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cacio e pepe's Profile

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3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Toughen up.

Sep 15, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Oh, burn any metaphor you like, but you miss the real pattern. No one has been so blatantly illogical and even non-sensical than some of those I've been responding to.
When I sought clarification, more nonsense. Perhaps I've made errors in reasoning, but those haven't been pointed out and haven't been part if the discussion.

Even your eloquent post makes little sense. You don't object to the increase in your final bill, you simply object to the itemization. You'll pay the same money, but you'd rather be blind to what it's going towards. No functional difference in the bill.

Now, someone like Mr. Taster (and sure, full disclosure, me) object to these taxes and surcharges because in the end the price on the menu is not the price you pay. I'll stop short of calling that dishonest, but it's getting close. I'll also stop lumping myself with Mr. T as he may not care for the company. Now these prices should include all taxes, tips, and surcharges. What a day that will be when WYSIWYG pricing is the norm. So, no, I don't really take a stand on this one way or the other. I do want clear pricing and wages that don't require tips to bring a server's salary to a reasonable wage. But we don't have anything like that at all.

I don't particularly like the addition of another line item, but all I hear from those objecting to the surcharge are emotional pleas, poor understanding of facts, or tired political posturing. There have been posters who have pointed out real reasons why the 3% may function better as a surcharge than a simple price increase. Responses either ignore those points or claim the restauranteurs are most likely dishonest. So there may very well be great reasons to put this extra burden upon the customer-proprietor relationship. Doing so, despite upsetting some and alienating others, might still offer a larger gain towards the goal of offering affordable healthcare to employees. Then again, maybe not.

That's the direction I was hoping this thread would move because that's interesting. Why is this controversy being introduced to LA by these proprietors? Why are they choosing to go about it this way? What do people know about how this has played out in SF? What problems have arisen there? How effective has the surcharge been at achieving greater access to healthcare in SF?

But you want to talk about feeling guilty asking for a charge to be removed from you bill at the end of the meal because you think an employee will travel back in time to spit in your food. Your salesman analogy is even more cuckoo crazy, off-the-wall zany.

This is nothing more than a piss and moan thread. What a shame.

Sep 15, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I actually know a number of bartenders who find it rather offensive when customers drop a fat tip to start an evening. It makes them feel like the customer is trying to buy them. Jeffrey Morganthaler, one of the top bartenders in the US has even weighed in on the subject on his blog.

But true, these same folks don't return the fat tip, either.

Sep 15, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I'll give you this, at least you fully admit it's a completely subjective reaction based on the optics. I can respect that.

Sep 15, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

How do you figure? Other than the optics, how is the surcharge fundamentally different than a 3% price increase?

The surcharge isn't an entity and therefore is incapable of taking an action. Only the restauranteur who collects the money for products/services can take that action. So, again, how is this different than a price increase?

Of course, customers are the only source of revenue for restaurants, so one could feel that the customer is who pays for salary and any benefits. But that role would apply to either a price increase or a surcharge. So, again, how is this different than a price increase?

I can identify one fundamental difference only: you can opt out of the surcharge but you can't opt out of a price increase.

It's all much ado about optics. I find it particularly ironic that posters can cast pretty offensive aspersions at these restauranteurs that would normally be moderated out of these threads were they pointed at another poster.

I do hope for the day we have WYSIWYG pricing that incorporates a reasonable wage with options for affordable benefits.

Then we could leave this goofy tipping custom behind. But i do wonder what people who get off on the power trip of our tipping culture would do for kicks.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

It is your logic that is confused. I'm sorry you don't see that. I see you're rankled by this surcharge, but many of the reasons you cite are either erroneous understandings of facts or else don't hold logical water. Which is fine, but it would be simpler to say it's an emotional choice.

You do have a clear choice between a 3% and a 0% surcharge, even if you dine at these restaurants you are upset by. So your permission is either implied by signing the bill or denied by requesting the charge be removed. That's an error you've repeated numerous times, for example.

You also are happy to pay an increased price for your food. Is that price increase also without your permission? If a warning of the surcharge is placed clearly on the menu and you dine anyway, is that somehow without your permission? I don't think you have an argument for that position.

