Welcome to SUR, where the food is as good as the kerning. How can we ruin your meal tonight?
I have never watched an episode of Vanderpump Rules. When I disclose this, there is usually some attempt at coaxing me to watch the show from VPR fans, which I politely explain away as like, oh, I simply haven’t the time, haha! For you, my dear Witches, I will be more blunt: I would rather feed my dick into a paper shredder than watch Vanderpump Rules. The premise of the show (which I understand to be “Botoxed 38-year-old L.A. mactor wannabes fuck each other in various combinations and yell about it”) holds no intrinsic appeal to me. I also admit that, on some petty level, I believe watching VPR would be contributing to Lisa Vanderpump’s televisual supremacy and as someone who chiefly uses this site as a vehicle for anti-LVP propaganda, I can’t bring myself to do that.
But I’m not made of stone. There are some elements of Vanderpump Rules that interest me. I’m in love with the intro, which looks like the video wall from a shitty nightclub in Hell. I admit some small amount of vicarious fascination with “DJ James Kennedy,” whatever that is. And most of all, I love, I fucking love reading bad reviews of the show’s subject restaurant, SUR.
Now when I say bad reviews of SUR, I basically just mean “reviews of SUR” because I’ve never read a good review of SUR. Any randomly sourced SUR review tends to follow the same general path. Our unsuspecting mark will always try the goat cheese balls, which I gather is something Stassi yowls about on the show, and come away disappointed (I can’t believe Stassi would mislead diners; she seems to have such sterling judgment). The food will take forever and be ice cold (seriously, 95% of SUR reviews mention the fact that the food is still half-frozen). There will be some lament of a special occasion, a girlfriend’s birthday or mother’s trip to town, ruined. And it ends with a plaintive apostrophe to LVP herself: “Lisa, I thought because of your reputation for perfection, this would be amazing. What happened?” This is always the funniest part to me: Lisa Vanderpump seems like a hard-working person, certainly, and driven, and an accomplished capitalist, but I would never in a million years accuse her of good taste. The woman named her dining establishment “Sexy Unique Restaurant”; let’s recalibrate our expectations here. Be grateful you’re not eating a bolt of magenta satin and some Swarovski crystals.
All this to say, from time to time, when I get bored, I like to peruse the one-star reviews of SUR on Yelp, for the same reason you browse the Instagram of a dude you hate. I’ve pulled a couple of my favourites for your mid-week amusement. While nearly every bad SUR review singles out the food for criticism (choice adjectives include ‘bad’, ‘old’, ‘bland’, ‘cold’, ‘unappetizing,’ ‘poor,’ ‘gross’, and ‘horrible’), most of the ones I’ve highlighted below involve some nightmarish encounter with the SUR staff because those tend to be funnier. Anyway, enjoy!
Firstly, we had to send the ice tea back because someone thought it was a good idea to make it in a pot that previously had coffee in it, so we thought we were drinking ice coffee instead of the ice tea we’d ordered. Secondly, we asked to add avocado to our plain green salad. We were charged $2.00 extra for the avocado and I think we each got one tiny square of avocado. It was so small that at first we thought they’d forgotten to add it, but upon a closer inspection, using the flashlight in our iPhones, we spotted the one tiny square.
Our server couldn’t tell me the difference between the white wines, then when I asked how certain dishes were prepared, she said, “I’m not a chef”.
Called to try and send something to my friends table. They were spending their much needed honeymoon dinner there after traveling from NYC. The hostess said she needed to get a manager to do the transaction and I would be on hold for “a while”. Cut to the manager finally picking up she literally said “you can’t be doing this to me right now, I have eight tables.” Sorry for you, not sorry. Go back to trying to be an aspiring actress or porn star or whatever it is you do.
I gave it one star because it wouldn’t let me choose something less. As my cousin’s daughter said, If you want to experience SUR just go to Applebee’s and ask them to dim the lights. Actually, that’s an insult to Applebee’s where the food is actually better and a quarter of the price.
We got there right on time after making a reso almost a month before (it was my 30th birthday so my husband wanted to ensure we got a spot as we were coming from out of town on vacation and had a limited number of days) and they shoved us in the corner and I couldn’t even get my pregnant belly into my seat. I asked Peter if we could move to a table with a bit more space because “I couldn’t fit my pregnant belly into my seat” and he looked down at my belly as to confirm I was even pregnant.
Our waiter’s pants were broken I think because his fly was open all night. and his pants didn’t fit right. They were too small and his pocket, or underwear were coming out through the gaping hole that was were his zipper was all the way down. We couldn’t help but to see since we sat and were at crotch level. He was disheveled and if not for the sur shirt I would think he was homeless.
Probably the tackiest door signage on the ladies room. Glued, glitter, craft letters wrongly spelling out WOMAN with the O and A taped on with scotch tape. Very UN Sexy. Us WOMEN were disappointed.
The staff were always in the back. At one time they even ran out front to order ice cream from a truck!*
wow .. beware if you dont leave a good tip the staff will run out side and chase you down !!!!! horrible embarrassing experience … dont get tina as your waitress.. shame on her .. running outside screaming my name in the streets ..*
And lastly, and most harrowingly, my personal favourite:
I had reserved to have dinner for my birthday here with a group of Friends party of 7 a month in advance. The reservation was easy to make on the “open table” web link. I received a call to please confirm and I did.
The occasion in which we were celebrating was my birthday, we were excited as the food in the past was reasonable and the ambience was fun.
I’m disheartened to report that, that was not the experience that occurred on Friday September 22nd,2017 between the hours of 9:30-11pm we were seated in a separate room near the kitchen which had dim lighting and candles.
It is normal for anyone to take photos during a celebration. Due to the poor lighting quality provided, in which we were never once asked if the light could be turned up by the waiter or manager or staff walking back and fourth, there was tons of candles on our table and on the furniture (dressers around the room) including the dinning table.
With so many candles my friend Nancy who was taking a photo of us her hair caught fire, she quickly shook it off. We were of course frightened but she didn’t want to ruin dinner as our food was not out yet.
As our waiter brought the food out on such a large table, my other friend Tia reached over to grab a fry in which one of the candles caught her whole hair on fire. Immediately she was able to put it out, luckily not causing her any 2nd degree burns but shedding her hair and damaging it. We immediately called for a manager. We displayed the hair to the manager on the table as she was Immediately shedding.
The manager arrived, accusing us of playing with the candles, improperly conducting ourselves, and turned up the lighting when she came to speak to us. The manager never once said she was sorry nor apologized. She handed us a clipboard for a report, offered to call a peramedic, and stated she would take off the dinner and drink of whoever’s hair caught fire. Dismissing the liability of the restaurant having safety hazards around their customers none the less no disclaimers are posted, and went on saying cameras say us. Of course they will see when we blew the candles out to not catch anyone else on fire. Safety should be the uttermost concern for any business owner along with the satisfaction of a customer. In speaking with the manager (young blonde lady) she took one dinner off and one round of drinks, knowingly that this could’ve been more serious (fatal) and still did not offer any hospitable service nor apology. We ended dinner without eating the remainder of our food, paid the check and left. This was by far the worst service, restaurant and unsafe place to eat.
Please if your reading this and want to celebrate in an ambiance where your safe, comfortable and treated with outstanding service DO not choose SUR. take your business else where.
Happily this person managed to avoid spending time in the Sexy Unique Burn Ward. Happy Thursday, Witches!
ETA: A correction: I realized after going to press that the reviews marked with an asterisk are actually about Lisa Vanderpump’s other restaurant, Villa Blanca. I’m petty enough to leave them in anyway.