Hung Fu Restaurant in Cupertino, California, USA

Ok, let me give you a little background: Hung Fu Restaurant, by Mervyn's next to DeAnza College on Stevens Creek Road, has arguably the best Chinese food in Cupertino, California, and that's saying something. Cupertino's population is, I would hazard a guess, predominantly made up of Asian transplants and their first generation American-citizen children. Chinese New Year gets more festivities there than Independence Day. Which is fine, in my opinion; I thoroughly enjoy the Chinese culture, costumes, foods, language, people, history, etc.

Ok, so you get the picture: this is a restaurant that excels in food quality in an area where there would be plenty of competition for the style of food served.

My wife has been going there periodically since the place opened for lunch and occasionally for dinner. The owner recognizes her voice on the phone when she calls in a pick-up lunch order. On the other hand, she's only seen me a few times, and never with my wife since my wife and I have only ever gone there for dinner and the lady who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, and who inspired this page, hasn't been there for those dinners.

Still, my wife and I have had similar experiences. The owner is just plain rude.

But the reason I'm writing is, she's only rude to WHITE customers.

Not Asian customers, oh no, just white ones as far as I can tell. I haven't seen her reaction to a black customer or an Indian customer or an Hispanic customer, but the difference between her treatment of an Asian customer and a white customer is flabbergasting. She's curt to the point of being clipped. There's no smile. There's no "hello", no "goodbye", no "thanks and come again". Unless she's dealing with an Asian customer, and then she's bowing, smiling, and laughing, … The hatred is palpable when she turns her eyes back to a white customer. The smile curdles and vanishes and her only words are to state the price of the ticket, then to wait until you've placed the money on the counter before reaching out to take it, as though she even despises the touch of white skin. Silence answers attempts at conversation. As soon as she has your money, you cease to exist; she turns her eyes away and it's as though you've already walked out the door.

And yet, I say, "Whatever." Contrary to what liberal, open-minded, all-loving Californians would tell you, racial tensions and animosity thrive here just as much as it reputedly does in some areas of certain Southern states. It's more covert, less socially acceptable, but it's there all the same. It would not surprise me if she's had less than hugs and kisses from some of the white folks who feel threatened by the "Asian Invasion" as some call it. I'm sure she's had to deal with people of various heritage and skin color that were less than polite, so I take the cool treatment in stride. I make the occasional attempt at smiling small talk, always ignored, but really I just want the food -- I'm tellin' ya, it's really good…

And then my wife got The Treatment.

My wife calls in her order, the way she's done at least once a week ever since this place opened, and the owner is so rude to her on the phone that she hangs up the phone before my wife is finished ordering. So my wife goes in to pick up her order, the way she's done at least once a week ever since this place opened, and in picking up the order she asks if she can have some extra dressing for the salad that comes with the lunch special, the same way she's done at least once a week ever since this place opened. You're getting the idea, right?

The owner looks at her with a tight frown and says, "You want me to go all the way back to the kitchen?"

Folks, this restaurant is not very big. My wife sits there, stunned for a second, then says, "Well, yes, if that's where you keep the dressing."

So the owner says, "You could have told me you wanted that when you called."

My wife, beginning to warm up to the battle, replies, "Well I would have if you had allowed me to finish my order, but you were in too much of a hurry to get off the phone."

And the owner begins walking to the kitchen saying, "That's ok, that's ok…" AS IF MY WIFE WAS APOLOGIZING.

Well, the sad part is, my wife will probably go back again for lunch. Serious, the food really is that good. But if you aren't the type that wants to associate with someone that has obviously problems with anyone not of their culture, you may want to