Roasted Onion(l), Woman talking(c), Woman talking over food dishes(r)

Edward Fielding/Shutterstock @atasteofkoko/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘It is literally an onion that has been roasted and we are selling it for $15’: Customer visits her city’s ‘hottest’ new restaurant. Here’s why her experience was a ‘disaster’

'A $15 onion is crazy.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Feb 20, 2024   Updated on Feb 20, 2024, 9:16 am CST

In a viral video, a food blogger warned others not to go to her city’s “hottest new restaurant,” calling her experience there “terrible.”

Koko (@atasteofkoko) is a seasoned food blogger who’s been writing about the Austin food scene since 2010—nearly a decade and a half.

As many of her followers noted in the comment section, Koko doesn’t normally post bad reviews, saying that she doesn’t consider herself a food critic.

“I don’t feel great slamming someone else’s business and also considering all the staff that work at that business as well. But I do feel like it is my responsibility to share with you guys who follow my account and go to places because I say that I love the food, I love the experience,” Koko says.

She nearly didn’t share the review, but was compelled to because she didn’t want anyone else to “have such a bad dining experience like we did.”

So what happened exactly?

Koko and a friend went out to The Guest House, a well-reviewed new restaurant that Koko was looking forward to trying all week. But her experience took a turn.

Koko and her friend had an 8:15 pm reservation, were seated by 8:30 pm, and ordered almost right away.

Reader, by 11 pm, they still hadn’t gotten their entrees. That’s a whole two and a half hours waiting on their main dishes.

Aside from that, Koko immediately noticed a few things.

While the interior was stunning, with crystal chandeliers throughout, the music was so loud that she was screaming to talk to her friends who were sitting right next to her.

The menu was littered with grammatical errors that Google Docs or Grammarly’s Spell-Check feature would have caught, and she considered the appetizers and sides to be overpriced.

“When did Austin become a city where we have $42 caviar toast?” Koko asks.

She also calls out the $15 roasted onion that was listed as a side which her server confirmed was just an onion that was roasted, with no frills to it.

“It might have been the most amazing roasted onion I would have ever had in my entire life, but I would have no idea because our food never came,” Koko pointed out.

While they did get their appetizers (which Koko said were “OK”) after two hours and several people in the restaurant blowing off her questions about where their food was, the entrees never came.

On top of that, one of her friends accidentally broke her wine glass, and while the staff saw it, they never cleaned it up, instead leaving them with a table full of glass for the rest of the night.

After not being able to speak with a higher-up about the bad experience, Koko and her friends left, having only shared two appetizers.

“I was so hangry by the time we got home,” Koko recounts. “… So I don’t know about it being Austin’s newest destination for elevated New American dishes if they never come.”

@atasteofkoko Our terrible experience at The Guest House, new restaurant in Austin #greenscreen #austintexas #austintiktok #austinrestaurants #downtownaustin ♬ Dance You Outta My Head – Cat Janice

In a follow-up video, she adds that given the high cost of the menu items, guests should be getting a premium experience—”which is not a two-hour waiting time for entrees.”

She also says that when she was at the restaurant she was physically blocked from speaking to the general manager and after posting her video, “no one has bothered to reach out.”

@atasteofkoko Replying to @Melissa yalls response to my experience at The Guest House 😳 #austintexas #austintxtiktok #austinrestaurants ♬ original sound – Koko | Austin Texas Blogger

Combined the videos have about half a million views on TikTok and hundreds of comments.

“A $15 onion is CRAZY,” the top comment read.

“Maybe I’m just old or uncool or both but if I wanted to go to a club I’d be in the club not a restaurant,” a person said.

“This is insane because 1) I’ve never seen you post a critical review and 2) they are crazy for blowing this opportunity with you and your large platform,” another added.

The Daily Dot reached out to Koko and The Guest House for comment via email.

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*First Published: Feb 20, 2024, 2:00 pm CST