Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The House of Horrors

The house whose name we dare not speak.

Last week there was an Internet meme that got some viral fever. I'm sure there were more than one, but this one caught my fancy. It's a Yelp review performed by a dramatic actor. The video demonstrates how, with a little soft piano music and some serious thespian chops, even the most banal writing can be brought to life.

It also amply demonstrates why advertising clients, most of whom lack anything resembling an imagination, should be a little more measured and forgiving when reviewing scripts for TV commercials.

Not all scripts mind you, just mine.

Years ago, before Yelp became the premier restaurant reviewing site, there were other venues for displeased diners to vent their venom. I can't for the life of me remember, but in 2009 I did take the opportunity to pen some pointed thoughts about a "meal" we had at San Francisco's Cathay House (pictured above).

My review was chockfull of stinging similes, well-hewn wit and fiery language. It was a knock out punch, sure to put this "eating" establishment 6 feet under. If I could I'd recreate it for you right now but I would not do it any justice because my review was written while I was in a haze of anger and fighting off the first symptoms of ptomaine.

It is quite shocking that a city like San Francisco, beloved by foodies, could host a restaurant as bad as Cathay House. If the gay community ever ate there, they'd find more reason to despise it than the local Chick Fil A.

How bad is the food at Cathay House?

If you know the geography of the City by the Bay you know that Chinatown is relatively close to the wharfs. And the rats.

To stem the rising population of vermin, other restaurant owners have stopped baiting traps with warfarin, a rat poison that can be exorbitantly expensive. They have found something cheaper and abundantly more effective -- the Kung Pao Chicken from Cathay House.

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