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Visiting Seoul in February - anyone up for a chowhound night?

Hi, I just moved to Seoul after three decades in u.s. (I am Korean American) and it would be great to check out some restaurants with chowhounds. I will be around on 18th.

Potenza's customer service

Just a FYI and update. Dan Mesches replied to my email and apologized for the incident. He also asked if we could meet, to which I responded that I didn't think it worth taking the time over what amounts to a half a cup of coffee (I was also going out of town).

All in all, a professional response to a complaint.

Potenza's customer service

Well, I don't know but the "manager" type who came out to talk to us was a heavy set man with glasses. It's funny - when I got my coffee, I poured out half the cup into my friend's cup in front of everyone, and then went back to the rack to return the extra lid I'd grabbed by mistake!

I don't know... as I mentioned, I owned a business for fifteen years before I changed careers and went to law school and if I was the owner or manager, I would have told the customer not to bother bringing a cup next time and that we will provide two cups for a small coffee to share.

Where and how else are you going to buy good will from at least one person for the 0.5 cents a coffee cup costs?

Potenza's customer service

So, I've been going to Potenza several times a week now for coffee since they opened up across the street from my work.

And since I only drink maybe half a cup of coffee a day, my coworker usually tags along, and we share a cup. I buy, I pour him half my cup into a styrofoam cup he brings with him from work and he uses cream and sugar (I drink it black).

I didn't think anything of this practice: Sure, we could each buy a cup but we both end up throwing away half of even a Starbucks' "short" coffees and I hate waste.

This morning, we do the usual and were braced by someone I assume to be the general manager outside on the sidewalk. He accused me of paying for a cup of coffee and then basically "stealing" a second cup w/ refills.

When I explained myself to him, his sarcastic reply was: "well, then I guess my employee is lying." And when I told him I didn't even think refills were available, he said that well, they're not.


I just don't get it. Sure, I understand his motivation: I used to run a small business for fifteen years and I understand his concern over even minor things like this. But why be so obstinate when I explain myself to him? Especially when I am not taking anything that I did not pay for (as I said above, we even bring a cup).

As it turned out, my friend was less understanding and went in and gave them a dollar - needless to say, I will not be going back. With so many choices around, why give even a dollar to an establishment that offers an unpleasant demeanor to its customers?

Great Wall Szechuan House, 1527 14th Street

Dissapointing. Why is it that there is such a short window of "good" food before the kitchen changes? I was a biiig fan of their double cooked pork - it was spicy goodness. But the last couple of times just hasn't been the same. Even worse, the woman at the telephone insisted that it's always been like this and they never cook it spicier - even upon request!

Malaysia Kopitiam - I don't get the attraction

I've run a small business before and the vibe I got would be explained if the owners just didn't care anymore and they're just coasting.

Malaysia Kopitiam - I don't get the attraction

Okay, CAVEAT: I've only had take-out from this restaurant.

Given the above, I don't see the value in this restaurant. I've had their Roti Canai - two thumb sized pieces of chicken and one similar sized piece of potatoe, plus two small pieces of flat bread for $4.50? Crispy squid salad - bunch of julienned fruit with slivers of what tastes like squid chips for $5.95. Entree of Spicy Tamarind Squid for almost $15.

Now, I realize the general price inflation at restaurants in DC. And I am not saying that the dishes were bad... but simply that the food was okay at best and the portions were small, and frankly I didn't eat at the restaurant because it had that funky musty smell of a wet basement.

Now that I think about it, I probably shouldn't have eaten from a restaurant that smells like that, period.

Oh, and to cap it all off, the lady who handles the carry-outs was curt at best - felt like I was intruding on her otherwise perfectly fine day.

I realize that the above comment seems like I'm bashing the place and I don't mean to but... I just dont' get how this restaurant is rated as one of Washingtonian's Very Best 100 in DC, as recently as 2007?

java GREEN - meh...

I feel your pain. I didn't mention that I was seating outside and the server plopped down the bowl of ramen, splashing the broth through the mesh table surface onto my jean.

By the time I got up and realized what had happened, the server was gone like a shot.

I also *want* to like it - I like organic, veggies are good for you, I eat too much meat, green is good, etc., but...

Mark's Duck House - Major Disappointment

I believe the "Plum Duck" was on the first page of specials - I have no idea how that is since I was in a Peking duck cravin' mood. Still, even if a dish is not your specialty, you should be able to execute it competently.

Besides, MDH got rave reviews for its Peking duck on this board, which is why I decided to go off my beaten path.

java GREEN - meh...

Judging from their menu:

they have not gone all raw yet.

java GREEN - meh...

I tried out java GREEN near Farragut North (19th btwn K and L, NW) and was distinctly underwhelmed with the faux chicken ramen.

For $9, you get what I swear is Ooodles of Noodles chicken flavored ramen with some broccoli, sprouts and sliced chunks of tofu chicken thrown in.

It says it all that the fake chicken was the high light of the meal.

OTOH, their salad bar looked decent and I sat next to a couple who apparently enjoyed their wrap and faux beef dish enough that they are weekly regulars.

Mark's Duck House - Major Disappointment

THAT would explain a lot if it were true.

Same with Thai Square - it used to be my favorite Thai restaurant in DC/N. VA area - with the crispy squid as my favorite dish.

I went there for the last time about three months ago and I noticed that: 1) the crispy squid w/ basil was chewier and not as crisp or delicate as it has always been; and THEN I noticed that 2) all the faces in the restaurant were new (I'm kidding, I noticed the new faces but I just figured that they had some new staff).

Mark's Duck House - Major Disappointment

My first posting, so forgive me in advance for any errors or if I step on any toes with my first (negative) comment. I have perused this board for years and have been generally in sync with the many postings BUT my recent experience at Mark's Duck House in Falls Church dissapointed me to the degree I had to register to make my opinion public.

I have been to MDH in Bailey's Crossroads, VA once before, for dim sum and found it palatable - then again, I've never been a great fan of dimsum. However, when I recently had a craving for Peking duck, I decided to give Mark's a try over my usual choice, Peking Gourmet Inn, a mile or so away.

I was alone, about 9pm on a Friday night and I ordered a hot and sour soup and a half duck. The soup was bland and starchy to the point I had to ask for hot peppers. The rather taciturn waitress pointed to the container of red chili oil on the table (without the dispensing spoon) and reluctantly brought me a small plate of dried out (as opposed to intentionally dried) small green hot peppers.

Dissapointment enough, but nothing compared to the order of duck that came plopping down on my table. (The duck was not sliced in front of me, as usual at Peking Gourmet Inn). The duck was taken off the bone, skin and fat and meat all in one, and the resulting slab was sliced. That was it. The skin was not crispy, was fatty, and the meat dried out. It was obvious that the plate was from a duck that had been sitting prepared under a heat lamp for a while.

I tried to finish the meal (since I was paying for it anyway) but couldn't bring myself to do it and ended up taking most of the meal home (made a decent stir fry out of it the next day) and made my way to Peking Gourmet Inn where I got the usual friendly service, perfectly prepared Peking duck sliced (and fat scraped off the underside of the skin) in front of me.

I don't mean for this to sound like a commercial for Peking Gourmet Inn but I was just astounded at the lack of service and the horrible duck at a restaurant called Mark's DUCK house - especially when all posts I've read here on chowhound are so complimentary.

So... a little counter point to the usual accolades, I suppose.