I understand someone like ns1 or Mr. Taster that believe true pricing is a clearer and somewhat more honest way to present a bill. That makes sense. I'm struggling to understand the steadfastness of your position since your objections are so easily countered. What precisely is the emotion fueling your outrage?

Strange stuff!

Sep 15, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Your stand would make some sense if you weren't *already* doing the restauranteur's work.

The custom of tipping in this country is what has created the low wages that servers face. If our pricing system reflected actually paying servers a competitive wage for the jobs they do, then there wouldn't be countless controversies about tipping etiquette and there wouldn't be surcharges like this. You are doing the restauranteur's job of directly compensating their employees. Tipping seems to be a far cry more offensive if we follow your logic.

I'm not for or against this surcharge. I'm interested in the outrage and somewhat confused by some of the explanations for that outrage.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Well, did you happen to notice that the charge is happily removed from the bill by request of the customer when you examined how this was structured?

I'm curious if you would consider remaining a patron of a restaurant with this policy, but choose to remove the surcharge. Or are you so affronted that you would no longer patronize a restaurant that does this?

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

There really is effectively not much of a difference between what you suggest and what is being done other than appearances. That is what is so interesting as an observer here. No effective difference, yet it's the presentation that causes these reactions.

Again, knowing some of the restauranteurs involved personally, I also find many of the conclusions posters are making about said restauranteurs endlessly fascinating.

I can't seem to get enough of this thread.

Sep 13, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Ah! Sloppy of me. I only meant not frozen. LJ's is made in house and refrigerated, from what I saw.

I only ever see the Fabrique Délices brand frozen.

Sep 13, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

True.

But the two sides seem to be:
1. I don't care.
2. I do and so I may not patronize those restaurants.

There isn't a 3. I will be more likely to patronize these restaurants.

Overall, it appears there is a cost, though it may be small.

Sep 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Your airline analogy was apt.

This discussion makes it clear that restaurants adopt this policy at a cost.

So perhaps principled positions on both sides.

Sep 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

It's fascinating to see the frustration and righteous anger that this stirs up in people. I'm not coming down on any sides here, but it just goes to show that presentation matters.

Everyone seems to feel fine about paying more if costs are higher, but many find it so upsetting to see the details of where those costs are going. The only difference is one of presentation.

Posters are complaining that they have to pay for this. But really it's a preference of *blindly* paying for it over being told they are paying for it. Being *alerted* to the cost is what's objectionable. The ends are certainly the same, though clearly the means matter to many.

Just fascinating.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I'll sleep easy.

Sep 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Are not missing as in present progressive tense? Perhaps.
Haven't missed as in present perfect tense? Less likely.

Hate to break it to you, but either you or someone you were a guest of at a restaurant has probably paid this surcharge. It's become common enough in SF to be unlikely to not have encountered it if you are really a frequent eater in SF.

I'm sure you'll be more vigilant going forward, but if you don't check your bill then how can you be so sure?

Sep 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I think you are missing it. Since you've admitted you don't typically look at your bill, you're most likely missing the surcharge. At this point it's common, though not ubiquitous, in SF.

Sep 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

If you say so . . . I don't know. My bullshit meter is pretty finely tuned. I will say it's been going off like mad in this thread.

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Great! That's a solid brand.
I'm excited to check out Epicure for the first time.

Sep 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Very reasonable, Mr. Taster.

Never going to happen, which is only further evidence that your proposal makes perfect sense.

As to the 3% fee, it's merely marketing that people seem to be objecting to. Posters are using words like: responsibility, condescending, outrageous, etc. Yet the same posters would happily pay 3% or more in price hikes. Seems pretty silly to me, but I spend my money, not theirs. It's a personal decision that I respect either way.

It's a tricky calculation because there are also many posters on the board that are sensitive to price hikes. One could look at this as transparency. Instead of just hiking the price, these owners are letting people know that the money isn't going towards lining their pockets even more. This price hike also isn't about rising food costs. This price hike goes towards health care. So a customer that might otherwise balk at yet another price hike could very well be quelled by the thought of the money going to a reasonable and specific business cost.

Personally, I like the all-inclusive price that Mr. Taster advocates for. That just isn't our custom, though.

