On Sunday, my boyfriend and I decided to go to Tengu in Westwood after spending the day at the Festival of Books. Years ago, I worked for the W Hotel and they awarded me with a $50 gift certificate for Tengu. Because I no longer work at the hotel and am rarely in Westwood, I have just held onto the gift certificate.
When we sat down at the bar, we presented the gift certificate to the bartender and proceeded to order. After we had ordered and devoured a bunch of items, we asked the bartender what our tab was and she informed us we still had ten dollars left on the gift certificate, so we ordered 2 more things.
While we were waiting for our next round of appetizers, the bartender approached us and told us that the manager noticed the gift certificate was from 2002 and there was "no way" he could accept it, so our one drink was on her. (This was at least 45 minutes into our meal.) We got a bit upset and asked to speak to a manager. This gift certificate had no expiration date printed on it, was numbered for record keeping by Tengu, and we had presented it to her prior to ordering (and eating) all of our food. Plus, I am pretty sure the law in California is that even if the certificate had an expiration date, they would still have to honor it. There was no way we were paying for our food.
The manager never came out to talk to us. After going back and forth with the bartender about how we never would have sat down and ordered all of this food if we could not use the gift certificate, we were told "the manager left, so don't worry about it." But our meal had been spoiled, we left miffed, and will never return. We felt like the manager could care less about talking to us and the way they handled the gift certificate was quite rude. I mean, it is not like we were using a coupon. The certificate should have been treated like cash, we think.
Has anyone ever had a similar experience? And do you think we had a right to feel miffed? We dine out a lot and have never had an experience like this before. If the gift certificate had had an expiration date, I am sure I would have used it much sooner.