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#1 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (407 posts) -

The conversations/arguments about food are some of my favourite moments in any bombcast and this week was no exception. When I heard the first few lines of Ryan's yelp review I had to read more. A little googling and sure enough here it is.

From Fuji Mongolian Barbeque in Petaluma, CA:

I should preface this review by stating that I freaking *love* Mongolian BBQ. Growing up, trips to the Ghenghis Khan in Coddingtown were always a special occasion, and I was simply beside myself when I learned that Fuji--a sushi restaurant that, in my experience, had always been serviceable--was bringing the format to Petaluma.
The beauty of Mongolian BBQ, from both the proprietor and the customer perspective, is that it's pretty hard to screw up. The customer throws a bunch of thin-sliced meat, veggies, and sauce into a bowl, a grill-man toss it on a hot grill for a couple minutes, and then you're on your way. And if that combination didn't really work for you? Well, there's always the next bowl to try again.

The BBQ itself here is decent--good, even--but in the half-dozen visits I've made here, I have been absolutely blown away by the consistently apathetic, disinterested, and poorly trained waitstaff. They never seem to know how to approach the table, and requests for drinks are consistently met with confusion and bewilderment. Despite the restaurant being mostly empty every time I've been here, the staff is slow and always seems incredibly distracted by everything but the customers.

You'd think service in a buffet-style setting wouldn't be an issue, except that, rather than leave a stack of bowls next to the buffet counter, Fuji has the waitresses (never seen a male waitperson here) bring the bowls to the customers' tables one at a time. It's counter-intuitive to the Mongolian BBQ experiences I've had, though it wouldn't be an issue with an attentive waitstaff.

They also insist on starting each meal with bowls of just the most awful, watery, flavorless egg drop soup I've ever been served. Since I have no interest in ruining my appetite with this grey-ish slurry, every visit has started with a lengthy wait for my first bowl to arrive. I don't consider myself an impatient diner, but when the only thing between you and an enjoyable dining experience is a freaking *bowl*, it can be frustrating.

If I had to speculate, a lot of the format decisions here are driven by a desire to slow the pace of the diner and ultimately curb the amount of Mongolian BBQ they consume. But that theory gets blown to smithereens by the way they treat steamed rice like Nazi gold, refusing to serve it in portions larger than a measly quarter-cup at a time. Rice is cheap and fills people up quickly; why wouldn't you serve it in plentiful portions, or even just put out a rice cooker that the customers could serve themselves from?

As much as I enjoy the actual food here, and find the place to generally be a pretty great value, I've always left feeling like I've spent too much of my visit struggling against the service. So Fuji Mongolian BBQ, you're on notice: either fire your waitstaff and replace them people interested in customer service, or give the customers direct access to bowls and rice. These might seem like simple requests, and minor things to penalize a restaurant over, but when bowls and rice are pretty much the only things the waitstaff is responsible for, it comes off as a pretty significant failing
Useful(9) Funny(12) Cool(11)
#2 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

It was impossible to not hear Ryan's voice in my head when reading this.

#3 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7076 posts) -

That reads exactly like he speaks, except he censored himself.

#4 Posted by Grixxel (765 posts) -

@Kerned said:

It was impossible to not hear Ryan's voice in my head when reading this.

Oh god, i'm trying but his voice keeps popping in my head.

#5 Posted by Kedi2 (246 posts) -

This is the best thing I've read in a while.

#6 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@RenegadeDoppelganger: You are the number one Internet detective.

#7 Posted by Robinson (170 posts) -

man, i could have sworn ryan davis just popped into the room and read that to me

#8 Posted by TheHBK (5471 posts) -

Damn, this reviewer is a fucking asshole. But let me preface this by saying, I too, love mongolian BBQ. I don't get why you would got to a buffet. I love this place in the mall, I have figured out my bowl and get two meals out of the whole thing. It is great.

#9 Posted by Milkman (16637 posts) -

What a dick.

#10 Posted by Venatio (4491 posts) -

Such a great podcast this week

#11 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (407 posts) -

So here's something interesting I learned while looking for this: If you ever want sit down for an evening and read only the snootiest, most entitled, most overly sensitive, most longwinded hit pieces, go to Yelp and search the phrase " I'd like to preface this review by saying... ".

Generally the length of the disclaimer in the beginning of any review is directly proportional to how much of an asshole someone sounds in the paragraphs that follow.

#12 Posted by AoDfan (29 posts) -

I read it in Ryan's snooty Yelp reviewer voice from the podcast.

#13 Posted by psylah (2170 posts) -

What a fucking asshole. An absolute cunt.

