The restaurant is small but comfy. It appeared to be clean. It was a Friday night but my table of 3 was seated quickly but abruptly by the owner, "you sit here!". We all decided to get the Hunan meal which was $8.95 and included a drink, soup, and egg roll/wonton. Our waitress was efficient and kind. While we waited on our food the owner was sitting by the door handling to-go orders over the phone very loudly. She eventually stopped yelling at the phone and had a very loud conversation with a customer that came in to pick up a to-go order from across the other side of the restaurant. After she finished that conversation, she pulled up a chair and joined the table next to us and chatted with them, thankfully not quite as loudly.
I ordered chicken with broccoli and was extremely disappointed. The right side of the plate was filled overcooked fried rice. The left side of the plate consisted of huge chunks of undercooked broccoli, a copious amount of gooey mushrooms, and no more than 6 or 7 tiny pieces of diced chicken that could have been mistaken for peanuts. The chicken was comparable in size and quality to the chicken that comes with canned chicken noodle soup. The sauce that this concoction was soaking in was some sort of overly salty brown...stuff. I asked the waitress if I could have a few pieces of real chicken and she said they had cubed chicken that was about the size of a quarter and I agreed that it would likely be an improvement what I had.
A few minutes later the owner got up from her conversation with the table next to us and walked over to me and very loudly explained that they use bite sized diced chicken in all but their fried chicken dishes because the tiny pieces cooked more quickly and at the proper temperature. She did not offer to change anything or make anything better. Her harsh (not just loud) voice and gestures indicated that she seemed very annoyed with me. In her mind, she was right and I was wrong. After her ear piercingly loud lecture that the entire restaurant got to hear, she rejoined the table next to us and continued her conversation with them. Apparently, my desire for real pieces of chicken in my chicken and broccoli interrupted her conversation.
Our waitress returned to our table after the owner left and apologized for not being able to do anything about the chicken. She then asked if I wanted to order anything else. Give me a break! Like I wanted to pay for more awful food! Despite the fact that I was starting to get a bit upset, I politely declined and assured her that everything was fine. She had done nothing wrong, so I didn't want her to feel bad.
After our meal, we went to the door to pay the bill. At some point the owner made her way back to her perch at the front of the restaurant and was on the phone taking another to-go order. We stood there for a couple of minutes while she took the order. She didn't even acknowledge us. While we waited we looked over the bill and were a little confused why the prices were slightly higher than listed on the menu. We then figured out that it was tax included. After she got off the phone she looked at us and said with a very harsh tone that the bill included tax (something that she had already heard us say out loud to each other). She then gestured us to hurry up and pay her. The first time the debit card didn't read, and she looked extremely frustrated. She walked back to the kitchen without explanation...she just walked away. I guess she was just blowing off some steam--I don't know. She came back and ran the card as a debit card and it still didn't go through. She then repeatedly demanded that we give her another card although we knew the card we were using had more than enough funds available. We gave her another card and it thankfully went through.
She didn't say thank you, sorry, have a good night, or anything. She just stormed off again leaving us shaking our heads in disbelief as we left the restaurant. I live in Flagstaff and will NEVER return to Hunan West. I will also make sure that none of my friends go there. The owner seems to have some repeat customers that she knows on a first name basis but she cannot expect to gain new customers if she treats them the way we were treated. What a horrible experience!
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