Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yoshinoya: Quality Not Assured

On a scale of 5-stars, Yoshinoya deserves 1-star. Not for the food, which i personally think deserves 3 stars. This 1-star accolade applies to the knuckleheads for their level of customer service at this particular location that operate the establishment known as Yoshinoya... 'authentic' Japanese for non-Japanese. But like Jollibee, there is something intriguing – drawing me back in. The meat is beyond identifiable and could be a cross between donkey or zebra meat... a result of a bad animal cloning project gone awry that somehow made its way into our warm Styrofoam bowls. But man, that (insert mystery meat) juice is tasty.

So i go to Yoshinoya on the way home b/c that's where starving people frequent, especially when they have those BOGO free coupons. A whole bowl of zebra/donkey meat, onions and rice soaked in a lagoon of beef fat/soy sauce/msg for under $5. Hey i'm poor and hungry, sign me up please!

I walk in and immediately I see one female cashier sporting the manager button. She's laughing her ass off and looking down. I take a look at her and know that she's been down the HIGHway. Oily faced with slightly red eyes that were halfway open. I walk closer to the counter and take a look at the menu. Suddenly, i hear a laugh coming from below where her HIGHness is standing. Sure enough, she's got a colleague on the floor laughing while lying on her back. She looks at me and just busts up... doesn't even bother getting up. She apparently is high too. In the back, are two guys standing there laughing with them. After about 30 seconds later, the cashier realizes that... 'hey, maybe this guy is here for a reason. maybe he is actually here to order something from me. so maybe i should take his order? thanks my lovely brain." No sh*t, I came here to watch you circusfolk perform!

Cashier: "Hi, can i help you?"

Colleague-on-the-floor impersonates her in a weird voice: "Ugh... Hi, can i help you?"

Both start to laugh again uncontrollably. and gain conscience 15 seconds later.

Me: "I'll take two large beefs." (That sound weird.)

Cashier: *pppoooooffffft* "Ugh ok, two large beefs."

She then grabs the handy, bendy-mic and looks at me and says "two large beefs" in a deep and retarded tone and busts up.

Homegirl, who is still tanning on the floor under the fluorescent lights, starts laughing again. The whole time, the guy (line cooks) are echoing their laughs. They respond to the manager's professional request for 'two large beefs' and start to move about and DO something.

Cashier: "$9.50 please."

I pull out my card and swipe. I get my receipt and then the cashier says..

"Oh shit. I pushed the CASH button! haha. I didn't push debit/credit!"

Employee on the floor: "Stuuuuuupppppiiiiid."

More laughing ensues. I watched as she tried to correct the transaction for over 3 minutes. She couldn't even function and eventually just said "ah, fuck it!" Motor skills not kicking in.

Next, the girl on the floor gets up and grabs the mic from the cashier. And suddenly, a mini cat-fight ensues with some pretty hard slaps to the head – enough to hear a thump and make the two guys in the back say "oooooooh". They were too busy watching the cat-fight and stopped making my order. The girl backs off and wipes her hair/straightens out her clothing and suddenly grabs the mic again and starts to sing some song really loudly. She then pulls out her cellphone, activates her ringtone and puts it to the mic to add some musical ambiance to the restaurant, which already looks like a mix between a hospital cafeteria and morgue b/c of the drab tiling.

I stand back and just witness the wildlife scenario.... like I'm on a Safari. Binoculars and everything.

Next, two guys come in and walk straight to the counter. They whisper to the cashier and she walks to the kitchen and asks for some chicken wings and gives him a large cup. He gladly goes over to fill his drink and waits proudly for the free food. He is golden.

The four of them start to chat and I see my food being placed on the counter top. And I patiently wait to see how long it would take to get my food. 30 seconds. 45 seconds. 1 minute. 2 minutes. and finally at 3 minutes... I said "HEY!" while pointing at the food.

Cashier: "Oh fuck. sorry!"

I get my food, walk out and take a last look at the store and say to myself...

"I love Yoshinoya."

24 comments:

elmomonster said...

That read like a movie scene. Surreal that it actually happened. And to you!

