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Restaurants & Bars

China Beach Bistro - decent pho, bad service, horrible parking

michiyo | May 4, 200401:09 AM

went to china beach bistro (vietnamese) tonight in venice. i normally go to le saigon but have been going to china beach recently because the pho is better (westside standards) and it's closer. i parked out front in front of the liquor store next door. apparently it's for liquor store customers only and though there is supposedly a sign, there are no lights in that area so it's not clearly visible. i was a bit annoyed that china beach doesn't post a sign in the restaurant letting customers know since it was apparent from the owner's remark that the liquor store has threatened to have cars towed on other occassions. the owner suggested i move the car behind one of the cars in the spaces out front which i presumed was her car. not even a minute after i sat down (my pho had already been sitting there for a few minutes), one of the other tables got up and i had to move my car again. i understand none of this was directly the restaurant's fault, but i was just extremely annoyed with the situation.

the service was also poor. the owner was chatting it up with one of the other tables, which is fine except when she is the only one waiting tables. it just reminded me of the first time i picked up an order there, she was on the phone, continued to stay on the phone, and did not say a word to me. i really wanted to like this place and see this restaurant succeed, but after these unpleasant experiences i have no plans to return. i'm normally all about the food and don't care too much about the service (especially with vietnamese restaurants) but i'll never return to this place again. le saigon's service is 100 times better (even though they are 10 times more crowded).

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