America, June 25, 2004
Cuz the service stinks like poo poo
There is a restaurant in Dupont Circle that I pass often call Raku - An Asian Diner. Every time I see it, I wanna like the place. It has a cool Asian motif with red accents around the nice outdoor patio and some of the dishes are pretty good.|
The only problem is that I've only been able to eat there twice after five tries because their service is so poor. Now 'm not talking an order error here, or a bad server there. I'm talking a full-blown systematic and structural server problem that seeming is only getting worse.
First off, Raku makes patrons wait on the sidewalk outside the patio when there are empty tables in plain view. As they don't take reservations, they're not waiting for anyone special, yet they will still make people wait, and the host will yell at you if you ask to be on the waitlist or try to sneak a table when she is off smoking a cigarette.
Then when you're seated, good luck with the waiter. One I had forgot about us until I reminded him, after he passed our table several times to take orders from all the tables around us, that we were in his section and ready to order. He was then quick in bringing us our drinks, but we finally gave up on waiting for the food after an hour and left. I wonder when he finally noticed our absence? Closing time?
Another time a server took our order promptly, but then tried to serve us a whole different set of food. Now I can understand confusing vegetarian and meat jiaozi, but three bowls of soup for a tofu appetizer? Then he had the audacity to insist that we in fact, ordered three bowls of soup for two people.
Once, while sitting at the bar, I made the mistake of going to the Raku bathroom, which is in the basement next to the food storage area. That bathroom and the state of the food storage area, and both so close, made me glad I was only having drinks.
Then to top off all my Raku experiences, last night four of us were denied seating there. We were dressed right, ready to order, and had cash in our pockets, but I seem to have uttered the magic rejection words. 'One more might be joining us' must be code for 'kick their asses out!' for no sooner had I said this than the host stopped in his tracks and told us we had to wait for the fifth.
I tried to explain that we four were here and hungry. We were gonna order and eat right away, and the fifth might not even show. To top it off, the restaurant was half-empty, so the possible addition of one more would not make a difference. The host failed to see reason and outright refused to seat us. When I asked for the manger, I got the classic 'she's not here' run-around.
So that's it. That is the last straw for me. I'll not be going back to Raku - An Asian Diner ever again. And it looks like there are plenty of others who agree with me. In the Washington Post's Dining Guide, over 40 people denounce Raku so far! Check out these other horror stories.
Worst dining experience I have ever had in D.C.
Raku - An Asian Diner