by Sara Linden
CULVER CITY — On Friday, Greg Filman, a 45-year-old father of three, treated his family to an “ethnic” experience at a local Mexican restaurant, La Bodega. While attempting to order, Filman managed to perform a feat unmatched: he pronounced every single item on the menu incorrectly.
While some deemed it “cultural appropriation in the extreme” and “an offensive display of whiteness,” Filman felt proud of his attempt to speak a “very foreign” language: “I wanted to know what kind of Key-Soh was in the Inch-e-lay-duh and also if the mole sauce would be mwee cah-lie-ahn-t.”
His children are no strangers to Filman’s cultural incompetence. Apparently, Filman mispronounces menu items all over town, from Chinese restaurants to French cafes, but this one, his daughter Emily explained, “was just sad.”
“I’ve never seen anyone get it that wrong,” said waiter Jose Garcia. “It was almost like a whole new language. He added accents and tongue clicks where they just don’t belong. I didn’t know what to do. I had to call my manager.”
The manager Elizabeth Martinez also had no idea what Filman was saying.
“He kept adding this lisp to the ‘s’ and a weird ‘r’ at the end of the word. It was like, ‘queshadeelar.’ After 20 minutes I finally figured out he was just trying to order a quesadilla,” Martinez recalled. “I could’ve served three more families in the time it took him to ask me what was in an enchilada.”
Filman intends to continue his language butchering at La Bodega and beyond. He and his family have reservations at a Thai food restaurant next Saturday where Filman is excited to try “Pud Thigh.”