Letters for March 15, 2007

Are you being served?
Re “Something’s fishy” (Foodfinds, Feb. 22):

I couldn’t believe what I was reading in the Sushi Moto Review. Brad Bynum went on at length about the absolutely horrible, rude, inexcusably poor service he was given by the staff at Sushi Moto during his meal. But immediately followed it up with, “Despite the thumbs-down on service, I’d still give Sushi Moto a high recommendation.”

Say what?

Brad, I am a single guy who doesn’t particularly enjoy cooking, so I eat out a lot. When I do, I’m in it for two things: Good food and good service. Decent value comes in third, I don’t mind paying for good food and good service. But to get treatment which your review conveyed as being right up there with the absolute worst I’ve ever experienced in about 20 years of shining restaurant booths with my butt, and still say, “Well, I’d highly recommend them because the food was good,” is just plain nuts.

To be treated like that and give a review that says basically anything but, “I wouldn’t go within 100 yards of this place because the service sucked,” is not giving a good review. Service is everything. I fully expect to be treated like I’m the most important person in the building when I’m at a restaurant eating. As I said, I don’t mind paying for it, and I’m a good tipper. But if I had gotten that treatment, it would be the last time I ever crossed that establishment’s threshold.

It is called the “service industry” for a reason. Sushi Moto needs to get a clue as to who pays their bills.

John D. Braun

Be reasonable
Re “Something’s fishy” (Foodfinds, Feb. 22):

I found Brad Bynum’s review of Sushi Moto to be slanted, unobjective journalism not worthy of the RN&R standards I have come to expect and enjoy. Mr. Bynum decides to focus his review on his chef who “pisses him off,” waiting until close to the midway point of the article to mention he chose to arrive at Sushi Moto a half hour before the posted closing time.

I have been dining at all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants for over half of my 27 years and can count on one hand the number of times I have not allotted at least 75 minutes to enjoy an all-you-can-eat sushi dinner. When arriving any later, one should first ask the restaurant’s policy as to dining past the closing time to determine if the all-you-can-eat menu is an option. Anyone claiming to be a food critic should have a reasonable procedure for determining a dining time that will accurately portray a restaurant’s service standards.

Mr. Bynum makes no mention of the restaurant’s policy in this matter, choosing instead to continue his criticism of the chef in question after trying to prepare enough sushi without having to stay an extra hour or more to properly close his counter.

The amazing variety on the menu and incredible skill of the chefs at Sushi Moto are relegated into obscurity within the article, being replaced instead by Mr. Bynum’s immature tantrums.

I recall when your publication issued its policy of grading restaurants several years ago, mentioning that any restaurant would be visited twice before a negative article as blatant as this was put to print. This is a perfect instance where you have failed that policy, costing an innovative restaurant with an exceptional product many potential customers.

Zach Ganska

Editor’s note: Sorry, the policy you refer to ended when I took over as editor five years ago. Our policy is to describe our experiences in restaurants truthfully and colorfully. We would no more send someone twice to (perhaps) improve a partially negative review than we would send a reviewer twice to (perhaps) lower a wholly positive review.

Myers is a hypocrite
Re “Blinded by science” (Cover story, March 1):

Dennis Myers decries the use of ad hominem attacks yet proceeds to do so himself when he says, “Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine is run by a home schooling marketer who is into creationism,” implying therefore that its science must be faulty. Shame on you, Dennis Myers!

In fact, OISM published information showing the Earth has been in a warming trend since the 1700s, and over 17,000 U.S. scientists with advanced degrees signed its petition arguing against a human cause of global warming.

Margie Brunn
via e-mail

Myers kicks ass
Re “Blinded by science” (Cover story, March 1):

Fabulous issue (Vol. 13, No. 4)! Just great, cover to cover. But special kudos to Dennis Myers. He’s long been one of my absolute favorite nonfiction writers, but he outdid himself with “Blinded by science.” That article simply kicks ass. The writing is smooth and compelling, the subject matter was treated with serious intellect and a remarkable lack of bias, and the message has been long needed. Nice work.

Cindie Geddes