They don't need your business
Ate here once before, totally forgettable experience. But today I can't even comment on the food because out of principle I will never come here again. Who has ever heard of a restaurant refusing to make change for a dollar so a diner can put money in a parking meter so he can eat at aforementioned restaurant? Especially in LA where parking meters are ubiquitous, one would think restaurants would do what they can to encourage diners to eat at their establishments. Well, apparently the owners of California Canteen don't want your business.
On a quiet Thursday lunch, as I was being seated for a table for two, I was told by the curmudgeon I assumed was the owner or manager that he would not ""give me money."" Now, I wasn't asking for a handout, I wanted CHANGE FOR A DOLLAR. Even as I held the menu he said I could be lying to him for all he knew, and how did he know I was really going to eat here? Seriously? I thought he was joking, but no, he refused to give me change for the meter so I could SPEND MONEY at his restaurant. He kept telling me I should use his valet, who I assume lines his pockets.
I laughed, went next door to the convenience store and got change and when my friend arrived I told him we'd be going somewhere else for lunch. So, in the midst of a recession when people are cutting back on their dining out, this [insert your own expletive] at California Canteen lost a $30-$40 lunch tab (and all my future business) because he lacked the common decency to make change for a buck.
Baffling, unreal, stupid and petty. If you want French bistro food in the neighborhood, go to La Poubelle on Franklin. I bet they'll give you change for a dollar...