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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hot Red Bus-Closed

Hot Red Bus
31 E Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801

About six months ago, I saw the ESPN 30 for 30 episode on the Hillsborough Disaster and it really changed my view about English/European soccer fans.  In the 1980's, there were many stories about unruly fan behavior at soccer games throughout Europe.  So, in 1989 when I heard about Hillsborough, I just blew it off as another example of drunk idiots rioting over soccer.  The 30 for 30 episode really opened my eyes about the cover up by the English government and police officials.  A disaster that claimed the lives of 96 innocent Liverpool fans was due to police incompetence, not drunken fans!!! While I still hate soccer as a sport, I hate police and/or government cover up, much much more!  Hopefully there will be Justice for the 96!!  YNWA!!!

While I will always remember April 15th as the day Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, for the BROOKLYN Dodgers, I will also remember the 96 innocent Liverpool fans who were killed because of police incompetence!!

So, while I thought about the Hillsborough Disaster, I saw a story about the best place to get fish and chips in LA.  Hot Red Bus in Alhambra was one of the places listed.  I don't expect Alhambra to be a hot spot for that British favorite, fish and chips.  Want great Chinese food?  Yes, you can find it in Alhambra.  But, fish and chips?  Now way!  I tried two places in Alhambra, New England Fish & Chips & Chinese Food and the now closed, Little London Fish & Chips.  But, Hot Red Bus was highly recommended, so I made a trip to Alhambra for some fish and chips.

A small restaurant, just east of Garfield, Hot Red Bus was packed the day I went.  A fairly small restaurant with about 10 tables inside and maybe 6 tables outside. I entered from the back and either they forgot to turn on the lights in the hallway or all the light bulbs are burned out.  Either way, not a good impression.  You almost have to enter from the back, because there is very little parking on Main St, in front of the restaurant.

Of course, their menu has fish- three different fish to choose from, and some Indian items.  I wanted to try each type of fish they offered.  So I ordered two pieces of cod and pollock and to try their chips, I got a two piece swai and chips.

Cod- $4.80 per piece.  The batter is good with a nice golden color.  But, this wasn't as crunchy as I like.  I like cod the best for fried fish because it's firm and moist.  A good sized piece and worth the price.  But, not a good example of fried fish.

Pollock- $4.20 per piece.  Most stores go to pollock because it's cheaper than cod.  But, the quality difference between cod and pollock doesn't justify going the cheap route.  Of course they use the same batter. 

2 piece swai fish and chips, $8.55.  Swai is suppose to be a buttery fish with a mild flavor, but I'm not a fan. 

Service- Friendly, but very slow and understaff.  There was only one person taking orders and working the cash register, along with the two cooks.  This place was very busy for a Sunday afternoon.  There were four older ladies, two who used walkers, at a table and the cashier was very nice to take their order at the table, instead of at the counter.  But, after taking their orders, there was only two people ahead of me in line.  I didn't order until about 25 minutes later!!  Not acceptable.

The fish is cooked to order, so I expected to wait for the food.  But, not the wait to order.  They were out of many of their Indian food items.  Now, you're open about two hours on a Sunday and you're already out of items?  That is not acceptable at all!!  Either, staff more workers and/or cook more food!!  The only thing that made the wait acceptable was the fact that staff was very nice!  The lady working the register who apologize for the long wait.  She did that to every customer, while I was there!

I wouldn't go back to Hot Red Bus again.  They are very unorganized and understaffed.  I can't believe they ran out of some of their Indian items about two hours after opening!!