Patrons be aware that this is first and foremost a bar and not a restaurant; you practically careen into the thing three feet from the entrance. Liquor sales dominate half of the large, echoing room, which is more reminiscent of a trumped-up university cafeteria with its harsh, naked overhead lighting and cheap commercial seating fixtures. The decor on the whole looks like a recipient of some HGTV design-on-a-shoestring budget makeover. It's cavernous, cold, and without much personality. Ubiquitous and massive flatscreen televisions cover most of the walls, silently flashing whatever the game du jour happens to be playing. There's some sort of piped-in ambient music, but it's drowned like kittens in a sack against the tide of rumbling, raucous patrons. This isn't a place to have a romantic meal, a business meeting, or any other social scenario that requires a full conversation.
Service was attentive and earnest at least, but these workers cannot hear their patrons' requests most of the time, resulting in a constant strain to catch orders and inquiries. Several of them also seem extremely new to their occupations and are hesitant and uncertain. Perhaps time and experience will help wear them in. Given how many there are bustling around doing this and that, it is also remarkably hard to catch one flying by on their way to the kitchen. Slowing down to pause when a table addresses them will go a long way towards feeling cared for.
The food is a brighter note, brought out quickly and prepared with fresh, crisp vegetables and tender, properly cooked meats. Unfortunately a few of our curries were mixed up not by the order taker but by the kitchen, resulting in a meal most of my group didn't intend to eat. There is however a somewhat disappointing lack of substance, with far more of a ratio of starches to meats. Presentation is pretty but shallow when flavors fall slightly short. Pan fried dumplings with garlic and vegetable rice paper rolls were just basic and bland. The curries tasted much sharper, almost a little overbearingly so; the table suspected a good dose of MSG in the mix.
It's unsurprising to me people have been giving higher marks for this new restaurant. Mine would be too, if it managed to match my expectations. Given the prevalence of alcohol for this location they're likely to hold out if they can just survive their first year. But this definitely isn't a destination on a must-see list, and there's far better fare to be had in town. Better luck next time.
I'm rather torn in adding my perspective regarding this business. I've had a great haircut each time I've patronized Barber Blues, and they're really cool people here, but the frustration and wait really bring my rating down. I'll explain why.
I do understand that online appointments are available. That being said, it seems like a red flag that a corner barber charging $16 for a standard cut should require such an action. Pretentious salons make use of internet gimmicks, not a low-key, casual atmosphere with amiable, chatty barbers and a pool table in the corner. A simple man's cut ought to take fifteen or twenty minutes, but I've never sat in the chair less than three quarters of an hour. I'm glad for the barber to be taking his time, but this is a little much.
I also grasp that appointments are taken before walk-ins, but here is my chief complaint about their system. Even though the business states that walk-ins are welcome, there is no communication whatsoever about any appointments that may be before them. When I walk in the door, am asked if I have an appointment and reply that I don't, when the appointment book is looked over more than once by the barber, THAT is when I should be told so. "Oh hey, we have a 2:00 coming in, and there's two others ahead of you, so it'll be XX amount of time before we could see you." Then I could make my decision to remain or to wait, instead of sitting in a chair for ALMOST TWO HOURS WAITING TO BE SEEN, with only two people ahead of me. There's other ways I could have spent my afternoon than to watch the street traffic by Shine Coffee during my three hour visit.
Even when an appointment is made, I've witnessed those customers also sitting and waiting for fifteen and twenty minutes beyond their scheduled time before they are handled. So I'm frankly skeptical about using the system when from what I've seen, it isn't working.
C'mon, Barber Blues. You do a good job, but you really need to pick up the pace and give your customers a more realistic idea of how long it'll be before you can handle them. You've got four chairs on the premises. Obviously you need more than one barber taking appointments and one barber (sometimes) taking walk-ins. The sixteen bucks I'm paying (twenty with a tip) isn't worth the time I've lost. I'll go back to my $50 fancy-ass salon stylist and know I can be out in less than thirty minutes to continue enjoying my day. I don't want to, but I can't wait again like this. At this rate, I'm balding faster than my hair is growing.22/05/2013 I get your frustration. Nobody likes to wait, especially 1+hours. We do take our time to converse… En savoir plus
Three strikes and you're out, Bento Box. You stepped up to the plate, biffed the ball, let it hit me in the face, and then wouldn't even sign the damn thing for me to keep as a souvenir. You're the worst player of the game ever.
