I don ‘t know if you’ve ever heard of Yelp before. It is a customer review site on anything and everything. From gas stations to restaurants to bowling alleys and coffee houses. If you want someone to know how you feel about a business, you write a review for Yelp. It’s free. It’s easy to use. I have a couple of friends who put their reviews on Yelp. I read them and most of the time they are spot on when it comes to a business that I’ve been to as well. (Except for the best rib house in town…we have differing opinions) I have never been moved to review on Yelp but I do read reviews on businesses that I want to start going to. It is very helpful.
But now…the time has come for me to review a business. A business that really shouldn’t be in business.
Let me start at the beginning. Recently, Bob and I went on vacation to one of our very favorite places on earth. The Kohala Coast on the island of Hawaii. We have a favorite place to stay and favorite sites to visit. We play golf and have lunch outside at Tommy Bahamas. We love this island so much that each time we have to leave for home, it is a never ending battle of, “can we stay just a few more days?”.
In 2006, the island suffered a huge 6.7 earthquake a few miles off shore with resulting tsunami. It wasn’t anything in comparison to the recent Japanese earthquake by a long shot. But many businesses had to close either permanently or temporarily. One hotel closed for two years for massive re constructing of their older building and a complete rehaul of their golf courses. We decided that we would have dinner one evening at their ‘new’ fine dining restaurant. I had a new haircut and new outfit to impress my husband. I really wanted him to like my new haircut as it was much shorter than he usually likes. I had seen a photo of Kim Cattrall and thought it would work on me. The layers all blowing into and around her face…See?
Just to make sure that we all know what I’m talking about, the restaurant’s name is MONETTES. I think that what sparked our interest was that they had just received the 2010 Award of Excellence from the Wine Spectator. Good food, good wine, great company, outstanding setting….where could we go wrong? Do you want the address?
We had made reservations for a time that we knew the sun would be setting over the Pacific. Gorgeous time of day and perfect for taking pictures. We arrived and were seated. Hmmmm. The restaurant’s outside dining was facing away from where the sun sets. And what we could see of the setting sun was through filtered palm trees and ginormous bushes. Ok, so perhaps at other times of the year, the setting sun would be better placed with the seating arrangements? We hoped so. Getting down to business at hand was opening the wine list. It was impressive. And obscenely expensive. One of our favorite wines is Rombauer. They only sold it in half bottles. Well, this can’t be right, we thought.
We asked our waiter, “You only sell Rombauer in half bottles? Do we need to order two half bottles?”
“Yes, only in half bottles” was the reply.
Not, “sure, I’ll get you the two half bottles and a full year’s membership in AA.”
And then he disappeared.
We waited awhile for him to show up again with dinner menus. And we ordered a full bottle of chardonnay; I don’t even remember what we ordered. I was getting a bad feeling about this. Our waiter was decidedly absent most of the time. The bus boy had a much better personality, talking to us and joking around. He brought out some dinner bread, butter and voila! Three different sea salts to sprinkle over our food. I even wrote them down…Maui Green Sea Salt, Kauai Pink Sea Salt and Kona Deep Sea Salt. They arrived in tiny wooden bowls set on a small plate. The bus boy came back to refill our water glasses and I wanted to confirm the names as I pointed to them. When I got to the last one, I nudged it a bit and out crawled a two-inch cockroach. The bus boy, quite unflappable, deftly knocked it off the table at my exclamation, “What the HELL IS THAT?!” Bob and I looked at each other with wide eyes and nary a word spoken. BusBoy returned with a new set of salts for us and magically removed the first plate of them. Like I would try any salt here.
The purple goo on the bottom was mashed purple sweet potatoes topped with the catch of the day. The cream sauce he said was excellent. I had the following Shellfish Special.
Let me tell you, I was leary at best to crack open these things and totally expected a few friends of Mr. Cockroach to appear again. I believe it’s a brave soul who marches on in the face of Salt Cockroaches.
As our waiter appeared with the dessert menus, he mentioned that they have a very special dessert. (don’t they always?) They had made them during Easter and had a few left.
“Great. They have Peeps to give us.”
But, no, it was a edible gold wrapped chocolate Easter Egg on fondant cream. Bob ordered that while I ordered a glass of Port. My port arrived but no Easter Egg. We waited. And waited. And WAITED.
At this point, our good manners had left and gone back to our hotel. We flagged down BusBoy because our waiter was gone. Again. We told him that we wanted our check and pronto. Waiter arrived within minutes after being told that with Bob’s very special dessert. Partially frozen very special dessert. Did they make too many to sell at Easter time and then froze the leftovers in hopes of pawning them off onto new customers? We’ll never know. We paid our bill and left.