#14 Posted by WolfHazard (465 posts) -

This is fantastic.

#15 Posted by Hero_Swe (1130 posts) -

Is it just me or does it seem like some of the responses come from people working in that place :P

#16 Posted by paulwade1984 (477 posts) -

Some crazy stalkers on this website tbh.

#17 Posted by Scooper (7882 posts) -
If I had to speculate, a lot of the format decisions here are driven by a desire to slow the pace of the diner and ultimately curb the amount of Mongolian BBQ they consume. But that theory gets blown to smithereens by the way they treat steamed rice like Nazi gold

Haha

#18 Posted by Undeadpool (4923 posts) -

@Robinson said:

man, i could have sworn ryan davis just popped into the room and read that to me

Don't look behind you...

#19 Posted by MildMolasses (3219 posts) -

Holy shit he sounds like an asshole. High quality for what I look for in obnoxious user reviews

#20 Posted by Neurotic (632 posts) -

Wooow. I love that Ryan actually owned up to this during their Yelp discussion.

Also, until today I had no idea that Mongolian barbeque was something that existed.

#21 Posted by aquamarin (555 posts) -

@Neurotic said:

Wooow. I love that Ryan actually owned up to this during their Yelp discussion.

Also, until today I had no idea that Mongolian barbeque was something that existed.

Yeah I was a little underwhelmed when I first learned what it was when I went to visit a friend out of state and he had it all planned out to go to "Mongolian BBQ" the first night. The fact that it was really just "customize your stir fry dish"(alongside a standard chinese buffet) and not like giant racks of ribs fit for Ghengis Khan or something was a little disappointing.

#22 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1190 posts) -

Man I really need to catch up on the past two podcasts. Cause this is amazing.

#23 Posted by Nictel (2403 posts) -

But that theory gets blown to smithereens by the way they treat steamed rice like Nazi gold

They should put that on the menu.

#24 Posted by KaneRobot (1521 posts) -

Waiting for Patrick to take Ryan to task for mentioning it's an all female wait staff.

#25 Posted by s10129107 (1183 posts) -

Who cares if a review is "cool"? What does that even mean?

#26 Posted by bybeach (4784 posts) -

One of these days ppl. should read what a 'real' Mongolian BBQ is. It starts off by buying the goat......

Not being racist, nor certainly was the person who related the story, these were her good friend and her family. She was truly honored by being invited.

Having said that, I do not think that these ppl. relate to their choosen business in an 'American' way, though they know the basics of what is expected for presentation. And they exist there in Mongolia, but when you are waaaaay off by your yurt on those endless plains, life is very basic all has purpose.....

#27 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1190 posts) -

@KaneRobot said:

Waiting for Patrick to take Ryan to task for mentioning it's an all female wait staff.

Why would Patrick care? Or are you just being annoying for no reason?

#28 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11613 posts) -

I can't help but read this in his voice. I also really want to go to Mongolian BBQ now.

#29 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

@Kerned said:

It was impossible to not hear Ryan's voice in my head when reading this.

I also heard it in that whiny tone they demonstrated on the bombcast. Pretty great.

#30 Posted by dungbootle (2457 posts) -

I thought he was just making up that opening line, but it's actually there. Huh.

#31 Posted by RazielCuts (2945 posts) -

2 places Ryan marked 4/5 are now closed, thanks a lot Ryan, all you had to do was give them a 5, I have a wife and kids to feed!

#32 Posted by triviaman09 (799 posts) -

@KaneRobot said:

Waiting for Patrick to take Ryan to task for mentioning it's an all female wait staff.

Is ruining every other thread on Giantbomb not enough for you and yours? Do you have to ruin this one too?

#33 Posted by Ryuku_Ryosake (209 posts) -

I first read this in Ryan's snob voice from the podcast and then I read it in his regular voice. The snob voice version is super funny. In his regular voice this sounds like pretty much any review he gives. So I started to read Ryan's review of ACIII and the snobby voice totally works!

#34 Edited by Willtron (243 posts) -

@KaneRobot said:

@MasturbatingestBear said:

@KaneRobot said:

Waiting for Patrick to take Ryan to task for mentioning it's an all female wait staff.

Why would Patrick care? Or are you just being annoying for no reason?

Really? Ok....

Don't pretend like there isn't a strong, slanted opinion - whether you agree with it or not - that has permeated some of the "news" posted here on the topic of accusations of sexism / misogyny / exploitation in the recent past.

