I drove all the way across town because it's usually worth the drive. At least two other Asian restaurants floated belly-up in the flood, so there aren't a lot of choices. I was greeted by some indications that perhaps there'd been a management change. The place seemed in alarming disarray. The fish tank in the front had cloudy, scummy water. There was a grubby pile of children's toys next to the cash register cabinet, along with a spilled bowl of some sort of sand usually used to hold incense.
Then I saw the child (I'm guessing the owner's child) who probably was supposed to be playing with the toys, but instead she was munching on some messy bit of food while sitting on top of a pile of menus used by the in-restaurant customers.
How many health codes would you estimate were being violated? I shudder to think. Not to mention the violations of "proper business etiquette." After I paid, but before I received my food, three other wait staff tried to make me pay again. No employees wore uniforms or anything that distinguished them from the customers. I kept watching customers getting up from their tables to hunt down servers to ask for things or remind them that they needed drinks or the check. This was all during the 20 minutes or so I had to wait to get my order, even though I called it in before I left home and it took me a good 20 minutes to get over there.
At any rate, it's a shame because they used to be fast, efficient, clean and delicious. The first three might be lacking, but I do have to admit my dish was among the best I've ever had there. I'm trying to block the questionable conditions of the restaurant out of my mind. I'm glad I never set eyes on the kitchen.
The redeeming moment of the evening came when I read the hours-of-operation sign on the front door. It was so classic, I wrote it down. Word for word.
We appreciated so much to the support of our customers. However, we have to temporally close the store at every Monday. We apologize for any inconvenience of our guests.
Forever yours, Szechuan Village