Not for single diners, this restaurant discriminates
I went to Sushi Sam's Edomata in San Mateo for dinner on Friday, Oct. 17th, 2008.
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The restaurant was busy, and I could see there were no tables available. When I requested seating for 1, the host asked me 4 times "Single?" because he seemed to have trouble understanding I was dining alone.
I thought it'd be great to sit at the sushi bar and watch the preparations. There were 2 seats available at the sushi bar, side-by-side by the wall. At that moment the host told me in a hostile tone that because I was alone, he couldn't possibly consider a table for me, but he said I could sit at the sushi bar.
I was surprised at his tone, but thought this was a nice idea and started to make my way to 1 of the 2 seats. The host stopped me and said, "No, not there. I'm keeping that open for 2 people. You cannot sit there, you are only 1." He then pointed to a seat at the sushi bar that was wedged between 2 parties who had the entire counter occupied by their food and drinks.
The host told me this was the only seat where I could sit. I pointed out there was no space, and there was another seat - 1 of those 2 by the wall, where I would prefer to sit and be comfortable. The host refused, saying he would fill those seats with 2 people instead.
Never have I been discriminated against as a single diner.
The restaurant made it's values clear: they would rather have the $$ from two diners than from 1 and they would configure the seating accordingly. I thanked the host and promptly left.
The host was rude, the restaurant failed to meet my expectations of professionalism and courtesy.
My company is having it's largest annual meeting here this weekend, and I am telling everyone to avoid eating here. I won't ever be returning, even with a larger party, and I strongly do not recommend them.
We plan to go to Joy Sushi, a local sushi restaurant which comes highly recommended by my colleagues and offers a greater variety of food options: on the web, joysushi (dot) net