Sunday, December 23, 2007

Strange Dream

I dreamed I was back in home in Seattle (which I happen to visiting right now), and random, small clouds, were swooshing in. I could see their shadows follow along the ground. They would dump rain, in an otherwise clear day.

Then somehow, we "caught" one of these clouds in our bathroom, and found out it was made up of curly hair held together by, I believe, paper clips. So we thought someone was artificially creating these clouds.

there was more, but that's about the most interesting part.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Only a Jack Ass like me would actually do this

This is a review I write on Thai Smile located in Anaheim, CA. . .

This place is not a very clean place, but probably falls under the category of "hole in the wall." There about 6 booths total for seating in the place. Typically, these "hole in the wall" places survive by having very good food at cheap price. Service isn't necessarily the reason why you would go to these places, but I'll describe it to you anyway.

PRICE

The price was $5.95 for the Phad Thai and Massa Mun Curry, and we paid $4.95 for the fresh spring rolls. So I can't complain about the price.

FOOD QUALITY

The portion size is smaller than most Thai places I've been to. The Phad Thai tasted like it had Soy Sauce in it and the Massa Mun curry was bland, thin, and didn't even have half a carrot in it, and maybe one whole potato. Also very little chicken. My wife and I also had the fresh spring rolls which had shrimp that weren't deveined. I'm not to say whether shrimp needs to be deveined or not, but after having the rest of their food, I couldn't really eat the spring rolls with much pleasure.

I wouldn't go here based solely on food quality and quantity as Thai Cuisine Express is superior in flavor and quantity and only costs maybe $.50 more than here.

SERVICE

Now typically I don't expect high class service at these kinds of joints, but it was so bad that I have to mention our story. My wife and I entered the facility for dinner and sat on our own because no one was waiting tables and no employee was in sight. I wanted to make sure they knew we were there so we could get the menus so I walked up toward the cashier desk and let them know I was there.

A gentleman came out and sat us down with menus. He came back within an acceptable amount of time and took our order. No complaints so far though it's a little off shooting to feel like you need to let the cooks know you entered their building.

The Phad Thai came out first. My wife and I ate it, and when we finished the dish the Massa Mun curry arrived. No rice was included so I asked for rice. The rice came out in two, rice bowl sized balls. After about another 5 minutes the Spring Rolls came out. During this whole time we were waiting for the food, I could hear yelling in the back of the kitchen. I'm thinking this is due to the chaos back there as it was a little strange that our Spring Rolls came out after the main dish? Maybe this is a Thai custom? Actually I'm not 100% if the family that owns it is Thai or not.

So far, the food isn't that good, and the quantity was low, and the service is iffy.

I'm ready to get out of there as soon as possible so I walk up to the cashier, and there's no staff in the main serving area, so I wait there as some other people in the restaurant yell inside the kitchen to let them know I'm there. I think the waitress who came to process my order was new or something, because it took her about 5 minutes to attempt to ring my order, but then give up and give it to what I believe was the owner of the place.

She's calculating the price, and because their cashier isn't working, and they're typing the final bill on a calculator, I want to double check their math with my Pocket PC. So I ask politely what percentage the tax is. I ask again what the tax is, but she doesn’t understand me, and so I ask again. I then get a loud voice behind me from one of the booths (which I later find out is her niece), that tells me it’s 7.75%.

Then the grand finale comes. There's a sign that says that they will charge $.50 on all credit card fees. I want to make sure I don’t get charged this, so I tell her that it’s against the merchant agreement with Visa & Mastercard to charge me a “processing fee” and that the state of California doesn’t allow that kind of charge (Ref: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1747-1748.7) The cashier doesn’t understand me, and her niece interrupts and tells me that I’m wrong. She justifies the charge by saying that the sign clearly states it and that it’s a common practice of many other restaurants in the area. I then tell her, that I don’t care what common practice is, and that the charge is illegitimate and I refuse to pay it. The niece’s male companion then yells out, “Man, it’s only $.50!”. And the niece offers to cover the $.50 on my behalf.

I pay, and leave, and will never be going back again.