What gives? Do you think those tables are reserved, or is this restaurant trying to generate artificial wait times so they will still be considered "hot"?
It's probably a combination of things. Zaytinya is primarily a walk-in restaurant, as is Jaleo, the chef's other restaurant (his name escapes me at the moment). The reason they told you to wait 45 min. is in hope that instead of leaving, you would go to the bar and have a couple of drinks, generating additional revenue for the restaurant. Many of Zaytinya's typical customers will, in fact, do that, so I think it's a shrewd business practice on their part. A few of the tables probably are reserved. Finally, what some restaurants may do if they are short-handed in the kitchen (staff calls in sick, gets their hands caught in the meat grinder, etc.), is try to control the flow of customers artificially so that they don't have 200 diners clamoring for their food all at the same time. This means their receipts for the night will take a hit, of course, but sometimes the restaurant may decide that that's better than be known for poor service. IMHO Zaytinya is worth the wait, by the way -- the food is excellent. Regards, Tony