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Luna Park = Big Disappointment!

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Luna Park = Big Disappointment!

mange_and_nosh | Feb 4, 2008 10:49 AM

Let me first preface this review by saying that I have a rather high tolerance for mediocre (even bad!) service and mediocre food. I grew up in a country where scarfing down hawker food prepared by old men with cigarettes hanging out of the corner of their mouths in dubious sanitary conditions was the norm, and happily relish the experience even today. Moreover, I've worked in restaurants my entire life, including a few very mediocre ones in addition to some not so mediocre ones. Knowing how hard it is to consistently put out a good plate, I would never normally write a poor review of a restaurant, but unfortunately, I can't hold back with Luna Park.

After reading various rave entries about the food at Luna Park on Chowhound, I finally made a reservation for dinner last Friday night...With all honesty, I can say it was one of the worst dining experiences I've ever had.

Firstly, my reservation was for 9:30pm but it was not until having waited 45 minutes in the cold (because the bar area was so packed there was not enough standing space inside) that we were finally seated. Secondly, knowing that it was DineLA week, some of my party were excited to order off the special menu, but after the waitress came and took our orders, she returned ten minutes later to tell us that there was no more yellowtail on the menu, and that she could only replace it with tilapia. When I finally received my starter - the famous Goat Cheese Fondue - things only got worse. My goat cheese "fondue" was more like a ramekin filled with a mixture of cream cheese and water. The goat cheese taste was almost imperceptible. Then, I was brought my main course - spiced barbecued spare ribs. Though the ribs were cooked alright, the barbecue sauce in the sauce dish had split into distinguishable parts of sugar and grease, which was not very appetizing, to say the least.

As I sat there sifting through the grease, thinking that this meal could not get any worse, somebody suddenly poked me sharply/violently on the shoulder. At first, I thought it was a bus boy asking if I was finished with my food, but when the person persisted to ask me "If he could have my food?" and started grabbing at my french fries and ribs, I realized it was a homeless man who had come into the restaurant to beg! Not that I have any problem with the homeless, it was just off-putting to have somebody put their hands on my food. When I told the waitress what happened, she gave a cursory apology and asked if I wanted more fries and ribs. I declined, not wanting to spend more time waiting for something I didn't like and hoping that desert would perhaps redeem the night.

Boy was I wrong. I ordered the Coconut Creme Brulee. It was a miserable failure. The ramekin that it had been cooked in was scalding hot and the sugar on top was literally burnt to a cinder - blacker than night. When I finally hacked my spoon through the sugar, I discovered nothing more than a liquid puddle of custard mixture about a quarter of an inch thick.

And so I asked for the check and left with the horrible feeling that I had spent alot of money on a meal worth a penny. I can't say I will never go back to Luna Park again (since I know restaurants have off nights and it can't be that bad if so many people seem to love it), but it's going to be a long long while. They are inconsistent beyond belief, but at least they haven't charged my credit card yet - perhaps my waitress has a conscience!

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