LAist’s Team Lindsay didn’t have a good Happy Hour at Tar Pit and she wrote about it.

(full disclosure: I haven’t been. I’m in no hurry, but we do love us some Campanile brunch. Also, do not know the Peel family, nor any of the servers, nor do I like babies/toddlers/kids of any age that’s not mine. Finally, I’ve met Ms. Lindsay William-Ross on several occasions but I don’t have her cell phone number).

Of course, Team Peel counters in the form of a post on a mommy blog.

Celebrity Death Match, lifed

To save one from actually clicking on this link and reading the tall wall of text, let’s just say Ms. L. William-Ross disliked the service, disliked seeing the children stompin’ meandering around the “bar”, and doesn’t like chewy food (be it calamari or eggs).

Here, Mrs. Daphne Peel (herself a [mommy] blogger) takes William-Ross’ review to task. And it’s kinda yummy.

This is basically a single woman, happy-hour goer versus a full time mommy [blogger]. The result? MEOW! Each side is right (being passed off between irreverant servers suck), each side is wrong (mom & dads need to eat, and it’s societal norm for them to hit the bar at 5pm).

What did a Brit table manners columnist just decide June 1st via Chow.com on this exact topic? The Peels did nothing contemptible by bringing their kids at 5pm (On a Sunday no less. Is anyone so stressed as to need detuning on a Sunday? I mean.. really? There’s frugal, and there’s bitchin’ about $5 small bites). They were early to the(ir own) party, the “Bar” in “Tar Pit Bar” legally translates to “Bar & Restaurant”, and the mommy removed the pestering party from the premises without prompting.

But hot darn, at least someone else knows how I feel after a totally shitastic meal! Why won’t Sang Yoon comment on my blog? Oh, that’s right LAist gets 5000x the traffic I do.

[edit: as a commenter (and others) have pointed out, Mommy Peel wussed out & nuked her post. Boo! Thanks to Protocol Snow we have a link to the Google Cache: http://bit.ly/bIWVT8.

What the single non-parents commenters fail to appreciate is this: it doesn't matter if you're attacking the children or the parenting act. To a lioness, it's one of the same. Don't F with Mommy Bloggers man, don't any of you read Blogher? They're bigger shills, angrier and way nuttier than "food bloggers".]

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  • http://www.weezermonkey.com weezermonkey

    Hmm. I came to the same conclusion re The Tar Pit back in March (namely, drink there and eat next door at Cube — http://www.weezermonkey.com/2010/03/stuck-at-bar-at-tar-pit.html). I really hate going to a restaurant with kids running around unless it’s a crap chain like Applebee’s. But children should’ve been kept out of the equation. If the food was bad, the food was bad. I don’t disagree with the writer’s assessment, and I *like* Campanile! But there was really no need to complain about the chef’s kids, too. That’s just getting personal.
    .-= weezermonkey´s last blog ..Quick and Quite Good: Quan Hy =-.

  • http://www.rantsandcraves.com Daily Gluttony

    Hey man, you like MY toddler, right? hahaha

    Moms and dads do need to eat. And we need to eat at places other than Chilis and Chuck E Cheese. And even though we’re able to keep Mini Gluttony well behaved and in check most of the time by going early, making sure it’s food he’ll like, etc., we still manage to get the “ugggh-children” stink eye from other restaurant goers. People won’t and will never get it until they have children of their own.

    That being said, I would rather get the runs than bring my kid to certain restaurants. (Which is why you guys always see me flying solo) It seems the Tar Pit would be one of those kinds of places. It’s just plain common sense.
    .-= Daily Gluttony´s last blog ..Osteria Mamma: Love To My Mama and My Mamma (Mini Gluttony’s Very First Blog Post!) =-.

  • http://www.eastsidefoodbites.com Eastside Food Bites

    I don’t know. I go to The York in Highland Park, and I see kids in there a lot. I don’t mind it–it makes me feel like I’m in Ireland. As long as they don’t touch my beer, and they’re out by, say, 8:30, I don’t see the big whoop.

  • http://tricerapops.tumblr.com tricerapops

    Tony – I have 3 girls that will beat you up, or win your heart. Dare them. =)

    totally agree with DG’s comments above.