There's something decidedly amiss when you walk through the doors here. Numerous staff all wandering about, trying to hustle and bustle, but not really knowing how. Sullen looking Japanese sushi chefs behind the back bar, looking like forlorn animals trapped in a zoo exhibit. Managers who flit amongst the rough-hewn unfinished looking chlorinated water features, too afraid of tetanus to get close to the decor. The vast echoing cavern of the space yawning above you, cold and cheapshod and fresh from a discount market - which not coincidentally, perfectly describes the food.
Three times I attempted to patronize this place, and three times was my experience identical in virtually every way. The service staff clearly have not received proper training whatsoever, and many appear to me to be first-timers to this job field. They're not so much angsty and apathetic as they are innocently incompetent. Watching our waitress struggle with the POS touchscreen for over twenty-five minutes helped cement this theory as we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. For each visit there has never been more than twelve patrons in the restaurant, and never fewer than twelve employees about the premises, so I really can't imagine why the hell this goes on so often.
For my first meal, I was given the wrong dish. It was similar to my actual order, and I wasn't familiar enough with the menu to identify my meal, so I went to work eating. In mid bite the bento was taken out from under me, with a haphazard semi-apology mostly blaming the cooks (who had nothing to do with taking my order or bringing it to me). I held my chopsticks for ten minutes, since I didn't want to place my utensils directly on the bar, until my new meal was brought out for me. It contained the same dry, crunchy, cold rice that accompanied the first set of cold grilled chicken, only this time there was a slightly different sauce. These two elements apparently make up the base of most of the menu, or so my ordering discovered every time I've eaten here.
Fortunately I didn't eat most of the meals, since I'd have had nothing with which to wash it down. It seems when you order something to drink at Bento Box, that's your one shot at a beverage. If you are thirsty, better order three, 'cause they sure as hell aren't going to refill a damn thing for the entirety of your visit. They aren't quick about bringing the check either, though they do snap up your money lickety split. Use exact change or you're gonna wait again. And again. And again. Maybe they're trying to convey some sort of meditative Zen experience as you reflect and ponder upon the meaning of life, and the vacuous absence of service, and the inedible nature of the food.
Another observation I've made during my visits; the constant presence of a family whom presumably owns this particular franchise. They lounge about, eating their own restaurant's food, getting important shit done on their mobile devices, congratulating one another upon various victories. And it's this family that I believe is at the source of all the misgivings of this place. The utter lack of knowledge, skill, and service. The cheap halfassed decor in half a dozen discordant themes and elements. The shoddy representations of Japanese food. The weird inclusions of such things as crab rangoon and fortune cookies. The owners are Chinese. I love me some Chinese food, don't get me wrong. What I don't love is Japanese food when it's totally fucked up by people who couldn't care less about their own establishment, their product, or their workers.
Sniff your box later. Bleh.
My experience with Gaesorn was a distinct disappointment, contrasting so sharply against many of the more satisfied reviews with such polarity as to make me forevermore dismissive of office-crowd opinions. Perhaps this place once was better and has, along with much of the surrounding region, fallen upon hard times. Even considering this downtrodden economy, I won't be attempting a second visit.
I arrived with my dining companion at about two o'clock, an hour before the posted closing time. There were a handful of patrons still remaining, though they were all finished and preparing to leave. I had initially been drawn in by the a-frame advertisement for a buffet, which though towards the end of its brief noontime lifespan still looked decent and edible. I shared with my waiter my dining choice, which apparently disturbed him as he began making nervous glances towards the kitchen. I was told the buffet was closing, and I would need to take whatever I wanted right then and there; but my decision was made for me as, before I could reply, a worker hurried out and snatched away three of the primary food pans from the buffet.
