Saturday evening five of us decided to meet up for dinner on the LES. I had passed Kampuchea Noodle Bar a few times and thought it a good idea to try it. Having been to Cambodia, I was in love with cambodian food and this would be a good opportunity to try it. However this turned out to be the worst restaurant experience in 10 years of living in NYC.
Our party of 5 and were seated at a table at the back of the restaurant. We placed our orders and some of us got our drinks. At that point the waitress comes and asks us to move to the cornermost table so that they could seat someone else on ours. The only way to get to that table was for two of us to get up so others could pass behind us.
Also the table they wanted us to move to was for four people and she said we could squeeze in and sit.
All this for the “expected” future customer with no real customer waiting to get a table.
We told her that we did not want to move to that table and if there were other customers, we would gladly get up to let them into that corner table.
So she went and called the assistant manager, who turned out to be a complete jerk. He said that we could not dictate where we wanted to sit and that we had to follow his orders. At this point, however agitated we were getting, we tried our best to keep our cool. He goes somewhere and comes back and says that since we are not ready to move, the chef has said that he will not cook for us. This is the first time we had heard something so ridiculous. And this was after we had ordered drinks and food which would have totalled more than 200$.
The assistant manager then goes away and in some time the chef comes to our table. The chef Ratha Chau was extremely rude, had an attitude and told us that if we are not ready to move where he wants us to move we should leave the restaurant.
And thats what we do. As we leave, he comes out on the side street and starts fighting and cursing us. He tells us that we created a scene in his restaurant and not to come back. It took a lot of effort to not curse back and be the crude horrible person he was. At one point I was sure he was going to hit out at us or something.
I will never go back to the restaurant and urge everyone to do the same.
In living in NYC for ten years and eating in countless restaurants here, this is the first time I have been treated so and have been asked to walk out of the restaurant.
From all the reviews I have read after this incident, the food seems to be OK and is definitely not authentic Cambodian. And the chef/owner really sucks. I would rather have OK food and a great attitude/time than have to deal with the tantrums of some crazy chef.