I have been to Thai Chili & Sushi a number of times over the past few years with a family member. The restaurant offers an abundant menu of starters, specials, entrees, and sushi every day of the week for lunch and dinner. They offer the choice of take out, delivery, or in house dining. What I especially appreciate is that they do not use MSG at all, which is a nonstarter for many Asian food lovers like me. The menu tab is very reasonable as well. My family has always ordered take out from this restaurant. Quite honestly, in the past, I have not been the party to exchange the money; rather, just the tagalong sidekick ordering from the menu or making my choice based upon a previous serving I enjoyed. The service is speedy and the food selections I have chosen have been suitably tasty, with special preferences for heat index in sundry entrees. The waitpersons have always been soberly pleasant and dutiful. The restaurant is interposed within a number of relatively new hotels in the area that shuttle to Denver International Airport and is not far from the access route to the freeway system. My most recent trip was for a lunch pick up where I performed all take out responsibilities for myself, ordering, picking up, waiting, and paying. For my part, I am truly dismayed to report my findings because I am a staunch believer in supporting local businesses. For their part, the restaurant must warrant the allegiance of my loyalty by their commendable standards. When I find a “good thing,” the word of my mouth is generously shared. I hope that the keepers of this unkempt bastion will take heed.
When placing my order, I stood at a cash register platform, which was disorderly, with jumble and junk all around it. While waiting, I requested the use of their public lavatory. The restroom at the time was marginally respectable, but it was the journey to-and-fro that astounded me. To say that I was rendered speechless would be to underestimate the feeling of being ‘struck dumb.’ There were cardboard boxes stacked on the side of the wall nearer to their apparent storage chamber. These boxes were actually directly parallel to the eating booths where people were seated, a place where boxes should never appear during business hours, ever. If that was not bad enough, there was open garbage, overflowing, behind the last booth, somewhat shielded from most of the diners, but clearly visible for everyone to see who walked in that direction, and it was housed in the communal space. Trays and dishes were sloppily stacked amidst discarded edibles. It was enough to make me leave right then and there, but my “good manners angel” whispered otherwise, as I rationalized a reason to stay. As the restaurant was at the peak of lunch hour, I learned that my order was going to take a few minutes more. I was instructed to sit at a booth away from the pay counter; no problem. Not more than a moment later, I was again hobbled off to the nearby sushi bar so that a couple could be seated. I readily complied, noticing that one entire booth, across from the pay counter, was being used by an restaurant employee to clean and/or cut vegetables, while she ate lunch! For the most part, these were goings-on that would be invisible to “take outer” or “delivered to'er” customers. It does appear to me that the restaurant has an acceptable share of business, but there can be no doubt that they have forfeited business from "eat-in" patrons who have witnessed the garbage heap and disorder that I observed on that day. One can (and I will) confidently speculate that this was not just a one-time affair. At the very least, Thai Chili & Sushi lacks essential organization; at worst, one shudders to hazard a guess. These dreadful conditions are completely unacceptable for any restaurant that wants to be competitive. I completely lost my appetite the moment I saw the unappetizing refuse, but trusted it would return in my own clean kitchen. In regards to the disarray, there was a great deal of consolation that I was would be eating in my own safe kitchen. When I arrived home, I did not eat until my hunger overtook me. While I will concede that my imagination may have gotten the better of me, my curry was not as comforting, even in my own clean and safe kitchen. If Thai Restaurant & Chili desires a take-out and delivery business, perhaps they could get away with such clutter and compost. An impromptu health inspection on that day would have warranted justified violations for at least three breaches; the open garbage on its own would have been indefensible. The public area of this bistro “smacks of” dire inattention and sheer laziness. Their fortune cookie might read “Clean up or go out of business.”
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