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Extraordinarily Bad Experience at XO on Walker

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Extraordinarily Bad Experience at XO on Walker

Jim Leff | Feb 26, 2007 09:13 AM

I kind of like the XO on Hester (though, come to think of it, it's been a few years), so I thought I'd try the original branch on Walker.

We ordered dao mu/snow pea leaves with garlic (waiter confirmed: "with garlic?" I replied "yes, with garlic"), sticky rice with sausage wrapped in lotus leaf (I always forget the Cantonese name, prefering to think of them as Chinese tamales) and oysters with XO sauce. Waiter said, stone-faced "we're out of XO sauce", which is ridiculous for several reasons. I was incredulous, but he wouldn't yield, so I ordered shrimp in black bean sauce.

Then something I've never seen before. Waiter headed into open kitchen, and started fooling around with a wok. While holding a cellphone with one hand the entire time.

Snow pea leaves arrived, over-cooked, water logged, no oil and no garlic. Particularly ironic because I've spent the past two weeks mostly eating a macrobiotic diet of steamed plain greens. Shrimp were undercooked, black bean sauce tasted canned. Tamale was a no-show.

I could not attract the attention of any waiter to request a redo of the snow pea leaves. After picking disgustedly for ten minutes, we asked for a check. Manager came over and said the tamal was coming. I said "cancel it". He asked if anything was wrong. i started to tell him what was wrong. He literally - I'm not joking - turned his back and walked away, to resume his stone-faced position at the cash register.

This was my first stiffed tip in over two years.

The check came to $30 (with two tsing taos).

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