We were pumped up to hear that Mark Peel’s Tar Pit was finally starting a “gilded” happy hour. Apparently so was LAist, who now has some not-so-nice things to say about both the cuisine and the chef’s own family, even questioning Peel’s place as a city treasure by asking, “what the Hell Peel is thinking?” Writer Lindsay William-Ross hit the Pit this past Sunday, finding all but one dish “unpalatable” and the bar’s sophistication “blighted by [Peel’s] two screaming young kids.” The servers were apparently acting aloof, the Deviled eggs tasted rubbery, old, and markedly undeserving of Satan’s affections, and long waits marked the arrival of each “bad” dish. Slam! Ba-Da-Da! But like Onyx warned: wait, it gets worse.
Ross calls Mark’s macaroni-attack “truly the worst mac and cheese I’ve ever eaten” and can’t understand how Tar Pit fucks up their calamari when it’s “something even a national chain can master.” The French fries and cocktails still satisfy, but all comes undone when Peel sits down with his wife and kids, apparently letting his “children run around the place hollering” and ruining the supper club vibe. “It’s family night,” a soon-to-disappear-forever bartender tells Ross, who will says she’ll come back for the drinks but urges Peel to both “elevate the food” and “leave the kids at home.”
It’s hard to imagine the Campanile creator and American Family Classics author could fail when it comes to food and atmosphere, even when family arrive. However, we do trust Ross’ experiences to be truthful and reliable and have seen some of the mightiest come undone at random times. We’d love to know if any our readers have come into conflict with a chef and their kids like this that they felt ruined their experience eating out. Let us know your feelings in our comments.