We used to go to Omei for the most eclectic and tastiest Chinese in town. A lot pricier but fresh, unique taste and good service. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THAT PLACE?
There's gotta be a management change. We went there for dinner tonight to mark the end of the year with some good food that we always enjoyed. We were greeted (sort of) by a surly Chinese server who barely opened her mouth to say a word. We sat down, ordered our food, and waited, not doubting for a moment that the food at least would be as good as before.
Then the food arrived. Portion was at least 1/2 of what it used to be (I mean a year ago), and it came on a cheap white plate. Then we noticed that the chopsticks were plastic, which used to be good-quality disposable bamboo chopsticks. Then the food...
We ordered some of their signature dishes (or so we had known) - dumplings in chili sauce and Gan Pung Chicken. Dumplings used to be made with a thin skin, an exquisite size and taste. Now what we got was a bloated, thick-skinned, big and waterly blob swimming in excess chilli sauce. Half of Gan Pung Chicken was chili peppers and chicken skin. We also ordered an eggplant dish which was just a mush of eggplant bits (2 different kinds of eggplant, which looked odd) with hot sauce slapped on it. A medium bowl of white rice, for which they charged $2.50. I could buy a whole 1-pound bag of rice for that amount.
Every single dish tasted just the same, as often the case with run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurants. Just slap on some sauce... That had never been the case with Omei, but now they firmly joined the rest.
And the final insult was the 10% tip to the Chef that they automatically added to the bill. SINCE WHEN HAVE THEY STARTED TO DO THIS??? With our tip to the server and tax based on total that included both food and mandatory tip to the Chef, the grand total of dinner for two was $75.
We will not go back to Omei again. If we want Chinese food that pretty much tastes the same with bad service, we can spend 1/3 of what we spent and get double portions elsewhere.
O'Mei used to be my absolute favourite place to eat Chinese food in the county - without a doubt, but over the past six months, the service and quality of food has gone to rock bottom and started digging.
Example: I went to O'Mei with a friend in late September, 2007. I ordered the asparagus with beef and my friend ordered the Mongolian beef. Now, things went well until I received my order and she did not. I have no problem with this, but she received her order more than 45 minutes later after I asked a few times what had happened to it.
O'Mei was not crowded that night since it was only half-full, and I don't know what happened, but my food was already a little cold and hers wasn't warm when she received it. I brought this to their attention but they did not offer to remedy the situation.
The absolute WORSE part about this whole thing is that if we stayed, we would have to pay their 18% gratuity which is added to the price of every meal you order. I tip well for good service, but if we would have done anything but walk out, we would have had to pay for service which was obviously below the standard.
I went back AGAIN after this experience to make sure that the service had truly degraded, (in December,) and almost nothing had changed. The quality of the food had declined from 2006 and I haven't gone back since.
This is really bad for those of us in Santa Cruz because with the decline of O'Mei, there truly IS no where outstanding to go in town. If you like a good, lunch deal, King Schwan is okay, and there is another place on Water that is pretty popular, although I cannot remember the name right now. There is a halfway decent Chinese place on Portola down the road from Hank's (where 41st meets Portola,) but its name escapes me, too. Then, there also is the Golden Buddha, which is great if you're in that neck of the woods for lunch.
Coincidently, this isn't the only story I've heard about O'Mei having issues recently. One of my business associates noticed that over the past, six months, the same decline in service has occurred. I say that if you want to go to O'Mei, ask locals who have BEEN there in the past, six months, and then make the decision for yourself. Chances are, if they have changed managers or staff lately, that they have fixed the problem, but I cannot afford to go back there and spend $50 on a meal for two people if they are up to the same business.
O'Mei is the best Chinese food in Santa Cruz. I have a friend from a well-to-do family in Taiwan who visits me frequently from LA. He states that O'Mei is as good as any restaurant in Taiwan; and he has eaten on visits to family at many very highly rated of them. My favorites are: Yushaing Broccoli, Gang Pung Chicken, (the most popular item on the menu), Wheat Gluten appetizer, Sichian Sizzling Rice, and Chinese Chicken Salad. Everything is good though. Despite the price, it is an outstanding eating experience.
Roger Grigsby hasn't lost his touch over all the years O'mei has been in business. His unique, authentic dishes will please everyone. From the fu zu style tofu appetizers to apricot chicken to the caramel coconut sunday for desert. Just ignore the prices and service charge for the best meal you've had in a long time.
Great food at a fair price but beware of the manditory service fee on both eat in and take out! If you eat in there is a 15% gratuity (service fee) automatically added which is not bad if the service is good and most of the time it is but there is a 10% service fee for to go orders (for what I do not know). I waited 30 extra minutes for my to go order and they still charged the 10% service fee. I complained and got no response from the owner soooo ........ beware!
WESTSIDE SANTA CRUZ ASIAN DINNING, NATURAL WITH SOME ORGANIC PRODUCTS. MY FAVORITE HEALTHY EAT WITH GREAT ATMOSPHERE. WORTH THE WALK OR THE DRIVE CANT GO OFTEN FOR IT IS A TID BIT PRICY. BUT GREAT FOR HERE AND THERE.
This Magnuson Hotels affiliate is located near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Twin Lakes State Beach, University of California Santa
Cruz, Cabrillo College, Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Jose Convention Center, and the De Laveaga Golf Course.The Ocean Echo Inn ...
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium was opened in 1940 and is host to a multitude of events, including concerts, meetings, expos,
and private gatherings. From sweet sixteen parties to wedding receptions, the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium caters to gatherings of ...
Located in the historic district of Santa Cruz, this bed and breakfast offers private rooms with en suite tiled bathrooms,
wireless Internet access, TV/DVDs, and luxuriously comfortable beds. A buffet breakfast is offered each morning.