Also had a beef bowl the other night. But the folks at my Yoshinoya are boring. They took my money, gave me my food, and even cleaned up the place spotless -- a YAWN for blogging about.

liz said...

I have to say WOW... what a story. I've been to Yoshinoya once in SJ and it wasn't a pleasant experience. They closed shortly thereafter.

christianne said...

That was awesome! ALMOST worth eating at Yoshinoya if they could promise me that kind of performance every time...

Sarah C. said...

Were they "on" something? It sounds like a case of the pot giggles...

j! said...

That cashier is similar to one I had at Subway (Main and Marengo in Alhambra). A "dude" with spike earrings you'd find in a smoke shop, a brightly colored pair that looks like blue marble stone, comes out from the back and takes my order.

"Heh heh, can I like take your order?"

Me: "Yeah, I'll have a foot-long Veggie Delight."

"Yeeeaaah, maaaaan," he says as he points his fingers like a gun and winks at me.

Watching him put together this sandwich (all on a weekday lunch hour) he decides to place each ingredient individually, one by one. Not even in a speedy pace.

Every time he asked if I wanted *insert sandwich fixings*, my answer would result in him responding, "yeah, man" and grinning.

Damn, I should work in food service so I can be a f*ck up, too.

hillary b said...

as i read this post i was thinking, hey i wonder if it's the one on Beverly...

i've had magical customer service experiences there, too, but none nearly as entertaining

JadedOne said...

Haha... ah the ghettoness of it all. I like Yoshinoya beef bowl too, but I've never had a service experience like yours. Good times..

janfrederick said...

That is AWESOME! If I could be guaranteed that kind of service, I'd go just for a laugh.

But man, it sucks when you are hungry and in no mood for such antics.

I've never been to Yoshinoya. We used to go to Happi House in Norcal in the early 80's. Anybody ever been?

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Trust me everyone, I was thinking "is this really happening?" I've worked some crappy coffee shop jobs in college and my coworkers would always be goofing off, but not as bad as this. Every once in a while, i'll drive by this particular Yoshinoya and see if those clowns are there. If so, I would totally go in and order some food even if I'm not hungry.

teenage glutster said...

awww...yoshinoya, I still remember my severe indecisiveness when it came to choosing my "3rd item" (was it going to be dessert: their creamy "cheesecake", or an appetizer: some of their comforting "clam chowder"?)

The Guilty Carnivore said...

I would have jumped on a table, pulled down my drawers, and dropped a large turd, before calmly zipping back up and walking out.

Worked for me at Chipotle.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Ummm, I would have been scared to eat there after that. No telling what they would have done to your food.

Bon Vivant said...

15 plus years ago, when I worked at a restaurant across the street from Yoshinoya on Sunset and Fountain, we were the obnoxious ones. We used to go in drunk and talk in cheesy bad French accents and order "Beouf Bowl" and they hated us.

I wouldn't be able to eat one now, but back in the day it wasn't bad with a ton of pickled ginger on it.

Anonymous said...

wow... just wow. it's like a scene from half baked

pleasurepalate said...

Now, that was quite a show. You may have been able to sell tickets, enough to make the visit worth it, even for zebra meat. :)

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Love_at_first_bite said...

Man, the last time i had Yoshinoya was in high school and it was never as good as your experience. Although it may have been better had I brought some Maggi sauce along. This article, which you might like, presents a reason why http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/dining/05glute.html

Passionate Eater said...

I am calling 800-Yoshinoya on those high schoolers! Or is it 900-Yoshinoya? I forget.

I forgot to tell you HAPPY BIRTHDAY D, I hope you had a great one w/J! Also, I loved your Xmas card, it was fob-ulous and fob-olicious!

Eddie Lin said...

That was funnier than the shit they were smoking, duuude!

Anonymous said...

When I walk into Yoshinoya, they show me nothing but respect. Maybe it's because I'm Asian and the recognize who their master is

e d b m said...

Anon, you rock.

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Anonymous said...

LOL I remember this I think I was working there when this happened.

Good luck on your next visit.

:P

weezermonkey said...

I just snorted man.

How is this the case at every store? It's truly incredible.

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