Very well then. We each selected an a la carte dish, divided by choice of sauce and meat, accompanied by soup and salad according to the menu. The soup, which one waggish reviewer placed in parenthesis, literally was a few tablespoons of broth and two cubes of daikon, poured from the buffet's lingering soup kettle into a tiny ramekin. The salad arrived in the same size of container, and was left untouched by me. Iceberg lettuce with oily dressing does not really appeal to my palate.
Service was admittedly swift and succinctly competent, though inexplicably it took over twenty minutes for our entrees to be brought. My choice was the 'Perfect Garlic', described as a spicy white-pepper garlic sauce topped with crispy garlic tidbits. What I received was a plate of disintegrated, mushy rice, a sizable portion of cabbage (?), and a few pieces of lukewarm, skillet-toughened chicken. Its aroma so put off my companion that I was able to eat his dish instead, which I frankly preferred. The subsequent substitute was ostensibly called 'coconut noodles', which it was. I didn't think this would be a literal description. The plate consisted of a quickly-congealed pile of glass noodles flavored with coconut milk, and another eight pieces of chewy chicken. And nothing else. At all. Not even a garnish. Oookay.
So we choked it down, sighed remorsefully, and left a respectable tip for our courteous server. Like pretty much everyone else has said about Gaesorn, one may do considerably better with other Thai fare.
Do not believe the artifically inflated orangehead reviews. Do you not notice how nearly all the positive remarks come from accounts with only one review to their credit?
Another Guy Fieri culinary abortion. Abysmal food, uninspired effort, incompetent and apathetic waitstaff. Hey, that sounds like most restaurant chains these days. Go figure.
CLOSED. I guess nobody else liked the fishstank either.
Apparently is now a Japanese grill (?) which smells far, far more appetizing. Someone go check it out!The unparalleled, overpowering stench of old fish was like a tangible viscous funk assaulting my… En savoir plus
It's a glorified, pretentious strip mall. Filled with quasi-high end corporate commercial retailers. It makes the upwardly-mobile feel safe because colored folk don't feel comfortable around so much posturing. Every time it rains nobody will shop here because every store is three hundred feet from one another, and there is no protection from the elements so all the soccer moms' hairstyles and rhinestone-beadazzled Juicy Couture sweats will be ruined.
Really, kids? We're really reviewing THE FOUNTAINS? Did it NEED to be remarked upon? Does every single person rewriting the same pedantic review REALLY need to compare it to Santana Row et. al.?
It's a STRIP MALL. With "fancy" stores - or as fancy as most of these suburbanite trogs will ever actually experience.
You've seen one world of good tastes, you've pretty much experienced them all. This particular location caters to the many office workers inhabiting the immediate vicinity; thus the hours of operation are somewhat foreshortened to mid afternoons on weekdays only. The lunchtime crowd usually thins out by two o'clock or so, effectively assuring a much quieter and less hectic pace.
I give props to the kitchen crew for rarely running out of any particular grilled panini, delicious from-scratch soup, or salad ingredient on the menu. The management of this location is skilled at both multitasking workers and distributing materials, so even when there's a large line I've rarely had a frustrating wait.
My only irritation comes from the busers - or lack thereof. Recalling my earlier comment about the short waits and easy ordering - this is the price paid for convenience. Even so, it isn't difficult for me to take a newspaper and an empty plate and put them into the recycling and the dish tubs. Not exactly what I'd want to do with my hands before enjoying my own meal, but hey. I can't have it all. Well, I could but then, my meal wouldn't be seven dollars.
Regarding the food itself, I've always had consistently fast, fresh, flavorful experiences. Most of the fare is a sort of Pan-Asian-French-Bistro fusion, which is actually rather toothsome and satisfying to the likes of me. My favorites include a ham and Swiss panini enhanced with caramelized onions and basil, and the spicy Thai chicken soup, filled with peppery spices, mushrooms and rice. It's not culinary rocket science, but it is a quick and convenient lunch.