  • TonyC

    Lolz. Yes, DG, I “looove” your J. Tricerapops, trust me, all I think of when I see 3 girls is the endless make up you must be already buying, instead of all the wine you could be drinking. In my defense, we were at a Ktown Happy Hour (8:30pm) and a daddy/mommy couple with a stroller plopped their arses down right next to us. I didn’t flinch though the toddler was being devilish.

  • http://www.thirstyinla.com Thirsty in LA

    I’ve had some of the apps at Tar Pit (though not the mac and cheese in question), they were pretty good and not nearly as bad as the critiques I’ve read on LAist and elsewhere. Likewise the service has been fine in my experience, both at the bar and with the servers. That said, the pans have been very consistent from the get go, yet Peel hasn’t made any adjustments.

    This whole thing wouldn’t have blown up the way it did if the Peels didn’t go after Lindsey, who (despite the Peels’ many posts to the contrary) never “attacked” their children. Not sure if Mrs. Peel is regretting her initial rant, but for whatever reason she’s deleted her post. She may have been surprised that the comments on her blog weren’t all in her favor.

    CNN had a piece on this subject a few months ago: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/03/02/brooklyn.babies.in.bars/index.html

  • edythe

    heh. yeah, i read that laist piece and thought, wow, she was having a really bad day.

  • http://www.ritzbites.com/ Jessica

    I have many, many thoughts on this topic, which I’ll be able to share better on my soon-to-launch kids + restaurant blog. Personally, I wouldn’t bring my kids to a grown up vibe place like the Tar Pit. However, we’ve brought kids to Campanile many times, mostly during the day, and appreciate how welcoming Mark Peel has been to us.

    Yet like most touchy subjects involving public courtesy and respect, it all comes down to common sense, however one may describe that term.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..When the Best Canned Food Meets the Freshest Produce =-.

  • http://www.protocolsnow.com Protocol Snow

    Since it appears the mommy blogger has deleted her post, here’s the Google cache of it. Doesn’t she know nothing disappears from the Internet? http://bit.ly/bIWVT8

    I also like how she calls Ms. LAist writer a “this rhymes with rich”. Seriously?
    .-= Protocol Snow´s last blog ..Mr. Bathing Ape – jacquard camo tie =-.

  • http://saucela.com Dawson

    How is this all reduced to Lindsay and the LAist post? Did everyone somehow miss there was another post based on the same experience of similar tone over at Squid Ink? (http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/happy-hours/happy-hour-the-tar-pit-in-mid-/) Seems obvious it was a lousy night across the board and the Peel’s (mis)handling of the situation just made it all the worse. The only personal cheap shots here are posts like Mrs Peel’s and this.

  • http://www.blogspot.foodshethought.com Liz

    Lindsay didn’t like the food OR the service. OR the fact that there was a crying kid in a dim & classy bar/restaurant during Happy Hour. I’m not going to get into the fray over her assessment of the food, that’s too subjective. However, Coolmom sounds incredibly victimized by her choice to have kids and the ensuing sacrifices. How dare someone complain about her kids when she’s tired, everyone needs a night out & it’s their restaurant? As a DINK who loves kids and has devoted her entire career to them, I feel like I have the right to say there are lots of places parents can take offspring to both enjoy cultural experiences and educate their kids to do so as well. I posit that happy hour ain’t one of them. My .02.

  • http://www.weezermonkey.com weezermonkey

    I agree that The Tar Pit is not a place for kids, but why not just say you don’t like the food? Everybody knows the food at The Tar Pit is not up-to-snuff — well, at least it’s not at the level of the food at Campanile. People go to The Tar Pit for drinks. Say that, and leave the kids out of it. Mentioning your irritation about the presence of the chef’s children was simply unnecessary, and I am someone who HATES it when kids are being noisy at a place they shouldn’t be. Criticizing the food should’ve been enough.
    .-= weezermonkey´s last blog ..Quick and Quite Good: Quan Hy =-.

  • nokids4me

    As for the bar/restaurant debate, here’s the restuarant’s page on Facebook & a self description. There’s also a graphic of a pink elephant with a cocktail shaker. And the wall posts focus primarily on things like happy hour and live music.

