When Chefs Attack - Avoid Vittorios Palm Desert
So I took another little roadtrip, and planned on writing up another report, but this experience was so bizarre, I thought it was unfair to taint the other restaurants by including them in the same entry as this restaurant.
Plus, I thought you might have similar stories to tell.
So Bob and I had just finished watching the Palm Springs golf cart parade in Palm Desert, and stopped into a little Italian restaurant for a light lunch before heading down to look at the fair. The restaurant was decorated very nicely, with blues and silvers and the menu looked interesting. I aked the waiter if any of the pastas were handmade. He didn't know and when I waited for him to say he would check. he said, "It is really hard for me." I didn't understand what he meant, so I just let it go.
We ordered the crab cakes and a pizza to split. The crab cake had bright pink bits in it, and didn't shred the way I'm used to. I asked Bob, "Is this Krab with a "K"? I kept picking at it, "It really looks like Krab with a "K". But who would do that in a crab cake?" Bob said, "I don't care. It tastes good. I took a bite and he was right. It was fried perfectly and the red pepper sauce on top was really nice.
I looked up from poking at bits of crab cake with my fork to ask, "How's the pizza?" and crawling down the wall right next to Bob's head was a cockroach. It's not as if I have never seen a cockroach in a restaurant before, but I had a big mouthful of crab/krab, and it was so close to his face, I said, "Handle this however you want." He smashed the roach with his napkin, and it fell between the wall and banquette, and I ran outside to get some air because I was afraid I was going to be sick.
I waited outside for a long time. Finally Bob came out and told me he had quietly told the waiter what happened, and asked to speak to the manager. The waiter came back, presented Bob with the check, and said, "I am only an employee." So Bob paid, then came out to tell me what happened. I asked, "He wouldn't LET you talk to the manager?" So Bob said, "You're right. I should talk to the manager." and went back in.
A few minutes later, Bob came out closely followed by a man in whites. I thought they were coming out to discuss it privately. What I didn't know is what happened inside. Bob had asked another server to talk to the manager. The hostess and a man in whites came over. Bob led them over to the cash register so he wouldn't say anything embarassing in front of the other guests. He asked the lady, "Did Jose (our server) tell you about the problem at our table?" She said, "There is nothing I can do." Then the man in whites started going off on Bob, "You're in the desert! I challenge you to find a restaurant that DOESN'T have roaches." Bob was so flabbergasted and disgusted, he walked out, with the guy following close at his heels. Apparently when Bob opened the door, he opened it hard, and it slammed against the wall.
I was unaware of what had just happened, so I was shocked when Bob walked right past me and the man, yelled, "You come back here again, I'm going to call the police!"
My mind was blown. I said, "We found a cockroach in YOUR restaurant and you're going to call the police on US?" Do you think we planted it or something? What are you calling the police for?"
"For slamming the door!"
I said, "Go ahead! And we'll call the health department."
At this point, one of his servers was trying to pull him back in by the elbow, like you do with drunks in barfights.
He said, "Go ahead. I get inspected every week." Then he got up in my face and asked, "How many roaches are there in YOUR house?"
I have never felt like, "Well, I never!" but I was so insulted! I said, "None. We get sprayed every 3 months."
He said, "I get sprayed every TWO months."
"Well, it's obviously not working."
Then two waitstaff managed to pull him back, and he shouted at Bob, who was standing a few doors down, "You slam my door again and I'll put my foot in your ass!"
I asked, "And what is your name?"
He pointed at the sign above the restaurant and said, "What's my name? What's MY name? Right there! That sign!"
So here is that sign.
I realized then that the waiter must have meant when he didn't want to ask if they had homemade pasta. he was probably afraid to go in the kitchen asking questions.
I asked Bob, "Do you think maybe something terrible happened that made him act that way? I mean, he admitted they had roaches then he was already following you outside to fight more before you slammed the door. So it wasn't really about the door. Maybe someone died or divorced him or something."
Bob said, "I think he was just so proud of his restaurant, he couldn't stand to have there be anything wrong with it. Like if there are cockroaches, then cockroaches are just fine."
I said, "Well, maybe they were Kockroaches with a K."