Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Waiting Room

Long before I was TheGayGardener; even before I was a cosmetics consultant; or an actor…I was a waiter. I worked in fast food places & pubs & more than one fancy restaurant in New York. I made good money & I actually liked it. I liked meeting new people & the fast pace & yea, the tips. I have a great appreciation for fine food & have eaten in some terrific places in L.A. , New York, Mexico & Europe. And I have a very keen appreciation for just how difficult “serving” people can be.

Los Angeles is not known for the high quality of its food service. Maybe because the wait staff generally do not view what they do as a “vocation” but merely a way to pay the rent until their screen play sells or they get that great part that is surely coming to them! I get it.

I have had mediocre service before. I have had atrocious service before. But never in the history of dining out, has their been service as bad as that suffered by me & nine of my friends at THE BELMONT in LOS ANGELES tonight. Oh, I guess that poor hapless waiter who served Jesus & his 12 friends in that upper room on that Thursday night; probably wasn’t that great either… but at least he had the excuse of being distracted by the 30 pieces of silver & all that feet washing & just the drama of the whole evening. I have NO idea what was bugging the guy who was (allegedly) serving us tonight. But I doubt it was quite as dramatic.

In a nutshell: We did not have a reservation but were happy when a table opened up as the small bar cannot really accommodate more than 10 people for drinks. We ordered another round fairly quickly & waited. Asked for menus & waited. Our drinks came. We then waited several more minutes to place our food orders. Christ! If anyone was WAITING in this story it was US! Why DO they call them WAITERS? We finally place our food orders & guess what? WE WAITED!!!!! OVER AN HOUR!!!!!! I wish I could say our server was embarrassed or tried to appease us in some way, But I can’t! After someone in our party went to FIND HIM & complain, he returned to our table with nary an apology. When I pointed out that in addition to the Hour wait, the party next to us had been seated 20 minutes after us & were now enjoying their meals. With his very best: “I HAD 5 LINES ON AN EPISODE OF ENTOURAGE ATTITUDE” He explained that that party was here before us, in another room (????????!!!!!!!!???) and in fact we were “LUCKY TO HAVE THIS TABLE!!”!!!!!!!!!!! After I recovered from a new brand of rudeness that left me breathless: I had to almost laugh at the audacity of that statement. I was seated with friends who are extremely successful & well known & regarded in the Fashion & Television industries-including a friend visiting from Italy, we uncomplainingly paid almost $5 a gallon in gas to get there, $5 to park, $10 per cocktail, and nearly $20 per sub-par entrée & this gentleman felt we were lucky to get this table!! Now this place WAS cool & hot about 3 summers ago, but I think it has been quite some time since any celebrity above the D LIST darkened its door. But that specific HOLLYWOOD ATITUDE is still readily available if you want to pay for it!

Don’t just take my word for it! Go to CITYSEARCH LOS ANGELES. Here are some of the quotes from reviews for THE BELMONT:

-“lousy staff, made to feel like they're doing us a favor being there”
-“wait staff is extremely unfriendly and inattentive. 2. The owners of the place troll around too much”
-“the worst service ever!”

And in summation:

-“the Belmont's service has become so horrifically bad you would have a more pleasurable time hanging out at a Dennys in Bakersfield.”



At 8:31 AM, Blogger LisaStat said...

You're my Hero!...When I grow up, I want to be just like you!

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Charlie can speak from experience as far as the waitering. HE was a terrific waiter at SAM'S Restaurant on 45th and 8th Ave. in NYC, which is long gone! What made him great was his smile, his charm, and his ability to charm the tips right out of people's pockets! He also knew his job and did it so well. He was nice, friendly and helpful to the new waiters who started, myself included. Just an all around great human being.


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