Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 22, 2010

Good Food and Drink


Mountain Views News Saturday, May 22, 2010


By Peter Dills

Tips on Tipping

If you have been following Table for Two here at the Mountain Views 
News, you know that we like to sprinkle in helpful dining out tips as well as 
reviews. I am open to your letters and encourage you to write me at anytime 
with your thoughts at the or you can flag down 
Susan, the Newspaper’s Editor at Albertsons. 

Just this week, a reader named Sylvia, had some thoughts on my tipping story.

I read a recent column of yours called “Table for Two”.   You mentioned tipping concerns in the column. 

”Tips, grapes, or gripes....

I have noticed that some restaurants print a list of suggested tip amounts on the receipt for 
various % tips.   The problem is that some restaurants calculate these tip suggestions based on the 
total bill and not the total cost of the meal/drinks. Which means they are trying to get customers 
to pay a tip on the tax too!   I have lived in and visited many US states (and 2 countries in Europe) 
but have never seen this until moving to Southern California. Everywhere else in the US, the 
tip is based on the cost of the meal, not the tax!  I’ve also noticed that some people don’t know that 
the tip is supposed to be calculated solely on the cost of the meal and drinks, not including the tax. 
Finally, some people calculate the tip based on doubling the tax. In this area, that would be giving a very 
large tip since the tax is 9.75% in most places in this region.   Giving a large tip is fine if it is what you 
had *planned* to do.   But after telling some of my friends the amount of the accepted/expected tip versus 
what they were actually tipping, they were quite surprised.   Many people don’t have extra money in these 
financial times.”

Dear Sylvia,

I know that millions of customers appreciate your 
concerns, and are indeed confused by all of the different 
ways they are told and instructed to tip. It sometimes 
seems like we are doing our taxes all over again, and 
this conflicts with that. A pain! The reason we TIP is to 
insure prompt service. That is how it began in concept, 
but now we tip on quality of service as well, if the person 
addressed our needs and was helpful. I shared your 
note with a few restaurant managers and servers, and 
this very unscientific sampling, surprisingly, widely 
varied in responses. A few managers felt that you don’t 
have to tip if you don’t want to. I had to scratch my 
head on that one, sort of if you are in the mood type of 
spirit. As they say in the Army, it is the privates that do 
all the fighting, or in this case the serving. The servers 
that I surveyed on the other hand, strongly thought, if 
one can’t afford to tip, stay home. Now that may be a 
little extreme. I guess if I’m forced to render an opinion 
I would say, if you are going all the way and dining out 
at a fancy steakhouse be prepared to tip! If you are just 
going to El Pollo Loco, no need to tip. I do admit that 
even at Starbuck’s, when I wasn’t happy I used to tip, 
something about good mojo, luck or karma being my 
reward. Typically, now, unless I am provided service that merits a tip, I keep my money at Starbucks. 
Hope that helps, you are right on the mark with your observations Sylvia. I have a feeling that I’ll get 
all sorts of opinions on this.

E mail me your thoughts

1 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Lisa Finnie & Freinds 
4 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Quiz Nite Trivia Game 
5 Pianist & Jazz Vocalist Gaea Schell Jazz Jam Session 
6 New Astro Turf 
7 9:00 PM - 11:55 PM Mercy & the Merketts 
8 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Cheryl Barnes & Philip Cabasso 
11 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Quiz Nite Trivia Game 
12 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM Guitarist Steve Creason 
13 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Cow Bop featuring Bruce Forman 
14 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM The Jack Sheldon Quartet 
15 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Jazz Crooner Rick Blessing 
18 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Quiz Nite Trivia Game 
19 The Song Sirens 
20 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Guitarist Pete Anderson !! 
21 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM VR Smith & Putter Smith with Gary Foster, & others 
22 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Jon Mayer Quartet featuring Pete Christlieb 
25 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Quiz Nite Trivia Game 
27 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM The Judy Wexler Quartet 
28 Swing Dancing with Flat Top Tom 
29 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Cuban Jazz, Funk & Salsa with ILIANA ROSE... 
Live@322 May
Great fresh Italian,
Great Jazz, 
Cool Bar 
Very reasonably 
this is thebest hang in LA!!!
wine listSpecialty 
Beers on TapPIZZA PASTA 
COCKTAILS(626) 836-5414 | www.cafe322.com322 West Sierra Madre Blvd | Sierra Madre CA 91024

