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West Oak Restaurant: A Follow-Up

This is a follow-up post after publishing my experience with West Oak and its service.

I woke up this morning to my iPhone alarm. While I was fumbling to turn off the ringing, I noticed a Twitter push notification that said something along these lines: you’re a joke food blogger, and I’m glad you didn’t experience @WestOakVan. I swiped across my screen to open up my Twitter app. What did I see?

Nothing.

That’s because the tweet was deleted. I regretted the fact that I failed to properly read the Twitter handle before opening the tweet. Approximately 9 hours later, I found out who tweeted me.

Photo 2013-11-20 5 45 40 PM

Peter Girges. The owner of West Oak Restaurant. In his tweet, he doubted my credibility as a food blogger because I reported my negative experience at his restaurant. If he were to question my taste in food, that would be a bit more reasonable since I am not a highly acclaimed food critic with a professional palette. But I’ll tell you what I am.

I am just like everybody else – a customer. And I don’t think anyone needs to be a highly acclaimed customer to recognize crummy service. It doesn’t matter how delicious the food is or how breathtaking the atmosphere is… if the service isn’t at the same level, the dining experience won’t be as enjoyable because all three elements need to work synergistically.

With that being said, I must admit that I was too harsh with the titling of my previous post – “West Oak: What a Joke.” I should’ve focussed it on the service of that one employee, not the entire restaurant and all of the hardworking people within it. So, I apologize for that serious misstep. All I wanted was a special night out to celebrate my mom’s birthday, and I chose West Oak because I heard good things about it. I don’t go to restaurants just to bash on them.

Also, having seen several restaurants being built from the ground up, I recognize the tremendous effort it takes to make it successful. From that perspective, I understand Peter’s defensiveness in his tweet. It’s his blood and sweat invested in West Oak, and he’s simply trying to protect it. Nevertheless, I hope that things will change for the better and that there are no hard feelings.

About The Author

Curtis Ng Hello! I'm a UBC Dietetics Major, which is ironic because pizzas and fries were the staple foods of my high school diet. In 2011, I started Foodobyte as a means to express my passion for food, nutrition and photography.

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  • LotusRapper

    From what I’ve heard you say so far, I think West Oak *IS* a joke …….. Pathetic. The owner should at least err on the safe side and apologize for the terrible service you received. Then offer you another opportunity to revisit. Rather than attack you personally and undermine your own credibility.

    I’m telling everyone I know to read this post of yours and boycott West Oak.

    • Yeah, I was definitely surprised at the response that I received. All of the managers that I’ve ever met have been incredibly accommodating and receptive to all sorts of feedback. Such a shame… I was just glad that my mom’s birthday wasn’t ruined!

  • Jose

    I wonder if Mr. Peter Girges cares if a potential customer gets ignore at the door. If it happens to him at another restaurant, how would he feel?

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking… it would be an interesting scenario!

  • Julie

    I thought about trying the West Oak, but after reading the tweet from the owner: forget about it!

    • I was looking forward to it too… oh well, at least there’s lots of great places around in Yaletown :)

  • Jenny

    Oh my lord. A dining experience isn’t purely about food and its a shame you didnt get a chance to try their food because you’re a great critic always putting out constructive feedback. For me, the dining experience is moreso 30% food and 70% atmosphere/service.

    I’m sorry I had to see that tweet by Peter Girges. I feel offended just reading that response.

    Ugh.

    • I totally agree with your dining experience ratio! That’s why I love mom and pop shops cos they’re so friendly :)

  • Thalia

    Seriously, if this guy can’t handle one bad food review, he doesn’t have the balls to work in this kinda industry.

  • Jake

    Disgusting. I’m sharing this with all my colleagues.

  • Boni Yau

    I only just went back and read your posts on your experience with west oak. Wow! Owner or not, it is just bad taste to make a personal attack like that in response to a bad review. Mr. Girges puts his own restaurant on the line to defend a server that failed to do her job. In my humble opinion, anybody that walks through (or walks up to) that door deserves to be treated with respect, that means the best food their kitchen has to offer and best service from all the staff. If only credible food critics are expected to receive an all-rounded dining experience, well, I don’t suppose there’s a point of serving anybody else any more. Bad move on the restaurant’s part. It’s not bad that people read about ONE bad experience at the place, but it’s bad that people will now boycott the restaurant as a matter of principle.

  • Rick James

    This is the new level of fine dining. Reservation and credibility is mandatory to be seated.

  • FATPANDAVAN

    WTF!!!!!! That is SO rude. I will never visit that restaurant just BECAUSE OF THIS!!!!

  • FATPANDAVAN

    btw i agree, I wil never go back to a restaurant even if the food IS delicious as fuck but had bad customer service. I boycotted even RODNEYS because of one bad customer service this one time. And we used to spend $$$$$$ a lot of money there.. lol and I miss their caesars so much, but I can’t deal with bad customer service!!!

  • Vivian

    Just curious, did you have to buy your web domain?

  • Pang

    Next time just (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) because Internet drama sucks. LOL

  • Kirby

    Oh my gosh… I will not go to West Oak in the future because of how they treated you. I also care a whole lot about customer service and if they had treated me the same, I would’ve been just as mad! Also, from a business standpoint, it is an incredibly, dare I say, childish and unprofessional move to attack you like that on twitter. Makes me angry just thinking about it!

  • pretzeldw

    Don’t apologize for posting your opinion. I probably wouldn’t have thought much of rude hostess, but the fact the owner tweeted you that just screams loser. I definitely won’t be going there now. Chances are they will be out of business by the end of 2014 if the owner has that kind of attitude. Keep on posting your honest thoughts. No one cares what some up tight elitist foodie writes. Its blogs like yours that are the real reviews.

    • Thanks for your support – I truly appreciate it! :)