Another Chowhounder posted a topic about "Best Dessert Places In Los Angeles" several days ago and I responded with a recommendation for Sweet Lady Jane's. I was surprised at the number of critical responses relating to rudeness of their service which I had experienced as somewhat brusque but never outwardly rude.
After this afternoon I have completely changed my opinion.
I visited Sweet Lady Jane's this evening to pick up a cake. The line was about 6 persons deep. What I witnessed from the three people working the counter (including Jane herself) was nothing less than unprofessional - unacceptable and outwardly and unacceptably rude by any standard.
I don't care how good I think their desserts are (for the record I do believe they put out consistently "good" confections for the Los Angeles area). But the way in which they treated the several customers in front of me (rushing them - not having time to answer questions - and in the case of one customer where they admittedly acknowledged they had made a mistake in his order but then quickly brushed him off) was nothing less than astounding.
I have been to and seen much busier bakeries on the East coast where the line went at least 50 people deep for goods that I and Jane both could only wish she had the capacity to recreate -- and in each of these cases the staffs of those bakeries handled their customers professionally - competently and with respect. I am amazed at how this can continue and can only explain it as a lack of competition in the LA area of competent bakers and bakeries that have like or better goods. But as I don't have much of a sweet tooth and Sussina and Al Gelato are each relatively close by to their location - I will never go to Sweet Lady Jane's again as I would rather frequent and respect those establishments with my patronage instead of going somewhere that may know how to bake but doesn't know the first thing about dealing with their customers in a professional manner.