Taps Fish House and Brewery, M15 Concert Bar & Grill, Marquee 15 – Review. Watched a show tonight. Eddie Money and some of his very special guests. My ubiquitous deranged state progressed rapidly into the evening as more things kept drawing me further from my final destination, realizing tonight was going to be a long one.
My previous post I announced that I had 2 service failures at two restaurants in a month. Well that was the month of May 2013. If I use a 30 day period, make that THREE specific service failures in a month, because the first in this series occurred on Cinco de Mayo (5 May). Yes, and I had just had my third this evening (1 June) at Taps Fish House and Brewery in Corona, CA.
Taps is a beautifully decorated and busy restaurant. Taps has all the amenities including a beautiful outdoor setting on a lake in the Dos Lagos shopping promenade in Corona, CA. Some might consider Taps as being “the best” . . . Uh, I don’t really think so. We had previously attended a “prix fixe” diner event and thought the event was well done and the food and drinks delicious. It was the evening I was introduced to an awesome roasted pig done in a La Caja China roasting box. I want one! Anyway, we returned to Taps this evening enroute to a concert at Marquee 15 (M15)to see Eddie Money. Once at Taps, we had drinks in the bar area and decided to order a couple of appetizers because we feared the menu at M15 would send us to the hospital.
Taps has a very nice oyster bar area and features a selection of the bi-valves as one of their cuisine specialties. I even had to ask about the differences of the oysters when the server asked, “what kind do you prefer?” Well shit, if they have more than one choice, they must know what they’re doing. Well, the Washingtonian strain I selected were quite delicious, cold, clean and WHAT’S THIS ??? . . . not fully prepared by separating them from the shell??? I even asked the server if I was correct in assuming these were to be served that way. She reassured me that my thoughts were correct and they should have been released from their attachment to the shell. Well, the shell shucker failed to properly shuck the shell on three of the half-dozen wonderfully delicious morsels. I told the server to please let the manager know. I’m thinking, she never said anything.
I was also kind of surprised the bar had a seemingly limited amount of specialty martinis. I did double-up on one of their Kiwi-Basil martinis. They were really good; but the two I ordered came out different, one with a lime slice and the other without. Speaking of the manager . . . I ran into him just outside of the very messy bathroom (overflowing trash, water splattered and used paper towels scattered everywhere) that had not been inspected and cleaned (according to the cleaning sign-off sheet near the door) for the last two hours. I told the manager that he may want to get someone in there. I mean, Taps is supposed to be a nice place where you take someone to have an grand experience. Not tonight Dick! The overall food was meh at Fish House, brewery and taps. Other than my oysters, we also ordered the tostada trio (sucked) and the Filet Mignon Sliders (they were decent, but not over the top). I would’ve expected a lot more, but I guess it’s just not a stand out kind of service place I once thought it to be. I can’t even seem to get their name correct. Now . . . , hmmm, I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back.
What I do remember is the night of music at M15. But, what the hell did I just sign up for? What began as a drive along the dark edge of an industrial warehouse area in South Corona (Yikes . . . “SouthSide”), we were dumped off in front of a sketchy looking venue in anticipation of seeing Eddie Money and a couple of kick-off bands. After passing the “stink-eye” inspection by the outer security guards just to get to the “inner” security guards who just about raped me with their frisk. LOL, Just kidding, I could’ve had a shank and they never even gave me a quick reach. Oh well, I guess the “SouthSide” is confident in their criminal record . . . it’s that kind of a place.
We were actually given pretty good seats facing the stage, on the first tier just behind the standing-room-only general admission area. M15 had me getting all weirded inside cause I’ve never been into a warehouse venue like this. It is probably common place in all big cities. What didn’t make it any better was the raunchy garage band sounds coming off the stage from the less-than-perfect sound setup screeching from the horn tweeters pointed directly at my left ear. I had to deflect some of the sound with my hand to get through the last two acts before the big show. A look around and seemingly every seat was taken in this 8000 sqft rock warehouse. The bars were packed with various tattooed inner-city hopeful musicians and their groupie followers. The seating was somewhat comfortably arranged with adequate walking room, table area and leg space. Another look around and we were now scattered amongst the multiple senior citizens in attendance hoping to witness Eddie and his entourage. Yes, I guess I would fall into that senior crowd. Well, we quickly gathered a bucket-full of beers and a couple shots and made our way to our seats to listen to the JetSet Rejects; a band that seemed to have pretty good following and an absolute showman of a lead singer. The JetSet Rejects http://www.jetsetrejects.com/index were good, actually very good. Unfortunately I think they might maintain status just off the main stream spectrum. All of their songs were original and they friggin’ rocked . . . loud and hard! It was fun!
About half way through the first kick-off band, then again at intermission . . . , then again several more times during the shows, I made my way to the men’s restroom. In a venue as seemingly raunchy as I was expecting, the willies never really got to me, as I thought they were going to consume me . . . even in the bathroom. What was to be expected was the common-place nasty back-alley clubs’ toilet area in which drunken rockin’ men destroy while attempting to relieve themselves and leave all their destruction behind. Yes I’m talking about the men’s room. I was expecting “f”in . . . nasty!!! But to my surprise, every time I walked in, the bathroom was absolutely clean, well stocked and freshly prepared. Almost like a Las Vegas casino, just here I never saw the dude cleaning. It was amazing. Here I was having just eaten oysters on the half shell at a somewhat finer dining restaurant with shit all over the walls (Dumb and Dumber), to a now alley-in-the-back dark-street warehouse that actually seems to care about their customers. What the Fu*@??? I think I have been transformed from alien to human again.
11:30 pm and Eddie finally came on. So the show went off and on. I was happy the sound check for Eddie was set much better, actually perfect for this old guy (old . . . not dead . . . so turn it up!). We left before the end of the show so I know we missed a bunch of songs. But I think we can say we had a good time; listened to some good music and enjoyed the company around us while peeing in some of the cleanest toilets south of Los Angeles. I’m just trying to figure out what gives here in Corona. Why Corona of all places. That’s like God’s country . . . not even God would live there!!!
So I think I’ll give Taps Fish House a Sponge Bob for flopping like a fish; and M15 . . . nothin’! . . . they’re good!!!