Places I'll Never Show My Face in Again: L.A. Bite

— by Caroline on Crack

Flickr Shot by Splorp

Flickr Shot by Splorp

I was spending an evening hanging out with my bro and his bf when we got a hankering for some shishkabobs. They decided to order online through L.A. Bite, a delivery service that picks up from restaurants that don’t deliver themselves. Sounds cool, right? Especially if there’s an eatery out in L.A. you want to order in from but who doesn’t deliver.

Gerard placed an order for Skewers on the L.A. Bite site. They just need a credit card and you get charged a 3.5% convenience fee on top of the delivery fee ($5.99 dinner, $6.99 lunch), and don’t forget the tip. Your order is faxed to the restaurant of your choice and an L.A. Bite “field representative” is then dispatched to the location when your meal is ready. Once there they check to make sure the order is correct and then place it in an insulated bag. Afterward it’s delivered to your apartment, work, or hotel room. The Web site claims the entire process takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

However, when we used the site, it took about two hours to get our food. After the first hour of waiting had passed, we looked up our order’s status on the site. The estimated time went from 20 minutes to another hour. After another 40 minutes we checked the site again. This time it said the order would take another two hours. But before Gerard could throw a fit and call the restaurant in anger, we got a knock at the door.

Sure enough, it was the delivery guy. But when we dug into our food, it was cold. Fortunately we were so hungry and the food tasted good despite the undesirable temperature that we didn’t mind it too much.

However, we vowed then to never use L.A. Bite to order food again. It would have saved more time and money to drive down to the restaurant ourselves and order takeout. Chris and Gerard had said they’ve tried to use L.A. Bite before but that it had always been closed. And this time was the first time it was open. Suffice it to say that it wasn’t worth the wait.

Apparently lots of restaurants (El Cholo, Mani’s Bakery, Hurry Curry of Tokyo) use this service in lieu of having to have their own delivery system. But whatever. L.A. Bite sucked. And I don’t know if this was an isolated incident but it was definitely a bad first impression.