the theme.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        I'd be more concern about portion sizes- are we looking at a standard sized toilet or one of those low flow/high efficiency?

                                        1. re: plaidbowtie

                                          Is the flush lever on the right side, or left ??

                                          Round bowl or elongated ?

                                      2. There's a beer and wine bar here in SoCal called "The Dregs". It's supposed to be really good, but the name does give you pause.

                                        1. There's a cheap n cheerful Asian restaurant in Melbourne called Eating World, which for some reason always made me chuckle.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: cronker

                                            A couple local Chinese restos with names I chuckle at:

                                            - McKim Wonton Mein Saga (apparently it's named after the road it's on, McKim Way, and "saga" is actually a poor phonetic translation of "world" in Chinese Cantonese dialect)

                                            - Come Along Seafood Restaurant (again, the "Come Along" part is a play on the phonetics of the first two words of the restaurant's Cantonese name which is "Golden Dragon" or "Gum Loong")


                                            1. re: LotusRapper

                                              Just down the street from the above restos, for a short time, was the "Tin Lung". Sounds like some sort of industrial disease doesn't it?

                                                1. re: LotusRapper

                                                  There was also a very short lived restaurant named "Fook Yue" (on Renfrew near Venables St.)

                                          2. Near me "Beat Da Wrap"

                                            Yes, they have wraps on the menu but a lot of other stuff including pizza and grilled items. I can't seem to walk through the front door.

                                              1. Wrench and Rodent..a sushi place in Oceanside, CA

                                                1. there used to be a phu ket restaurant in seattle...

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: rmarisco

                                                    still there. i live a couple blocks from it.

                                                    1. re: rmarisco

                                                      Each year millions of tourists go to Thailand to ........ Phuket ;-)


                                                      1. re: LotusRapper

                                                        phuket's ok. really touristy and overrun; i lived for 3+ months on a more rural island (koh chang). i prefer the less touristy spots in thailand, but the whole country is fairly awesome! and the food... baaaalllleerrrr! i had the good fortune to spend 3 months learning to cook from a woman there. she is best friends with the royal family's private chef (one of them), so i came home with a booklet of the thai royal family's preferred recipes.

                                                    2. There's a bagel bakery chain in Manhattan called "Hot and Crusty". Now, I know what they were going for, but to me, when I saw that I only thought of something that needs ointment. I guess they are popular, so I'm probably in the minority on that.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: mwk

                                                        You may be in the minority, but you're not alone. That name always reminds me of Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons.

                                                      2. note to aspiring restauranteurs: there is a line between cute and gag.

                                                        while I get a kick out of unfortunate names, ask yourself do you really want your blood and sweat ending up on an internet joke list?

                                                        2 Replies
                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                            and use any definition of 'gag' that works.

                                                            1. Mysore - Indian restaurant in several cities. I can't help but think of a festering wound with orbiting flies.

                                                              1. Sum Yum Guy in Miami Beach. Reminds me of the adolescent punch line "Cream of Some Young Guy"

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. There's a bar in Rosedale, MD (near Baltimore) called Dick's Halfway Inn.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: 4X4

                                                                    I mentioned this on some thread a few years ago;
                                                                    A man named Joseph Shovett (now deceased) lived in a rural town near Cornwall Ontario Canada who opened a joint and called it what else? The Shovett Inn...

                                                                    Similar thread

                                                                    1. re: 4X4

                                                                      I hope there wasn't an In-N-Out Burger next door .......

                                                                      1. re: 4X4

                                                                        My buddy was in Ocean City MD...brought back a T-shirt from Dirty Dick's crabhouse "I got crabs from Dirty Dick's".

                                                                        Not far from there, Big Pecker's Bar & Grill...

                                                                        1. re: porker

                                                                          Also in Ocean City, Brass Balls Saloon and The Bearded Clam.

                                                                      2. I kind of like the "Pink Taco." In the spirit of bowtie's sausage factory, there's an Asian market here called, " A Dong Market."

                                                                        1. Until recently, there was a little place in Hoschton GA called Peckers and, as far as I know, Squid Lips on the Indian River in Sebastian FL is still going strong. Cute, but not as memorable as a place named Chinks.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                            My parents go to the Squid Lips a lot on the river in Melbourne Beach......

                                                                          2. Anyone remember Sambo's ? We had one here in the '70s. It was much later that I learned of its name's connotation:

                                                                            Wiki -
                                                                            "By 1979, Sambo's had 1,117 outlets in 47 American states. However, in the late 1970s, controversy over the chain's name drew protests and lawsuits in communities that viewed the term Sambo as pejorative towards African-Americans, particularly in the Northeastern states. Several of the restaurants were opened as or renamed to "The Jolly Tiger" in locations where the local community passed resolutions forbidding the use of the original name or refused to grant the chain permits.

