Spying Charlie Palmer's & Complaining About Crustacean

I don't shop at Bloomingdale's, but I like going through its front entrance to get to the mall. Why? In the store's entryway, you can see into Charlie Palmer's kitchen through this eye-slit of a peep-hole. From it, you can spy all the cooking action and the Top Chef dreamers doing it, and that's exactly what most of these bright-eyed kids look like: Marcels and Hungs.

It's fun to watch what goes on in there, even if it does get a bit boring without the QuickFire Challenges.

Next to Charlie Palmer's, across the same hallway, Crustacean is slated to open in the spring. This makes no sense to me. But I suppose as long as there are people who are willing and able to drop coin on Bloomingdales' overpriced wares, there will be customers who will do the same on Crustacean's overpriced Vietnamese food -- all the while oblivious that Little Saigon lies just a few exits away on the 405.

Normally, I'd save my ire until I try a place, but about eight years ago I had the displeasure of eating at the Beverly Hills location -- an experience that left me about $80 poorer and for what? Bo luc lac and their "famous" garlic noodles, which tasted like gussied up store bought ramen.

And since we looked like Orange County bumpkin with no cash in the bank (which was not entirely untrue) you can guess how well we were treated.

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