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3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

you're on!

about 1 hour ago
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

Ipsedixit Was Right--Visit To New Port Seafood Beverly Hills

saw several tables having the lobster at lunch today.

about 4 hours ago
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service


think punch cards, fortran, and batch processing.

don't miss any of them either

about 23 hours ago
westsidegal in Not About Food

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

all i know, as an ex- New Yorker,

once i landed in Berkeley, CA and my apartment was 3 blocks from the original Peets,

my idea about what "drinkable" coffee tasted like changed dramatically.

since that time (late '60's) i no longer think that the NY diner coffee on which i was "raised" is at all acceptable.

about 23 hours ago
westsidegal in Not About Food

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

speaking of "ladies who lunch"
from another thread, it sounds like a lunch at newport seafood in bh is in order.

if we don't use it, we'll lose it.

about 23 hours ago
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

Overnight at LAX - outbound and inbound

what do you mean when you say "one of the standards?"

what makes a hotel bar "decent" to you?

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

call it what you will.
when my old roommate was working for a chain restaurant as a server, there was always a level of anxiety, shift by shift, about whether she'd be making enough money to pay her bills.

this anxiety was much worse when her car needed repairs and was in the shop.

the SOONER she knew that she was going to come out of the shift financially OK, the less anxiety she would experience.

when she was able to move to a more upscale restaurant, with higher average tabs, and fewer people out and out gaming the restaurant (i.e. no "bottomless" food items were offered), there was a lot less hand-wringing on her part.
still, I was changed by what i observed during her first months in LA at the chain.

the whole situation very much reminded me of when i worked as a salesgirl on a draw-against-commission basis.
every day i went to work, i'd be wondering whether or not i'd be able to sell enough to "justify" my salary. every day, the minute i knew that i passed the magic sales mark, the rest of the shift became much more pleasant.

i'm not clear why it is so wrong to let someone know, sooner, rather than later, that they will get out of that shift financially OK.
also, the server, like any rational person, should be given enough information to financially optimize the use of their time.
by giving me lots of attention, they will be far better off than using their time refilling the sippy cup of the kid in the high chair next to my table for the 7th time (you know, the kid whose adults are not going to tip enough to cover the inordinate amount of table/seat/floor cleaning that will HAVE to be invested when they leave.)

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

i just ordered it from barnes and nobel.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

if i am a regular in the place, i wouldn't tip up front because everyone already knows my pattern.

if i am not a regular, it's pretty likely that i'd find a way to tip up front, or, to at least COMMUNICATE the tip up front if i was planning to be generous.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

there may still be an equality in commitment/love to a person or a relationship even when the power/money balance is not equal.

when i was a kid, my parents held all the power and the money in the relationship. when they were in the last, feeble years of their lives, i held all the power/money. Our commitment and respect for each other and for our relationship didn't really change that much even though the power/money balance completely changed.

one sees marriages where one partner may have a consistently more powerful position within the marriage. other marriages have power balances that change back and forth over the years. still both types may have an equal commitment, love, respect, dependence, between the parties.

so, if your wife were to end up being the financial mainstay of your marriage, would that mean that you are in an inherently far inferior position and would be permanently beholden to her?

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

thank you. i know you share the same views.
the passing of money doesn't necessarily make a relationship less genuine.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

<<own family>>
i have former bosses that i consider family to this day (24 years after the employment relationship ended)
and i have employees that i consider family (have been with me for over 20 years)
and have FORMER employees that i consider to be family (over 30 years since the employment relationship ended)
i have former neighbors that i consider to be family (decades since we moved from that apartment house)

when the housekeeper in my earlier story visited her home country, i was the one who picked her up at the airport upon her return. when she and her kids had their US citizenship swearing in i was the family that was there for the occasion.

the definition of the word "family" differs from person to person.
clearly you and i define it very differently.
in my world, it is a much more flexible and inclusive term than in your world.

to bring it back to restaurant servers:
there was a server who used to work at one of the board's "darling" restaurants.
she had graduated college seven years earlier.
i was 'THE NAGGING' customer who kept after her to go back to school to USE that BA.
when she corralled her efforts to take the LSAT and got a full scholarship to Tulane law school i was bursting my buttons.
she told me that i had more faith in her and was more committed to her future than her own parents.

