Raw Star Cafe opened up in Santa Monica this past Saturday, holding a debut party wherein ownership encouraged guests to pre-pay $25 for “ALL you can eat and drink and endless menu so you can try it and enjoy it all!” from 6:00 P.M. to midnight. Unfortunately, a scant showing of dishes is already leading to some scurrilous scuttlebutt on Yelp. One attendee calls the party a “complete disaster,” while another says it was, “A real rip-off!” (Mind you, these are kind, gentle vegans we’re talking about).
According to several accounts, nothing was really left to eat by 8:30 P.M. when people were still showing up, save for a few threadbare plates to pick off of. No “endless menu,” despite the occasional appearance of dishes that disappeared in seconds.
The restaurant currently has no listed phone number, but owner and fan of endless “raw” punnery, Bryan Au, seems to have thought the premiere a big success himself, as he’s not only planning more pre-paid events, but recounts on Facebook that the, “Grand Opening Party was RAWMAZING! 300+ people packed RAW STAR CAFE danced, dined, celebrated it was incredible!!!”
However, a letter passed on to Grub Street this week from one of the afflicted, one of a group of three self-described “polite” “Japanese girls,” complained, “The food was gone before 8:00 P.M…What was most disturbing happened when three of us gave up on fighting for and waiting for any food to show up. We went outside and sat at the table there. Then, the chef came out and sat next to us. So, we told him there was no food. He looked very relaxed and happy…He just told us to ‘you have to come back.’”
Let’s all just be thankful the guy wasn’t also offering Doritos Tacos Locos a day early while he was at it.