I just discovered this wonderful board and this incident happened last year, but I'm sure nothing has changed.
At the time I had a Chinese girlfriend. Her being a native speaker in several dialects, we had some great dining experiences here, plus in Vancouver & SF.
Then came our visit to Golden Horse in PDX Chinatown. There was a dish on the menu listed as mixed seafood hot pot. It was supposed to have about six kinds of seafood. As we don't like calamari, she told the waitress in Mandarin that we wanted a minimum-to-zero amount of it. She said she'd see to that.
The dish came with about 80% calamari! We called her over, my girlfriend told her the problem. She denied it was mostly calamari, and then had the nerve to just shrug & say "That's how we make it." We made it clear we were very unhappy, but she just walked away. She didn't offer to get us a substitute item.
I was furious. If that's how they make it, she should have told us that, saying "Maybe you should order something else. Sounds as if you won't like it, as we really can't fill your request."
On the Visa slip I gave her $0.03 tip. The cashier (manager/owner?) spotted this & eyed me. Did she come over to ask us if everything is OK? Of course not.
Maybe they don't care because they always seem to be busy. I'll never return, & have told 20 people my experience.
I've heard that at such places (from a Chinese friend who used to work at a similar one) if there's a dispute or the waitress screws up, they take it out of her pay. Maybe she was afraid to complain & be our advocate (isn't that her job?) for fear of reprisal.
If that's the case, the problem isn't one poor waitress with a bad attitude, but a restaurant that treats customers as the enemy. I don't believe the customer is always right, but Golden Horse's philosophy is :
"The Customer is always wrong."