Basic Math, 
Math Analysis, 
AP Calculus, 
AP Chemistry, 
Physics, Reading 


SAT I and II

Call Roy Wu 


New Corfu Restaurant Owners Bring A Dash Of The Traditional

By La Quetta M. Shamblee

 For a local dining experience that will transport 
your palate to exotic Mediterranean destinations, 
Corfu Restaurant in Sierra Madre is the place. 
Co-owners, Amy and Vic Satamian purchased 
the restaurant three years ago and kept the name, 
which is the name of a Greek Island located in the 
Ionian Sea. The existing menu was expanded and 
complemented with tasty kabobs, lot of appetizers 
and delicacies like frog legs and quail that provide an 
exotic flair influenced by their Armenian heritage.

 Their lunch buffet is an excellent way to sample 
a variety of menu items. On Tuesdays and 
Wednesdays from 12:00 pm until 2:30 pm, for only 
$9.99 each this all-you-can-eat buffet includes a 
feast for carnivores and vegetarians alike. Choices 
include homemade soup (lentil on Tuesdays and 
potato leek on Wednesdays), delicious casseroles, 
including pastitso made with a blend of flavorful 
Mediterranean spices, ground beef and pasta, 
vegetable dips (hummas and “moutabul” made from 
roasted eggplant). Amy says, “Our kabob dishes are 
my hands-down recommendation for everyone to 
try at least once.” The chicken kabobs and lula kabobs 
(ground beef with herbs & spices) are prepared for 
the lunch buffet, with all kabob dishes available daily 
on the regular menu. Vegetarians and other diners 
with more selective dietary restrictions can enjoy a 
bountiful vegetable platter with sarma (stuffed grape 
leaves) and a number of gluten-free dishes.

 A dash of traditional and contemporary festivities 
provide cultural seasoning, as bypassers find 
themselves drawn in by the glimpse of a beautiful 
belly dancer through the large picture window in the 
front dining room. At other times diners enjoy a live 
Arabian band or a jazz serenade by Sierra Madre’s 
own Jane Fuller. Natural light from the large window 
illuminates the front, while the rear dining room is 
used for private parties and meetings for up to fifty 
diners. Their catering services add an international 
flair to any event held at Corfu, or at your location.

 Ample free parking in the rear of the building and 
along Sierra Madre Boulevard provides convenient, 
hassle-free access. A recent interior makeover 
awaits your seating pleasure, where you can also 
enjoy selections from their bar menu. “We have a 
very good wine list, beer and also very good sangria. 
Our mixed drinks are made with ‘Soju’, a vodka 
replacement made with sweet potato.”

 The Satamian’s operated “Amy’s Kitchen” in 
Pasadena on Green and Oak Knoll for a number 
of years until they decided to take a break to have 
children. That break resulted in two additions to 
the family, a daughter, now seven and a son, now 
ten who also loves to cook, and who expresses an 
interest in becoming a chef or a doctor. Six months 
ago, the family relocated from Pasadena to Sierra 
Madre. The family-friendly atmosphere and good 
schools were the main reasons, along with a bonus 
of how much it reminds Amy of Europe, and the 
shorter commute was the icing on the cake.

 Owning another restaurant was inevitable, 
considering Amy’s belief that, “Once you’re 
in the restaurant business, you’re hooked for 
life.” With Vic serving as the main chef and 
manning the kitchen, Amy concentrates on 
managing all other aspects of the restaurant. 
As business owners, and now as residents, they 
have always supported Sierra Madre events as 
much as possible. Open for breakfast, lunch 
and dinner Tuesday thru Sunday, they do an 
outstanding job as a local restaurant with 
authentic international cuisine and dining. 
Follow them on Facebook to keep abreast of 
specials and upcoming entertainment and 
their website is Corfu 
is located at 48 W. Sierra Madre Boulevard in 
Sierra Madre. For information on catering or 
upcoming events, contact Amy Satamian at 
(626) 355-5993.

Amy takes a moment to smile for the 


Wednesday 3-7 pm 

Fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits from California family 
farms. Specialty foods, vegetarian and vegan dishes, ethnic 
foods and hot food - Everything you’ll find at the farmers 
market has been made or picked fresh, is pesticide-free and 

Free public parking on Mariposa. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website:

MVNews this week:  Page 7