    “Mark Peel’s latest endeavor, a modern day watering hole!
    Honest food & artisanal cocktails”

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Angeles-CA/Tar-Pit/108071377745?ref=search

  • nokids4me

    PS I’m not opposed to kids in restaurants or restaurant/bars. It all depends on the place and the kid. I recently got together with a friend who has a 14 year old son. We picked an outdoor spot in a family friendly neighborhood. And I knew from past experience, it was more of a restaurant environment than bar and kids were welcome. I’ve seen younger kids there too, so I know that’s a place for my younger cousins, etc. And the place isn’t a chain.

    Brodgon’s deleted post included details of how she had to admonish her daughter from standing on the chair several times and how she & her husband took turns walking her fussy son around the room. I wonder exactly how many times and in what volume she admonished her daughter. And how many turns around the room before she took her fussy son home? And it mentions she was stressed & sleep deprived from taking care of her son who had been sick. She may have been raising her voice without realizing it.

    Most patrons aren’t going to start getting annoyed if it’s one quick disruption. But if it’s prolonged, that’s another story. And it’s not just those of us without kids who may feel this is a disruption. Though I don’t want kids myself, I don’t mind spending time with them and have even babysat for friends and family who needed a date night out. It’s hard for them to line up sitters and if it’s not a friend or relative like me watching the little ones, it’s an added expense to pay the sitter. I know couples who’ve planned for a date night out only to have it disrupted by parents who haven’t really given thought to whether their kids can handle the behavior necessary for the environment.

    And no, I don’t think kids should only dine at chain restaurants. There are casual, neighborhood places, at least where I live, that they can take them to. I would suggest saving the fine dining for when they’re old enough to sit still for a dinner and not yell out/scream. Part of the experience people are paying for at a high end or upscale place is the ambience.

    Also, the deleted post mentioned she called a sitter because she really wanted to have a drink to unwind. An older child from Peel’s first marriage chose to stay home and study with the sitter. Presumably he was getting fed, whether it was take out or he and/or the sitter were cooking food. Why not leave the younger 2 with the sitter? I think it would have been far more relaxing for her to have a nice quiet drink/bite to eat at the bar without having to worry about the kids & their behavior. As it was, she had to interrupt her dinner constantly to correct the kids behavior and even had to leave and come back at one point.

    I think it’s part of the “parenting as one’s calling” kind of idea which tries to make parents feel guilty if they’re not bringing kids everywhere which is part of the problem. And the burden of it tends to fall on mothers since they tend to do most of the childcare. There’s nothing wrong with getting a sitter and taking a break. Parenting is tough. And yes, if you’re lucky enough to have volunteers to do it and/or pay someone you trust to do it, then by all means, have a nice dinner out with just the 2 of you. You’ll enjoy it.

  • nokids4me

    @Weezer Monkey, if the kids were being disruptive during a happy hour at a cocktail lounge, there was nothing wrong with mentioning it. If you’ve had a rough day and you want to go to a loungey type of a place for a couple of cocktails, do you want kids being disruptive? Or say you want to take your significant other out for a nice, romantic night. Wouldn’t you rather have the heads up on the environment there?

    Hey, it’s Peel’s place, he can do what he wants with it. But he’s marketing it as a sophisticated, cocktail loungey kind of place. Most people don’t expect that to be family friendly. There’s nothing wrong with having one that’s family friendly, just market it as so. I’m sure there are parents who would love to go to such a place with their kids. And the people looking for a more adults only spot can pick another place. Everyone wins.

  • http://www.blogspot.foodshethought.com Liz

    @nokids4me as stated, I adore kids and spend LOTS of time with them. Discussing this with my husband (who as a small business owner initially sided with the Peels) yesterday I pointed out that there are several places of similar elegance and perhaps better food quality that would be more welcoming to kids on a Sunday: Tavern (always see kids in the dining room on Sundays), Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Village Idiot, Luna Park, Bottega Louie, Pizzeria Mozza…I am sad about the food. I know someone who cooked there briefly and said the food was not up to snuff.

