Thursday, August 16, 2001
JayceLand's Weekly Rochester Events #136: Wait 13 Years for SalvationLet me start on a bit of a downer ... California Rollin' at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) now sucks. The first thing they changed was to remove the order forms from the bar--you now have to ask for them because they're numbered by server number or something. From what I observed, they were pretty stingy about them and if there were more than one separate order in a party you had to catch someone twice. Next, conversation across the bar was all but gone. The new guys are trying to fill in (Brian is getting there) but they're so new they really have to focus on their sushi making and don't have the ability to be entertainers at the same time. Tom, despite having the skills to do so, is not into the same kind of conversation rooted in pop-culture as the rest of the crew--besides, he's vocally disinterested in making sushi and is often milling in and out of the place. When he is there, he's telling the ohter chefs to make the rolls smaller.
I was there last Friday and it was just the new guys behind the bar with Tom the owner. I had ordered a couple rolls and a couple nigiri and the guy (Ryan, I think) didn't know how to make the nigiri so he asked Tom to do so. Tom reluctantly made the rolls, then when he found out it was for me, declared the order was an add-on and I didn't need a new tray. Unfortunately, he didn't bother to (a) check to make sure it was an add-on since it was actually part of my initial order, and (b) check to see if there was enough space on my tray to fit it, which there was not. The other guy covered for him and gave me the rolls on a new small tray. As an added bonus, the Wasabi Bombers were so absurdly small I could barely taste them.
Tom has made the place into a boring old restaurant.
When Cory and Barry left to go west at the end of last month, I knew the character of the place would change some. I assumed the policies would be similar but the people would change--new ideas and new faces. It would take some time. Unfortunately, Tom railroaded in some of his ideas (which may be the way he used to do it for all I know) but he's driving out the loyal customer base such as myself. I was going every Friday and have actually spent around $2,400 at the place in 2000 and 2001.
On Saturday I was at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) and ran into Nic, one of the last of the old chefs. I said I would probably take a month off from the place before trying again to see if things shook down. He told me some of the horror stories from behind the scenes that he is personally wrestling with to try and save the place. He emplored me to return--he took last Friday off and would definitely be back this coming Friday and would "make everything alright again." Well okay ... I'll give them one last chance. If I get any shit from Tom, though, that's it. I'm finding some other place to hang out and eat.
In other news, I did manage to go to all the things I listed last week. From Thursday night to Monday morning I guess I spent 34 hours partying, 26 hours sleeping and 26 hours doing stuff that wasn't either (like work.) I'm beat. I got to see Gregory Paul , Jian Ghomeshi, Single Whips, The Purrs, Spacetrucker, K-9 Circle, Jerseyband, Sunny Weather, Flour City Brewers Fest, Reporter, The Brown Hornets, The Hi-Risers, Mid-Air Collision, QUiTTERS , Dollywatchers, Greenhornes, and Touch of Evil.
I'm kind of tired.
Anyway, the big highlight was Jerseyband who completely failed to disappoint. They were great. I finally met Alex who's sort-of the leader and he said they got a residency at Keuka College. Basically, they're getting paid to practice. I asked if there's a music program down there that they can exploit for advice but strangely there wasn't. About 120 people watched the show. I kept thinking Sunny Weather was just sitting backstage crying--"They're opening for us?" Sunny Weather was alright--they play groove-rock with a zydeco twist. I stayed for a couple songs and thought I might move on when I realized the 30 people remaining included a large percentage of 22-25 year-old women gyrating about so I stayed. Call me a pig. Nonetheless, the band was alright and I'm glad I got to see them.
Well, there's no pictures this week but I'm almost up to 1,000 words so if the proverbial expression is true you've got most of a picture anyway. The last little tidbit I wanted to share was that tickets to see Penn and Teller at Auditorium Center (875 Main St E.) on October 10 go on sale this weekend. Tickets are available through Ticket Express (716-222-5000.)
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