                                                                            There were other corporate level decisions being made at the time that also led to Sambo's corporate demise. There was pressure to take Sambo's into a more normal salaried manager compensation package. Their unique "Fraction of the Action" promotion was an early company expansion plan and the growth of the company outpaced its control.[2][3][4] In March 1981, in a further attempt to give the chain a new image the company again renamed some locations, this time to "No Place Like Sam's".[5] By November 1981, the company filed for bankruptcy.[6] Neither the name change nor bankruptcy protection reversed the downward trend, and in 1982 all but the original Sambo's at 216 West Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara, California, closed their doors.[7] By February 1983, 618 of the locations were renamed Season's Friendly Eating.[8] Several locations were sold to Denny's.[9]

                                                                            Sam Battistone, Jr. is also the original owner of the New Orleans Jazz in the NBA.[10] He later moved the team to Utah and sold it. Battistone's grandson, restaurateur Chad Stevens, owns the only remaining Sambo's."

                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                            1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                              I have the Sambo book somewhere, not a molecule of racism in it....Ironic that they sold locations to Denny's, who don't have a great track record for treating black folks well

                                                                              1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                Actually, the original Sambo's in Santa Barbara is still open.


                                                                                1. re: ricepad

                                                                                  Yes, it is, however, I believe they've since changed the name.

                                                                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                    Not as of about a year ago. Still Sambo's.

                                                                                    1. re: ricepad

                                                                                      Funny I never noticed a sign, so figured they bowed to the PC pressure and changed the name of the place. Good to know they didn't.

                                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives


                                                                                        OK, this I didn't know:

                                                                                        "Over the years many myths and rumors abound about the "SAMBO'S" name -
                                                                                        its origin seemingly subject to many ideas as to how the restaurant got its name.

                                                                                        The fact is - SAM (the Founder) was a real person and BO (his partner) was a real person.

                                                                                        Sam is Sam Battistone and Bo is Newell Bohnett, known affectionately to his friends, family and associates as "Bo".
                                                                                        Despite all the other stories you may have heard - this is really how SAMBO'S got its name.
                                                                                        'The Story of Little Black Sambo' by Helen Bannerman was an afterthought. The SAMBO'S RESTAURANT
                                                                                        already was established before the children's story was discovered and used as part of a marketing promotion."

                                                                                        1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                          The book was published in 1899; the restaurant in 1957.

                                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                                            Yeah, I sense it was general erroneous associations between the restaurant name and the book that made the restaurant change its name, and possibly its decline.

                                                                                            1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                              I remember a Sambo's in central Ohio in the late 70s--best coffee in town. IIRC, they used some of the graphics from the book, so someone made that link, other than just an amalgam of the owners' names.

                                                                                2. There's a bar in an Irish section of South Philly called O'Jungs. It's owned by a Chinese guy named Jung, at least that's what folks said when the name changed several years ago.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: caganer

                                                                                    Years ago a local guy started an annual Chinese New Year dinner and cross-cultural celebration event he called Gung Haggis Fat Choy:


                                                                                    Calls himself Toddish McWong. It's been a very successful venture, gaining popularity and publicity every year. Yes, haggis is served in the fusion-y multi-course banquet :-)

                                                                                  2. There was once a "La Cucaracha" in St. Paul.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                      I'd much rater eat at a place named "La Cucaracha" in St. Paul. than a place named "St. Paul" anywhere in the world.

                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                        So do they play la cucaracha over and over again ?

                                                                                      2. Terminal Lunch near the navy shipyard, Portsmouth VA

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Sherri

                                                                                          Great place for your last meal! Then you can go to the Terminal Pub for your last drink.

                                                                                        2. Not to far from my parents opened this place;
                                                                                          (Shut Up and Eat)


                                                                                          I'm guessing it's not fine dining. Dare you to ask what the soup du jour is.

                                                                                          1. I read about a place in Anaheim called Healthy Junk...

                                                                                            1. A lot of the the punning names are quite bad. There's a small chain in London called Feng Sushi. Don't care how good the food is I'm never gonna set foot in the place.
                                                                                              Perhaps worse is a bakery that has opened near me called IBS bakery, they really didn't think that through.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                                                My gosh, IBS bakery? That blows my mind.

                                                                                              2. Years ago someone bought a Baskin Robbins store in Atlanta and made it into their own mom & pop ice cream place.

                                                                                                They kept some of the letters in the BR sign and changed others. The new name was 'Basket Rabbit'. It made me smile every time I drove past.

                                                                                                It's out of business now. Gone but not forgotten. :)

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: thingmaker

                                                                                                  I was once in a legal dispute over a business I purchased which had the name Manhattan in it. Long story short I registered the trade name "Man Hat On" to use as an alternative if I continued to have the dispute. Luckily it got resolved and I never had to use the "Man Hat On" company I registered.