just because there is an exchange of money doesn't mean that a relationship is entirely defined by that.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

mr. taster: here's a story to illustrate latindancer's point:

i had my daughter entirely as a single woman (no husband/boyfriend involvement).
when i brought my daughter home from the hospital i had NEVER taken care of a child before--had never even babysat a kid.

it was the housekeeper that taught me EVERYTHING.
with love
with care

when i got an awful case of the flu, it was the housekeeper who flew to my side on a moments notice and came to my house without a change of clothes or a toothbrush.

as it turned out, i didn't get out of bed nor eat, nor really wake up for two days. i couldn't even balance myself to walk to the bathroom on my own. after the initial call to the housekeeper, i couldn't focus enough to make any more phone calls.

the housekeeper, at that time had 3 kids of her own. she didn't leave my house for 3 days. she took care of me and took care of my daughter. she arranged for care for her own kids. she shopped, cleaned, nursed, nannied, drove my kid to preschool.
she did everything.

when someone has experienced being on the receiving end of this sort of help, at least for me, i couldn't imagine getting involved in the semantic calculus that was involved in your post. . .

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

we are on the exact same page here.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

<<Those stories, I've heard over the years, are astonishing.>>

one of those stories is playing now on my neighborhood list serve.
a guy who, i believe, teaches at LMU, is trying to get the neighbors to help him find a housekeeper that he can underpay.

Overnight at LAX - outbound and inbound

to me, there is a difference between a dump and a dive.
dives can be fun.
dives have some sort of history to them.
dives have some sort of heart to them.
the hopes and dreams of the folks who "lived" there are, somehow still hanging around a dive.

dumps not so much.
have to start figuring out how to put the differences into words.
i know it when i see it.

there is nothing kitschy about a dump.
dumps are soulless.

Sep 17, 2014
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

Overnight at LAX - outbound and inbound

i am not at all a fan of bar Cinco.

imho, for a wide variety of interesting cocktails, you'd be FAR better off at Cafe del Rey or Settebello AND the prices at settebello and Cafe del Rey (two very pleasant and pretty restaurants) are not really so much higher than the prices at the Bar Cinco (which, to me is a dump) .
if what you want is a nearby dump with reasonable prices that has better-than-ok, reasonably-priced, food and reasonably-priced drinks, you'd be better off going to Tompkins Square and putting up with the strange quiz show emcee that they have on the slower weekday nights. . . ..

imho, if you want some sort of mexican food, you'd be FAR better off making the trip to get some actually terrific Sinaloan seafood at Coni'Seafood. (keep in mind that they close at 8)
imho, there is NO acceptable oaxacan food nearby.

when bar Cinco first opened i had such hopes.
of course none of those hopes were ever realized.

Sep 17, 2014
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

Overnight at LAX - outbound and inbound

last i was there, Deck 33 wasn't a hidden treasure, but it wasn't really terrible either.

still, if you were to be staying at the Custom, imho, you'd be FAR better off skipping Deck 33 and, instead, going to MDR to settebello (good food, spacious, comfortable, patio or inside seating, good full bar if you don't need megabrands), or Cafe del Rey (a little more formal) with wonderful lounge menu, or, for roman-style pizza South End (smaller, darker, louder, but GREAT pizza and wine), 26 Beach for burgers (and they'll take reservations), and more.

on the way back to the Custom, stop at the Gelato Lounge. (i'll be there for a gelato lunch today).

Dunno the difference in hotel prices, but, iirc, hilton is now operating the Doubletree on admiralty.
from the Doubletree it would be easy to walk to Jonies for breakfast and to Cafe del Rey for lunch and dinner.
if the hotel offers anything in the way of shuttles, settebello, 26 beach, and south end are VERY close.
the Doubletree location is FAR FAR better than the custom which is located on the corner of lincoln and manchester.
trust me on this: there is NOTHING charming about that intersection or anything that can be found within walking distance of that intersection.

Sep 17, 2014
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

i was able to get my housekeeper hired by a local judge.
because of the political/legal aspects of his job, he was not about to nickel and dime her; also, he paid taxes and social security etc for her.
this raised the bar for all the local customers.
i was happy about this.
she deserves this level of compensation.