We tip in this country because it is customary. Restaurant owners have leveraged that custom to pay their employees less. This has led to many customers feeling as though the reason for the tip is solely to subsidize the server's meager wages. Now customers are forced to tip a minimum even for average or poor service. Restaurant owners have been foisting these hidden dining costs on us for years. This is merely the latest.

The optimist in me sees this as transparency as opposed to being self-congratulatory. Knowing a few of these proprietors personally, I feel I can say that with a high degree of confidence.

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

First-hand experience is the trump card here, but the product list for Epicure Imports does not list Andouille. Have you purchased that from Epicure Imports before? I think I'll finally take your lead and make it to the sale this weekend!

As a side note, LJ's andouille will be fresh. Not sure about Epicure Imports.

Sep 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

I'm with you, though I'd say that the food at Pok Pok is different than Tar & Roses. I won't say one is better than the other. Apples and oranges for me, but I get you. There's a

The cocktail list alone at Pok Pok has me excited. A plate of those wings sound pretty good, too.

Sep 11, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

That's a very foolish policy. I must notice half a dozen errors on my receipts every year these days. More before I fatherhood keeps me in.

Sep 11, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

This is true. Always looking for more options.

Expo is faster, smoother, more comfortable, and hits different points on the way to DTLA. Plus, it offers some park and ride opportunities. Just glad this stuff is getting done!

Sep 11, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area
1

Katsu-ya v. SugarFISH: Pre-Hollywood Bowl Dinner

Sounds great! I'll give that a try soon.

And I think you're talking about saimin, Kevin.

Sep 11, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

CC to DTLA is a breeze a already. The Expo line is only getting better.

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Pok Pok menu
http://www.pokpokpdx.com/menu/mainmenu/

Tar and Roses menu
http://tarandroses.com/wp-content/upl...

Cull what you will from this. I know what my bills look like from both restaurants, but I'll let individuals judge.

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Now we're too good for Pok Pok? Please.

Pok Pok *always* brings something to the table, even one as crowded as Thai food in LA.

Sure, it's not as exciting as it might have been 7-8 years ago. Okay, Night+Market is better. But let's not act like Ricker isn't slinging solid food. No reason to try and drop a fat snobby turd on what would be another addition to what is already an embarrassment of riches.

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

There are a ton of "edgy" art galleries in DTLA Chinatown.

That armchair you have sure gets a lot of use.

Katsu-ya v. SugarFISH: Pre-Hollywood Bowl Dinner

Thanks, all. Tried something new in lieu of the standard picnic. Just wanted some tasty, serviceable sushi that wouldn't cost a mint.

Welp. As a group of 4, we decided that the certainty of a reservation at Katsu-ya was preferable to the uncertainty of a wait at SugarFISH.

Had a lovely time, but the vibe and food not so much my thing. Nothing was terrible or anything, but I just wasn't all that into what they do there.

I tried to get some things that the place is known for: crispy rice with spicy tuna, creamy popcorn shrimp tempura. Not bad, per se, just not my thing.

I could list the dishes, but it's not worth the trouble. Most stuff was okay. I did send the uni back as it was not looking, or smelling, good . . . at all. They had no problem with that.

Ambience was pretty chaotic. Lots of noise, activity, etc. If this were an izakaya and I was tossing back yebisu after yebisu while snacking it would be different. Something about it just wasn't my style.

Service was friendly and helpful, but slow enough that we ended up missing the concert start. I assume that was due to the restaurant being at max capacity.

Had the pleasure of encountering a lone greasy, fat, racist paparazzo on the way out. So bonus points!

I'm glad I checked it off the list, but I can't see ever going back. Again, just not my style.

I highly recommend the Ventura Blvd. shuttle to the bowl, though. My first time using it. Fast! Easy free parking. Free shuttle if you have a TAP card. Drops you off right at the entrance to seating. Will try SugarFISH before the next show or maybe just suck it up and drop some coin on Asanebo.

Sep 07, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Katsu-ya v. SugarFISH: Pre-Hollywood Bowl Dinner

This true even of the original location in Studio City?

I was dragged to the Brentwood location and despised it, but I was under the impression that the Studio City original was different.

Sep 06, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area