                                                                                                2. Waaay back in the '80s we had Black Angus chain here. I distinctly recall one time when we drove by one of them (I was in backseat of parents' car, didn't have my license yet) on a dark rainy night and I noticed the lights behind the "G" in the sign were out. I laughed very hard .......

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                    I ran a restaurant for awhile and scribblëd the night specials on a napkin.
                                                                                                    I handed it to a waitress to print it nicely on the whiteboard. Part of her description read "...the chef rubs a black anus rib-eye with his own blend of seasonings..."
                                                                                                    Oy, about 20 people came into the restaurant and read the whiteboard before we corrected the mistake.

                                                                                                      1. re: porker

                                                                                                        At the now closed Lespinasse in NYC one night the menu had Roasted Baby Lamb on the menu, and the manager forgot to type the word "Lamb," causing the first 5 or 6 tables to have "Roasted Baby" as an offering for the night.

                                                                                                        1. re: plaidbowtie

                                                                                                          hmmm, but the eaters ordered that roasted baby, right?

                                                                                                      2. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                        For some reason, the 'g' seemed to malfunction on a lot of those signs! Where I live, it used to be a real pick-up joint, and was known as "The Black Hole".

                                                                                                        1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                          I've seen that, in two local locations- the very same thing. Do you wonder if it's intentional?

                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                            We'll never know, but it's fun to speculate, hahaha !

                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                              Wow, now these are classics :-) I can barely remember the $8.95 (IIRC it was Cdn$11.95 up here) price for a prime rib with dozen fried shrimp:




                                                                                                          2. There used to be a Chinese restaurant near my grandmother's house called the Poo Ping Palace.

                                                                                                            1. Not a real place, but "Jiffy Squid" from the movie Mystery Train.

                                                                                                              1. Wankers' Corner bar near Portland, Oregon. I take my British friends and family there so they can buy beer mugs and tee shirts as souvenirs.

                                                                                                                    1. We have a restaurant in Toronto named kom jug. It used to be a favorite of under age kids and now is a favorite of hospitality industry folks. I guess names like that are always funny!

                                                                                                                      1. Near where I live in Berlin, there is a place called 'Angry Korean Chicken'.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Elster

                                                                                                                          In NY & NJ there's a chain of Korean fried chicken restos called Unidentified Flying Chickens (UFC):


                                                                                                                            1. D-Plus Pizza, in Surrey BC... Geeze, no sense in setting the bar too high, better to keep the expectations low. How long til someone opens up a C-Minus Pizza up down the street?

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Scoffier

                                                                                                                                Maybe "Double Ds" across town with their signature melon pie - order one and get a pair for only a buck.

                                                                                                                                1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                  'CLOSING SOON ON WEST BROADWAY'
                                                                                                                                  Formerly: 'THE WHITE MOOSE IS CLOSING SOON ON WEST BROADWAY'
                                                                                                                                  The new/next owner saved on signage. He simply painted over the first four words.

                                                                                                                              2. We had a liquor store near Pendergras GA called The Bottom of the Barrel. It's closed now. What were they thinking?

                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                  There's a seafood place in my hometown (Laurel, MD) called Bottom of the Bay. It's a hole in the wall, divey kind of place (in a sketchy part of town) so the name is appropriate. I haven't been there in years, but it was a good place for crabs when I used to go there.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: 4X4

                                                                                                                                    "Bottom of the Barrel" is, by definition, the lowest in quality. "Bottom of the Bay" doesn't sound quite so negative.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                      ' "Bottom of the Barrel" is, by definition, the lowest in quality.'

                                                                                                                                      grampart, in the Food History world, there is a slightly more mundane definition. From Medieval times forward, 'bottom of the barrel' referred to barrel-preserved pork [among other food products] and simply meant that you were almost at the end of your supply. 'Scraping the bottom of the barrel' is another way of saying this same thing. Pigs not worth feeding through the winter were slaughtered after the first freeze of autumn and preserved for winter eating when fresh food was scarce. By winter's end, supplies often were running low, hence the phrases. Today, the phrase has lost some of its original meaning since very few of us depend on preserved food for sustenence through a rough winter.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sherri

                                                                                                                                        Interesting, but it's still a terrible name for a liquor store.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                        Isn't bottom of the bay where the lawyers hang out ? :-)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                          Lotus - the lousy ones? with any luck.

                                                                                                                                  2. I have a friend who is Jewish, who thinks Traif in Brooklyn is offensive. Not that he could eat there but he definitely would not eat there.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: sharebear

                                                                                                                                      You can't please all the people all the time.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                        You're always calling me bad names.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                          Existence is predicated upon the perpetuation of duality. A "bad" name applied to you is merely a proscription that permits a laudatory appellation for another. I'm just doing what's necessary to allow you to accept your part in maintaining balance in the Universe.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bonoeuf

                                                                                                                                        heh I was at Randy's for lunch a coupla years ago. not bad. not the best, but not bad at all.