During my normal course of shopping, I find myself at one of those oRiental stores hoping to get myself the brother hookup. I never ask for it and more times than not, I don’t get it. Rude chinese waiters and loud korean waitresses notwithstanding, I do however wish for some kind of decent service. Here’s three stores that suck and three stores that are cool – I include the good ones in the pursuit of balance journalism*.
X-girl (retail store in silverlake): Apparently, the two girls working at this store are trying to break the stereotype of the polite and service oriented japanese salesperson. They don’t say “hi” and asking for help is always met with a nonchalant grudge. You think for a store who’s merchandise is overprice, they would be fucking friendly to the few people who walk in. I guess they were too cool for japan so they brought their special brand of help to los angeles. Hooray for us.
Blue Marlin (japanese restaurant in west la): It must have been a requirement at one time for the waitresses their to all rock tattoo’s and be skinny like they were strung out on heroin. But thats ok, its a look. Is their service bad. Well not if constantly telling them to refill the drinks or waiting 15 minutes for your bill is ok. But its not entirely their fault. I just assume that management is a cheapass and never hire enough waitresses to service the crowd.
Room Coffeshop (westwood): My friend and I just wanted to chill over a glass of tea or coffee but maybe this is really our fault for the mistake in ambience. We did not realize that the outside patio is sometimes used for pick up karate practice between tall asian male model (he had a book entitled “model”!) and short plumpy white dad. I guess the second rate art shows they use to have wasn’t cutting it so they’re trying to appeal to another crowd – the integrated and obnoxious.
Non-factory (skate shop in little tokyo): Apparently there was some sort of skateboard politics between the previous owners and workers (who subquently opened their own store, also in little tokyo. As if). But aya and her husband took over the shop anyway and are nice to anyone that comes in, weather its the neighborhood skaterats who stop by to watch skate videos or 30 something ex-skaters who still need a tee shirt or two. Tired of the attitude and hard looks of other skate shops, come here instead.
Wong’s Wok (chinese fast food in silverlake): Friendly service doesn’t have to be that good at these kind of restarants – if thats what you call them. You walk by with a tray and point to the two entrees you want plus the choice of fried rice or chow mein. What makes this place great? The amount of food they give you (like it was your last meal. Alot! And their orange chicken. Better than Panda Express anytime. Why, because they use msg like real chinese people do. Chinese food without msg is like the statue of liberty without the torch.
Cathie’s Bakery (chinese…errr bakery in arcadia): Their maketing toward english speakers is probably not that great. For a long time, they neglected to have english signage and than they finally printed business cards that said “Cathy’s Bakery”. But now the lit sign on the outside also says “Ellies Bakery”. But what they lack in their toefl skills, they make up with great pastries (previously reviewed by greg han) and service with a smile. Well, they hooked me up with a free red bean bow so that automatically earns them a good mark. The mochi is the bomb incidentally.
*Oh shit, I guess technically, we’re not journalist. Oh well.