China Poblana

The Rooftop Lounge at Tamayo is one of the most pleasant places in town to grab a cocktail -- both for the view and for the margaritas. When I took my first sip of the peculiar yet tasty China Poblana ($10), made with Jose Cuervo Tradicional, fresh tangerine juice and ginger (the ginger afterbite moves the drink from tolerable to tantalizing), I couldn't have been happier -- particularly because Tamayo's impossibly delicious guacamole arrived at the same time. But before I got to take a second sip, it came: the server's premature demand for payment. Call me highfalutin (you wouldn't be the first to do so), but I like it when the person waiting on my party at a nice joint doesn't act like we're at the International House of Pancakes, slapping down the tab moments after delivering a round and announcing, "I can take that whenever you're ready." I can understand this tactic when you're in a crowded bar and paying cash for each drink, but when you're in a group ordering drinks and appetizers, it's a different story. Tamayo isn't the only place that tries to give this story an early, and inappropriate, ending; the pay-now demand is becoming more and more common across town. But while I can appreciate the efficiency of such a move, I do not appreciate the feeling it gives me as a customer. Do they think I'm going to drink and dash? At Tamayo, skipping out on a rooftop tab would be tough, since you'd have to maneuver your way down a set of stairs and through a crowded dining room before you're home free. If the management is so worried about collecting, I'd far prefer that the bartender/server ask for a credit card, which isn't nearly as offensive as dropping the check at the same time the cutlery is passed out. Hey, Flo, can you add a Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity and a side of fries to the bill?


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