Originally I was not going to say any bad words about this place, because I did learn a fair amount about vegan lifestyle. However, what I did learn I mostly taught myself whiling about days in the kitchen of the Yabba Pot with not really much to do.
The owner (cannot call someone who does not cook meat or fish a chef — ask Gordon Ramsey) is a pretentious bitch that does not pay her employees that is ever absent basking in the sun somewhere in Puerto Rico. I met her once in my half year tenure at the YP and she just really was not a pleasant person. Can’t put a finger on exactly what it is about her that peeves me so, but it probably does have something to do with her lack of integrity (she has not paid several of her employees) and has not put a cent of her own money into improving the restaurant. She does manage to CRITICIZE the fact that the food at the restaurant has taken a downwards spiral. Maybe it’s because there is NEVER ANYTHING TO COOK WITH!
Okay so lets start from the beginning. There are cockroaches (amongst other creatures) in the kitchen. I should have just packed up my knives and walked out right then and there because I thought it was maybe a ONE TIME THING. But at least once during every shift a little critter would crawl across my cooking space. At some point, with what little loyalty I had for the place, I told the health inspector that no, the Yabba Pot did not have a rodent problem. LIES. I shake my head now as I reminisce. After sometime, I wouldn’t even eat any of the food there. Just didn’t trust it.
One of the biggest complaints about the YP is that the food is hit or miss. Sometimes I would walk into the kitchen and find the reach-ins stuffed to the brim with fresh veggies and herbs. Sometimes I would walk in and have nothing. Once or twice I came in and there was no salt OR oil. I don’t even want to think about how much money (and time) was spent going across to the local Safeway to purchase last minute (and needed) items!
So onto the cooking. They cook those slow ribs STRAIGHT from a bag that comes from an asian supply store. The sauce is very similar (if not the same) as the type of sauce you would find in a cheap chinese carryout. Its all kinda gross, and a monkey could saute some veggies, dump this bag of “meat” into the pot and call it a dish. I guess that is how restaurants make their money, but still! The food is overpriced for what you get. Another thing that perpetually amused me is that they add dry-pasta to some of their dishes. Umm…what about that little note underneath the ingredients list that says “packaged in a plant that uses egg products.” Aren’t these supposed to be vegans???
All tofu served at the YP is first deep fried in a deep-fryer. A note on this oil, the oil was dirty when I first started working their in August. That same dirty oil was still there and god knows how much more dirty when I left in December. Again, I’m cringing a little as I’m thinking about this.
Now part of the reason I decided to finally write about this place is because of a particular ‘upstairs’ employee that took a severe disliking to me. For some reason my mere presence seemed to offend her. I could do nothing right. Which was strange because I’d had plenty of compliments from my fellow cooks, dinners, and other upstairs staff. My food in her mind was always underseasoned or had some issue. On one occasion, she even brought the food back downstairs to the kitchen to ‘fix’ it. Needless to say, that was the last day I set foot in the place. Seriously, if this chick thinks she knows oh so much about food, maybe she should reconsider her place in the restaurant.
A quick note on those lovely ‘vegan’ cakes they serve and charge up to $4/$5 for. They come straight from a Pillsbury/Better Crocker box bought across the street from the Safeway for 2 for $4. Substitute apple sauce for eggs. Put icing and sprinkles on them. Cut into individual sized pieces, boxed up in those little plastic boxes and sold. This was all done on the sheer brilliance of the business manager, who evidently is not a vegan.
In closing, for a supposedly health and Earth conscious vegan restaurant, there is nothing organic or green about this place. There is one recyling bin in the kitchen, and when it is full, all other recyling goes into the trash. Beans come from a can and along with their other dry ingredients are bought from wholesale Restaurant Depot or Safeway. The vegetables are delivered when there is money to pay for them from a supplier that does not employee organic practices and are more than likely coated in lovely pesticides and other chemicals! Otherwise produce also comes from Safeway. And might I mention again, that boxed cake?
I finally left in early December after the re-cooking my food incident. It coincided with the owner selling off the place and my friend who got me the job telling me that since everything was up in the air he didn’t want to further involve me with the drama. At least I walk away with some life experience.