1. Styleforum Gives - Holiday Charity Auction 10: A full set of Aesop's Fables pocket squares from Vanda Fine Clothing

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Restaurant full

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Ambulance Chaser, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Distinguished Member

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    I have been trying for the past several Saturdays to get into a hot DC restaurant, Zaytinya, for dinner.  I called last Thursday for reservations on Saturday (for dinner, they only take reservations for dining between 5 and 6:30), and was informed that they were completely booked up.  The receptionist also told me that I was free to walk in and try to get a table, as they have several non-reserved tables set aside for walk-ins.  I walk in at slightly before 6 on Saturday night and am informed by the maitre d', a mustached and goateed fellow with European accent directly out of an SNL skit, that the wait would be 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, I notice that half the tables in the restaurant are empty.

    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"?
     


  2. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Distinguished Member

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    Sounds like they are truing in vain to make themselves hot.

    Edit, I just called for res for Sat next week, no problem, as a matter of fact we are going to eat at 6:30, but they said everthing after that is walk in only.
     


  3. Renault78law

    Renault78law Distinguished Member

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    LOL, this happened to me once too, at Cobras & Matador's in LA. I stopped in for a quick early dinner, my friend and I were literally the ones ones in the restaurant. We were seated, but at the worst table in the joint, right behind the door, so that when the door opened, it swang at the back of my chair. When asked if we could be moved, I was told that every other table had been reserved. It was almost an empty restaurant. Someone please explain.
     


  4. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Seriously? I love Cobras and Matadors (one of my favorite restaurants in LA) and have never had anything but the best costumer service from them. Haven't been there in a while now, but I remember going once on a Saturday evening when they first opened ( a couple of years ago now) without a reservation, and was seated (group of 4) and served in under 20 minutes, even though the place was completely packed. Great seats (on the left side as you come in, about halfway into the restaurant) for people watching, and the food was terrific to boot. They don't (or didn't have) a liquor license, but the corkage fee was also incredibly reasonable. They even gave us a free tapas for messing up one of the orders slightly. We had a great conversation with the group next to us (complete strangers), and ended up sharing a couple of bottles of wine.

    Maybe this is a recent development? I would be sadly disappointed. Next time I am in LA for an extended period of time (I'm there often, but my fiancee rightly monopolizes my time there) we should go together, and see if things have really changed.
     


  5. auto90403

    auto90403 Senior Member

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    the restaurant business is fucking brutal and i rather doubt they'd keep a table empty instead of seating a hungry walk-in patron.

    why? because to make money the tables have to be turned. and second, nothing kills a restaurant's buzz faster than empty tables. if you want to be known as a hot place to eat, you want people to see every table occupied.

    so if they tell you they're booked, it's probably true. but sit at the bar with a drink, and ask for the next open table. they'll give the party with the reservation a few minutes to arrive before they'll seat you. they have to -- the economics of the business demand it.
     


  6. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Distinguished Member

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    You're eating at Zaytinya next Saturday night?  What happened to I Ricchi and The Palm?
     


  7. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Distinguished Member

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    When I read the reveiws I thought it sounded great, Iricci Thursday, with you guys Friday, and I asked my wife to loom at the menu and called them up...I can get the Palm here.
     


  8. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Distinguished Member

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    Zaytinya is probably the "it" restaurant right now in DC, so I look forward to your impressions.  I love the head chef's (Jose Andres) other restaurants -- Jaleo and Cafe Atlantico -- so I imagine I would really like Zaytinya as well.
     


  9. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Distinguished Member

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    what do you rec, the Arayes, Shish Taou, or the Koubeba Syriana, or the Seafood...honestly have not ever had this type of food I do not remeber at least, but it looked great, and reading the reviews, it seems everyne thinks it is. I have had Greek before, but not Lebanese, or Turkish.
     


  10. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Distinguished Member

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  11. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Distinguished Member

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    The Palm in DC sucks. Stick with the original in NYC or the one in Chicago.
     


  12. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim In Time Out

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    Where Eagles Dare!


  13. VKK3450

    VKK3450 Distinguished Member

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    In high end restaurants where meals take longer and people tend to linger over bottles of wine it can be hard to gauge turnaround time. Sometimes at 6:00 you have to turn away walkins to ensure that the 7'oclock reservations can be honored on time. This usually accounts for a few empty tables, but I don't know why they would have half the restaurant empty.

    On the flip side, if someone has a 7'oclock reservation and comes in to find out that they have to wait because the restaurant had been accepting walkins and those tables hadn't left... We all know how pissed we can get when that happens.

    K

    PS- Does anyone else find it disturbing how many American Psycho allusions there are on this forum?? Patrick Bateman as StyleForum mascot???
     


  14. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Distinguished Member

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    Who are you talking to Tokyo?
     


  15. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Distinguished Member

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    Check the review on the Washington Post website (www.washingtonpost.com -- registration required).
     


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