I was making light of it. And man, I hope my silly little one line post wasn't too vicious for you, and I hope that explains it. Not sure why you'd need to ask.

However, If I'm annoying you with my silly little one line post, well, daymn. That sucks! But you'll be ok.

Well, when there's sexism, misogyny, and exploitation in the video games industry, a slanted opinion against it is probably gonna form.

:O

And let the shitstorm begin.

But, ON-TOPIC, this review is god-damned glorious.

#35 Posted by Mirado (993 posts) -

@KaneRobot said:

Waiting for Patrick to take Ryan to task for mentioning it's an all female wait staff.

#36 Posted by huser (1074 posts) -

@Kerned said:

It was impossible to not hear Ryan's voice in my head when reading this.

Yeah, having listened to probably hundreds of hours of the guy talking that three paragraph vent could only be read in Ryan's voice.

#37 Posted by Zeik (2358 posts) -

@RenegadeDoppelganger said:

So here's something interesting I learned while looking for this: If you ever want sit down for an evening and read only the snootiest, most entitled, most overly sensitive, most longwinded hit pieces, go to Yelp and search the phrase " I'd like to preface this review by saying... ".

Generally the length of the disclaimer in the beginning of any review is directly proportional to how much of an asshole someone sounds in the paragraphs that follow.

Prefacing your critique just makes it so much worse. Ryan's review seems generally reasonable, it's just that opening that makes it come off as snobby as hell.

#38 Posted by Demoskinos (14751 posts) -

Yelp is the worst.

#39 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

Yelp reviews are always terrible and the people that write them should feel bad.

#40 Posted by ShaggE (6415 posts) -

@RenegadeDoppelganger said:

So here's something interesting I learned while looking for this: If you ever want sit down for an evening and read only the snootiest, most entitled, most overly sensitive, most longwinded hit pieces, go to Yelp and search the phrase " I'd like to preface this review by saying... ".

"I'd like to preface this review by saying that Webster's Dictionary defines "barbecue" as..."

... Ow, I just gave myself a douche chill ice cream headache.

#41 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (407 posts) -

Tbh I think Jeff's rant about how he hates people who complain about having to eat a bad meal at a shitty resteraunt is both funny and oddly poignant at the same time:

For me though, if there's a place that I don't like I give a year or two and then go "ah its been a while since we've been to the shitty buffet place, let's give it a shot"
So we went back to the shitty buffet place and we were like "well, this is shitty...but whats the worst that's going to happen?" I'll leave full. Done. That's the goal here.
If the food isnt great then guess what? You're supposed to eat three meals a day so the stakes are pretty fucking low. You still got 2 more shots are getting it right.
If one of those is "well, I've got poptarts at home" well then you're already fucking up.
#42 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

forget encyclopedia bombastic, let's have ryan do some food critic stuff, with Drew throwing in a few videos of his extremely wacky homemade sandwhichs

#43 Posted by TheCreamFilling (1225 posts) -

Eat a damn salad, Ryan!

#44 Edited by Bumpton (445 posts) -

@paulwade1984 said:

Some crazy stalkers on this website tbh.

If you think this is creepy, you clearly haven't seen the baby-ified fan art of the crew. That's where things really take a turn down Creepytown Alley...

#45 Posted by GodlyOne (140 posts) -

I chuckled at the parts where he's talking about waiting too long for his food because of the soup and how the restaurant's stingy with rice. The review needed a generous sprinkling of "motherfucker" throughout for it to be truly in Ryan's voice.

#46 Posted by ikaruga (192 posts) -

So this is what a mongolian BBQ is. I thought it was something much cooler, turns out I already eat it a bunch of time at the mall lol. Just never bother to learn what the dish is, I always thought it's stir fry beef

#47 Posted by Snail (8594 posts) -

If you're longing for more restaurant reviews from Ryan, here's a link to his Yelp profile.

Sadly though, none of them are as lengthy and thorough as this one.

#48 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3791 posts) -

I voted this "Cool"

So fucking funny. The douchiest Yelp review but I love it. I lost it at the "Nazi gold rice" part.

As for the whole Yelp discussion, I am so with Jeff on everything he said. Food is not that big of a deal.

#49 Posted by rachelepithet (1391 posts) -

The Mongols pef where r they now?

#50 Edited by Roger_Klotz (776 posts) -

I agree with Ryan that bowl management is important at the Mongolian BBQ. When I go I prefer two bowls, one for meat/vegetables and the other for noodles. Unless they are large enough bowls, than one could work. And the whole thing should feel like a buffet, that allows a couple trips to the grill. Now I sound like an asshole yelp reviewer.