Taco Rosa Newport Beach Complaint - Taco Rosa Newport Beach - Never again

Review by straw on 2010-03-05
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- We were occasional visitors to this restaurant. The food is just "OK" but it's convenient to the house. We visited in February and the bartender had a bizarre episode; came to the table cursing and yelling about nothing that made sense. He thought we were someone else, or had some other personal event or tragedy or personal problem that caused him to become irrational and foul.

The manager couldn't control him and tried to pay for our meal. We paid anyway and left. Owner refused to explain what happened and his response was far short of satisfactory.

This was the worst event we've ever seen at a restaurant; not to mention experienced personally. The owner handled it poorly. Stay away.
Comments:31 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-03-14
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-05:
Other than offer to pay for your meal, what did you want? Were you assaulted or violated in some way? If so, the police should have been called. A company or business has no obligation to make you aware of employer/employee matters, I.e., any discipline levied against an employee, if that's what you're looking for.
Posted by BEJ on 2010-03-05:
I think the manager tried his best to make it right with you by offering to pay for your food. What did you want him to do--fire the person in front of you? As the Judge said--the manager was under no obligation to explain anything to you.
Posted by B. on 2010-03-05:
Those bartenders are a wackey bunch I tell you what.
Posted by momsey on 2010-03-05:
As the Judge said, I'm not sure what you were looking for. I don't think the owner directed his employee to act that way, and I imagine the employee was taken care of in some way (which is honestly none of your business.)
Posted by Starlord on 2010-03-05:
I would say this is a case of Nunna. Nunna Yobusiness. As a customer, you are not entitled to an explanation of an employee's bizarre behavior. The manager offered to comp your meal, but no, you believe that by paying for it, you are due an explanation. You ain't.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-05:
"The owner handled it poorly."

How? Sounds like he tried to handle it fine... he tried to comp your meals. You wouldn't have had to pay for your meals.... you would have saved money. Why didn't you let him pay for your meals?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-05:
Other than the weird bartender... was the food good, did it come out in a timely manner, was your waiter awesome?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-05:
It is none of your business what happens between an employer and employee. You were offered your meal for free. Get over it and move on.
Posted by Pepper on 2010-03-05:
how did the owner handle it badly? he tried to give you free food

did you perhaps want to see him punch the server in the face?
raise the drama level and start screaming at the server?

or did he handle it behind closed doors and you wanted to watch?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-05:
It ain't right for people who are paid to serve the public to cuss or throw a temper tantrum in front of the customers. What's wrong with these people? It's not cute nor funny. It's just dumb and stressful. Add insult to injury the owner is too lame to properly handle the situation. That's just typical these days.
Posted by Pepper on 2010-03-05:
but we don't know what happened after they left

Posted by momsey on 2010-03-05:
Stew, no one is saying it's right for someone to act the way the bartender acted in the review. As the OP said, it was a bizarre episode. And what was lame about how the owner handled it???
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-05:
Thank you for your review, straw. It sounds like a frightening experience. There's no way in hell I would ever consider eating at Taco Rosa Newport Beach, because I don't want to take the risk of being verbally assaulted by some f**king freak who works there. Thanks, also, for the picture.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-05:
No, you can have a crazy employee no matter where you go.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-05:
I'm only responding to this one review, not to unlimited possibilities.
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-03-05:
Perhaps someone who believes the owner could have done more can tell us what that would be (including the poster). It's obvious by the story the bartender mistook the poster for someone else. The wheres and whys are totally irrelevant.
The guy was probably fired but that is between the owner and employee.
I would have taken the comp as it was a good faith gesture and very appropriate of the management to offer it.
I can understand if the poster doesn't want to return. I think I would, but if I saw the same bartender still employed, then I would let a manager know I wasn't staying and leave (for good) without ordering.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-05:
I'll step up to that Slim. The owner should have smoothed it over enough with the customer as to prevent this review. This review being posted is testament in of itself that the owner lacked 'people skills'. Ya know it's not that hard to win over a customer. A little smile, a slap on the back and a bit of taking some responsibility. The problem today with customer service on any level is too many of the peeps don't leave their ego's at home. It's easy enough to charm people if you try.
Posted by Pepper on 2010-03-05:
it sounds like the owner was trying to smooth it over

the thing is the OP didn't state what they expected from the manager - only that when he attempted to comp their meal they paid anyway and left.

at that point was there really anything the manager COULD do?

It's one thing to suggest the manager should have made them happy, but if they refuse to even let him try then you can't really say "he didn't do enough".

It's like
Say you're painting someone's house and you make a mistake. You turn around to fix it but the owner refuses to let you fix the mistake and send you off, and then complains that the mistake wasn't fixed.
Posted by straw on 2010-03-14:
Some of you got it and some didn't... Keep in mind that we chose not to write "War and Peace" so details were omitted.

First, to "The Judge". The law doesn't require a server to act like a human being either. This isn't a legal matter, it's a subjective Consumer issue so your measurement of obligation is irrelevant. If we wanted an explanation (we received NO explanation from the owner or manager) and didn't get one, it's our right to blog or not come back. That's what we did.

