Recently, I noticed that California Shabu Shabu is opening up another location in Costa Mesa, next to the Shark Club.
What's REALLY interesting here isn't the fact that the Fountain Valley staple is expanding, but that they have an honestly-written blog that details the day-to-day travails of setting up a restaurant.
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Negotiating the use of the shared parking lot with Shark Club, various permit problems, and "all the bad juju that was flowing (their) way" are all chronicled with great aplomb by its writer -- a person named Len.
But in one revealing post, Len writes "again I will spare you the details so I can refrain from grabbing the plastic knife from my take out lunch and raking it down the length of my arms repeatedly."
And then there's this DOOZY: Mistaken for burglars, they were almost arrested while working on their property by the Costa Mesa police department!!! Guns were drawn! They were handcuffed! And, most importantly, hilarious pictures were taken.
For me it's a fascinating and often funny look into the frustrations, hard work, dangers, and hidden minutiae of starting up a place. For its writer, I bet it's a good way to vent.