Sep 17, 2014
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

well, ns1, IT'S HAPPENING
the marriott chain is now rolling out a marketing campaign to encourage tipping the hotel cleaning staff.

of course, many of us already do,
but wouldn't it have been BETTER if the Marriott chain used that money to ACTUALLY PAY their staff instead of using the money to exhort their customers (who are already getting nickel and dimed) to pick up the slack?

Overnight at LAX - outbound and inbound

imho, proximity to bertha's would, in no way make it worth it to stay on century without a car.

Sep 17, 2014
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

Overnight at LAX - outbound and inbound

imho, none of the LAX adjacent hotels have decent food.

also, the whole Century Blvd area is revolting/horrible in every way.

go north or go south, but stay away from LAX.
Marina del Rey has good access to the beach and some good eats in the area.
Santa Monica too

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

<< It could go to the baby sitter. >>
as far as you know, an equal amount IS going to the baby sitter also.

when my daughter was young she used to be a babysitter. the different pay scales that various parents thought was "fair" was amazing to her.
strangely, it didn't seem to be particularly correlated positively nor negatively with the wealth of the parents... .

Sep 15, 2014
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

seems completely obvious to me.

i once dropped a restaurant because their new interior designer, imho, uglified the decor. (they may have called those things "wall hangings" i called them schmatas.)
everything else stayed the same.

now that i'm not using restaurants as part of a sales process, the WHOLE damn thing is completely arbitrary and subjective.

it's now ALL about what gives me pleasure full stop

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

the main aspect that most of us who are objecting to this thing are reacting to, IS the OPTICS.


as a customer, i can walk away for whatever reason i like because the whole reason i go to one restaurant as opposed to another really boils down to my very SUBJECTIVE take on the pleasure i derive from the experience.

the optics are a part of this experience, just as much as the food, the room, the service, the parking hassle or lack thereof, the wait, the reservation system, etc.
the weights that each of these elements are given in my entirely subjective system are arbitrary.
this whole thread is primarily about our individual, subjective arbitrary takes on how disagreeable the optics may be to each of us.

so, yes, optics count in my book.
speaking as someone who spends the bulk of her discretionary money on restaurant meals, i will damn well go to places that i FEEL good about, whether or not my calculus is the same as any other person, really is irrelevant to me.

after all, if we were going to make rational economic decisions that were not based on pleasure, presumably we could find some awful form of soyent in the supermarkets. . . . .

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

it doesn't seem to me that any of your faves will be paying for their employees healthcare either--they will just arrange it and the surcharge will pay for it.

Best non-solid food in town ;)

how about the great Ash soup at attari sandwich shop in westwood? (persian)

also in westwood, if bean stews would work, (texture of chili), consider the ghormeh sabzi at shamshiri grill.
shamshiri grill also offers terrific homemade hummus, baba ganouj (sp?), yogurt dip, etc. but i don't know if your brother would be willing to eat those with a spoon because i'm assuming that flatbread is out.
i like the soup at shamshiri also, but, to my palate, the Ash at attari is better.

also, if israeli eggplant salads have any appeal (they are mushy), they are available in Encino at Itzik Hagadol. there may be a problem ordering, though, because the eggplant salads are usually components of a "bottomless" "array of salads" that are ordered as a package. also, if one person at the table gets the "array of salads" all the people at the table must get it as well.
still, those eggplant salads are so good that they are the ONLY restaurant offering in the valley for which i will drive from playa del rey.

Sep 14, 2014
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

<<Do you not think there would be a huge outcry if suddenly Melisse raises the price of its tasting menu?>>

i think that if melisse raised the price of its tasting menu 3% hardly anyone would notice and no one who'd actually eat there in the first place, would care at all.

Best non-solid food in town ;)


Sep 14, 2014
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

i hear your recommendation that i
<<Drop the cynicism>>

the reality is that i wasn't cynical at all until i saw how this thing is being structured.
why is the pricing not being done in the most straightforward way?

if you are really being nobel, it is not at all necessary to be complicated.
you could just raise your prices and then actually do the right thing by your employees.
send out an email AFTER you actually provide the coverage to your employees telling us what you have already done. . . .

to me, the email that wa sent to you looks like a PR clusterf--k that will result in having irritated customers reducing their tips to the servers; those reductions could well be so great that the reductions will more than offset any health benefit that may or may not actually end up being provided.

Sep 13, 2014
westsidegal in Los Angeles Area