Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Curry Tragedy


If I could offer Bombay Bar and Grill a piece of advice, I'd tell them to never piss off a starving diner who just had a phenomenally crappy day. How can they detect such a diner? A frown might be an easy clue, but only if it is visible. Most of us don't wear our agonies on our sleeve. A happy face is what we'd rather show. So just to be safe, they should never piss off any customer. Period.

We got there at about 5 pm yesterday; the restaurant was nearly empty; an elderly drunk-looking customer at the bar said a friendly hello; and we were seated at a spacious corner table. We ordered chicken pakora for an appetizer, along with lamb korma and lal maas for our main courses. The lal maas, a popular lamb curry of Rajasthan, was going to be my food adventure of the night. I'd never had it before and was anticipating a delightful first-time experience. But alas, that didn't happen until 2 am the following morning.

We waited for about twenty minutes, then a waiter brought us the lal maas and korma. Our appetizer was obviously delayed or forgotten. On top of that, I realized the entrees, unlike at other Indian restaurants I've been to, didn't automatically come with rice. The waitress who took our orders didn't tell us that or ask if we wanted any rice or naan. I guess she assumed we were going to eat our curries by themselves like soup. Neither did she come back to check how things went with us. So my dinner companion walked over to her and asked for two orders of rice. More waiting and curry staring ensued.

Another fifteen minutes went by. Neither the appetizer nor the rice showed up. I recall ordering extra rice half-way through a meal at another Indian restaurant, and it arrived in less than two minutes. Isn't rice something restaurants make in bulk beforehand and quickly reheat before serving? Not here, I guess. Well, my rice never came, but the waitress did. With a smile on her face, she asked us nonchalantly, "Still waiting for the rice?"

That's when the frown I'd tried to hide all day became visible. Mind you, I normally am quite patient and forgiving. I didn't expect them to treat me like a monarch last night. After a series of misfortunes throughout the day, I only hoped to find some comfort in good food and decent restaurant service. I expected very basic decency, such as getting everything I ordered, reasonable wait time (considering how quiet the restaurant was), and a waitress who acted like she gave a shit.

No, I didn't harangue the waitress or demand any special compensation. I simply told her we never got our appetizer, asked her to box everything to go, and let my discontentment be known through my tone of voice and facial expression. My dinner companion looked at me as if I was making a big deal out of nothing. "It's just a human mistake," said he, who, by the way, often gets angry at innocent pedestrians who cross the street rather slowly and once threw a little fit at Safeway when the self-checkout machine asked him to wait for assistance. Yes, he was correct. I acknowledged that and continued to sulk.

The owner later came to apologize and gave us a 20% discount. Feeling too lousy to eat, I returned home, put my food in the fridge and went to bed at seven. Then at 2 am, with my stomach growling, I woke up to microwave my lal maas. How was it? It was scrumptious. I wish my food adventure had played out differently. I wish I hadn't got so mad at my husband for not sympathizing with me that I demoted him to "dinner companion" in this blog post. But I couldn't help it. I was a starving diner who just had a phenomenally crappy day. 

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