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really bad experience at isa

Luke | Aug 2, 200205:57 PM

Hey out there, I wasn't going to post at all about the terrible experience I had a ISA last thursday, but for some reason the way the whole thing went down has been eating (no pun intended) at me.

I should disclaim first that not only do I work in the restaurant industry, but I also do some freelance food writing for two fairly major Bay Area websites. I didn't want to badmouth Isa in either of these forums because there is no need for that kind of bad press, but thought you chowhounds might want to know.

so heres my story...

Two thursdays ago I wake up and decide to check Isa out that night. I had heard good things, and my girlfriend loves Asian Food, so I called around 12 to make a reservation. As is to be expected, the only thing they had availiable at that time was 6:45, so we jumped on it.

We arrived promptly and were seated in the nicely designed front room. We start looking over the menu, and just after ordering a bottle of wine, there was this eruption from the kitchen. At this point the restaurant was still filling up (probably about half full), and was not at peak volume. Apparently there had been some dispute between the head chef (an asian man about 5'9''), and his hostess/manager. He began yelling at her about her shoes, and how they were inappropriate for her to be working in. At this point both myself and my girlfriend, and both tables next to us look over, our meals completely interrupted by his tirade. He was riding this girl and being fairly vulgar and verbally abusive. I understand that these things happen in the restaurant business, and I would have let it go if it was just a small outburst, but he continued at the top of his lungs for I kid you not 5 full minutes. We couldn't even really talk over his barrage. Finally (by this time he had actually left the kitchen and was at the hostess stand (on the floor) screaming, he said something about how unproffesional she was, and my girlfriend looked him in the eyes and said "maybe if you were a little more proffesional you wouldn't sit here and scream in front of your customers".

Did he apologize and take his tirade in the back? Did he show any sign of embarassment that he was ruining the meal of paying customers at his restaurant? No...

he looked right back at her from the hostess stand, and said "if you don't like it, there is the door".

we got right up and walked out...

as we did so, he started back tracking and apologizing. All I remember him saying was "I'm sorry it has to be like this BUT... blah blah blah".

We were deeply offended by the whole thing, and I recommend strongly that none of you patronize this place. I work within the industry, and know its norms, and I know he was completely out of line. We did nothing wrong at all except to listen to his vulgar tirade for 5 minutes before saying something.

I hope that any of you considering Isa take this experience into consideration, and I am interested to hear if any of you have had similar experiences.

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