Let’s all calm down…

Ξ March 9th, 2009 | → 15 Comments | ∇ 90041, 90042, 90065, Glassell Park, Highland Park |

Amidst last weekend’s “missed connection” with Kogi, we took the time to post our frustration with their lack of consideration to the 40 plus people standing in the cold and waiting.  For a business that made its name by tweeting its location to keep people updated, they dropped the ball big time.  To be fair, our posts to Kogi were a little snarky and maybe uncalled for.  We should have sent a personal email, but it honestly didn’t even occur to me.  I saw the blog and I posted. 

Here is some background on the posts, and my perspective: I literally planned my night around hitting up Kogi at 8:30 and meeting up with people afterwards.  I was cool to get the notice that they were postponing until 9:45 and willingly slugged back a few drinks at the York until then.  Around 9:30 we headed back out and got in a line about 20-30 people deep.  Then we waited.  And waited. Every couple minutes I reloaded the Kogi webpage on my iPhone expecting a twitter of some sort.  Nothing.  10:00 pm, still nothing.  It was cold, I was starving and my friends were done.  People in line were getting pissy.  “5 more minutes,” I pleaded.  Still nothing. No truck, no tweets, just a long (and increasingly surly) line.  At 10:05 we left—and talked a small crowd into joining us at La Estrella. As usual, La Estrella was fast, delicious, cheap and predictably located.  Around 10:40 we drove back past where Kogi was supposed to be.  Still a line, still no truck, still no twitter.  (Sorry Kogi, but that sucks—I wasn’t pissed that you didn’t show, I was pissed you didn’t tell us.)

Come Sunday morning I discover that Kogi’s schedule has been retroactively updated to say “Eagle Rock – CANCELLED” and a surprising response from Chef Roy to our comments.  Somehow, Chef took us telling him that we didn’t appreciate the no-show as a threat.  His response was “Eagle Rock, if you ever threaten my team again then we will not bother and will not go back.” I don’t know what he found to be threatening, and indeed the only threat I could find is that Kogi is going to shun our neighborhood because three people complained.  We followed up politely telling them “a little communication would go a long way” (again, this place made a name for itself by tweeting updates) and ask how they think it impacts the people waiting? This still feels like a fair request.

The response this time?  Alice, Kogi’s “Public Relations” rep, posted a long and convoluted diatribe comparing Kogi to a poor mom taking care of spoiled kids.  “You can get mad at the mom, but take one extra minute and really think to yourself — is the mom not beating herself up over it as well?”  (A bit presumptuous and not a kind view of your customers, Kogi—next time maybe you should be a little more subtle and compare yourself to Jesus…  Los Angeles is probably better off because of you, but our survival doesn’t depend on you.  Like it or not, you still need customers more than they need you.)  Nevertheless, Alice finishes off her public relations piece with, and I’m paraphrasing here, “F you, we don’t need you.”

What’s more ridiculous is when we become villains for “driving Kogi out of Eagle Rock.” The post reads “Quick shout-out to the douchebags Kevin, Aaron and Chris who did all they could to ensure Eagle Rock gets no love this week.”  Is that really true? Do we control Kogi’s movements? I’m sorry, but Kogi snubbing a neighborhood for the scorn of three residents is the height of vanity and absurdity. I find it hard to believe that anybody is really willing to play into that hand.

Kogi, come off your high horse.  You don’t need to be a diva, lord knows LA has enough of those already.  You should have said you weren’t coming. We realize you’re human, and so are we.  You’re tired, we’re hungry; we all make mistakes.  We loved your idea, supported your vision, and nobody loves taco trucks more than us.  We love what you do.  All we ask is that you respect those who keep you doing it—the people waiting for hours for your truck.


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