  • MetaMommy

    I haven’t been, so I won’t comment on the food or drinks. My comments stem from dining with kids. I have two young kids, and we’ve been to many restaurants together. I know a well-behaved kid, and mine are, which is the only reason I am willing to take them out. Taking an unruly child to a restaurant, be it a cheap chain or fine dining, is a challenge if the kid doesn’t behave. I’m sure the Peels know this. I’m also sure that if I know what a well-behaved kid, they do too. Which is what leads me to wonder how awful the kids were acting. I’m guessing not that bad. The parents were trying to control the situation, which is all anyone can do when things go wrong. And once they realized things weren’t going to get better, the youngest kid was taken home. That sounds pretty reasonable to me. As annoyed as Lindsay was, I’m going to say that the parents of the obviously difficult child were having a tougher time. But she wouldn’t know this unless she had kids. If she ever does, she’ll probably regret her reaction one day. Besides, it might be happy hour, but as far as I’m concerned 5:30 is a perfectly reasonable time to go out to dinner with your family. It’s early, it’s bright, there’s food, there’s a social atmosphere. What’s wrong with having kids experience that? If there was a table of loud adults there too, would she be complaining about them? Or are the Peels an easy target because they’re a known entity?

    My point is that complaints about the food are fine. But to complain about an obviously singular event seems petty. Kids have it tough sometimes, and the best parents can do is resolve a problem.

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  • http://www.infinitefress.blogspot.com Marisa

    I agree with everything the very articulate and reasonable MetaMommy wrote in her comment. Well-said and right on the money.

  • nokids4me

    @Metamommy, did you read her deleted blog entry, the one where she calls William-Ross a b***? She stated she and her husband “took turns” walking their “fussy” son around the room? And that she admonished her daughter several times not to stand on her seat? I wonder how many times the admonishing and walking around went on and what volume they were at. And that’s Brogdon’s own description.

    So it’s not a matter of they got their son out of their as soon as he acted up. I’m not saying take him home right away, but at least take him outside and walk him around, so the other patrons don’t have to hear it. Also, have you seen the Facebook page for Tar Pit where it says it’s a “watering hole” with “artisinal cocktails”? And the wall’s focus on drink specials and entertainment? It seems pretty clear from that the emphasis is on the cocktails/bar part of the business.

    As a rule, I help parents carry strollers up subway stairs. I’ve given up seats on the subway or bus to parents with small children or moved my seat so they can sit together. I’ve made silly faces and voices to entertain children who were crying on planes, subways or buses. One of my fellow commuters got stuck when her caregiver got ill early summer and the other day care arrangements didn’t kick in until fall. I helped her with her stroller on the bus. And I made up a story re: us flying on her daughter’s favorite stuffed animal to amuse us all when we were stuck in really bad traffic one day. They’re good, well mannered kids btw. And even with the not so good, I’ve refrained from cursing out parents who let their kids kick a plane seat repeatedly or refuse to make their kid wear earphones for their DVDs on a plane and blast them at loud volume. So I’m not some sort of anti-child ogre even though I don’t have any of my own. I do, however, think that there should be a few venues where adults can enjoy an atmosphere without kids carrying on. A cocktail lounge should be one of them. If parents want to start kid friendly cocktail lounges, more power to them. Just advertise accordingly. Parents can enjoy cocktails without having to worry about other patrons not wanting kids around. Those of us who want an adult environment can enjoy that as well by going elsewhere.

  • http://www.thewanderkind.com Nancy

    Tony, you had it right on the money when you said “Don’t F with Mommy Bloggers.”

    I think Lindsay had every right to slam the food if she didn’t like it. But I knew the mommy claws were coming out after she wrote:

    “the next-worse thing is eating…badly done happy hour bar food in an elegant place when the Chef and co-owner lets his children run around the place hollering.”

    Even my unmarried, childless self cringed.

    Whatever civil debate she wanted to start on children in bars/lounges/restaurants ended with that sentence. I tend to favor her view of keeping kiddies out of grown-up places, but I wouldn’t call it the “next worse thing” if I ever encountered children at a place like Tar Pit.

    I’m just glad Daphne took down the post and her insults on Facebook. It was all getting out of hand.
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..Another WTF moment: Bros Icing Bros =-.

  • Belinda Gomez

    Oh tell the truth–Nancy Silverton was the real kitchen talent. Peel’s a nasty guy, always has been, always will be.

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