The manager handled it terribly. He allowed this bozo to rant and curse in front of us and the restaurant and didn't stop him. He just stood there and looked helpless for five minutes. The owner? he had to be prompted three times to respond and never explained what happened. His response was more defensive than sincere. We looked at other posts in this restaurant and the other location. Our impression is that the standard of service at Taco Rosa is poor and they occasionally display institutional arrogance.

To those of you that thought that the free meal was a blessing, either you needed to experience the bartender's amazing whack-job horrible rant yourself, or you have different standards that we do. Among a zillion other things he said, he accused us of being dishonest (don't ask - we can't explain) so the last thing we wanted to do was walk out with a free meal. Our going rate for dignity is a bit higher than $70.

Folks, this wasn't a bad experience, it was a once-in-a-lifetime horrible restaurant experience. Yes, the bar-boy mistook us for someone else but so what? The bartender was uniquely off his rocker and foul, the manager mishandled it as did the owner. The impression we got was that the owner took the easy path and it's our judgment that it was handled poorly. Trust me, if the owner did a good job we would have never wasted time on these posts.

Thanks all, for weighing in.
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-03-14:
Straw, what specifically did you want the manager to do? He is not required to give you details as to what happened, how he handled it, etc.

Admittedly, the server sounds like a complete buffoon. If you felt threatened, maybe a call to the local LEOs was in order. You are leaving out just enough details for this whole thing not to make any sense.
Posted by straw on 2010-03-14:
Thanks Raven. What did we want the manager to do? He did nothing to stop the bartender - literally nothing for five minutes. You must have missed that in my response. Are you referring to what the owner failed to due to make it right after the fact? He should have been fast and sincere in his response. He was unresponsive and seemingly insincere.

You say he is not "required" to provide details of what happened.... I'm not sure by what standard you think he's "not required" to explain it. The incident was so offensive that it's completely fair for us to expect an explanation. I'm fifty years old and I've never witnessed anything like it; to anyone. Look, it's easy for people to "armchair" this when they weren't there. Remember something... I didn't punch the fella, I didn't sue the restaurant and I didn't even call the law - I'm posting the facts and our measured opinions. By that standard I think we're being extremely reasonable.

You're right - it doesn't make sense, and after trying to work with the owner it makes no more sense than it did when this creepy guy was cursing and yelling at us at our table. Our choice - publicize what happened and never go back.
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-03-14:
straw, I am not trying to armchair anything. I am trying to understand your goal here. I think I get it now.

As for not being required to give you details, some states have laws preventing employers from discussing employee issues. Most employers won't do it, law or not, for fear of being sued by said employee.

Why did the server think you were dishonest? What was your reaction to the accusation? Did you get emotional also? These, and many other details are missing. I am not saying you are wrong, I am saying if you are going to try to make folks aware of a possible issue, you should be clear, concise and give all the details.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-14:
Here is their corporate office information. Write them a letter (if you haven't already) and give them an opportunity to respond in writing. Maybe now that they have had time to digest the information they can give you a more satisfactory response. Please come back and let us know what they have said. I hope you get better results.

Taco Mesa, Inc.
3533 E. Chapman
Orange, CA. 92869
Phone: (949) 646-7945
Fax: (949) 646-8328
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-14:
We have been to Taco Rosa Newport Beach a few times. Found the food OK, not great. Service was as expected, nothing to write home about. Lunch or dinner time I can't ever remember anything this crazy going on. I suspect it was isolated and not a wide spread problem that has been going on for any length of time.

There are dozens of great restaurants all over Newport and Corona del Mar, if I never went back to Taco Rosa I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
Posted by straw on 2010-03-14:
Guys, sorry but it simply was what it was. We didn't encourage or create the guys episode and didn't overreact. And we already spoke to the owners - but thanks.
There's no great details left out here - just a really bad experience and bad management.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-14:
Why are you posting in the third person?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-14:
Nice edit, straw. You just lost all credibility!

I went back a few pages and here is the beginning of his post. Its on the what's going on page, but it was his original comment.

"I think you are all trying to manage something that you can't manage. This guy and his wife had a seriously bad experience with a restaurant. He's clear that they tried to get satisfaction and they ..."
Posted by straw on 2010-03-14:
Sorry, Pro... but no conspiracy. I started to share a thread from my company's consumer blog - It was a response to a someone defending the restaurant. But they have a copyright policy so I pulled it.

Look, I appreciate the suggestions and advice. We're voting with our feet and looking forward to better experiences at different restaurants.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-14:
That's fine straw, but you did not use quotation marks, (the quotation marks added are mine, to quote your previous post) and you did not note the origin of the post, and had that been the case you could have quoted your source or made an explanation at the time you retracted the comment.

I personally no longer find you to be credible, but others may.
Posted by straw on 2010-03-14:
Pro - you're quick to judge. I never completed the message and didn't intend to hit Post; it was part of a cut and paste. As I said "I started to share...". Please feel free to get the last word here. We shared our experience and it's time to move on.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-14:
I still want to know what Straw expected the manager or owners to do.

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