I’m not surprised culinary school made me into a total restaurant snob.
Granted, I know I’ve got a weird food history, but even with that, when you work in food, you can’t help but get peeved sometimes when you know it all little too well. Like I said in my last post, ignorance is bliss.
As a chef, I get asked where the best places to eat around LA are. To be honest, I’m not the best source.
A) I visit the most restaurants when I’m out-of-town, because frankly, I love my cooking and if I can cook, I will!
B) I’m broke
C) I’m a chef (a private chef, but a chef nonetheless) and I work during traditional meal times. So when my friends invite me for lunch or dinner, Im usually at work
D) did I mention I’m broke? and a jew, so I’m cheap!
Ok, so you get the idea. But to be honest, I’m also super picky. Culinary school taught me the ins and outs of how restaurants work. So I have many pet peeves lined up from both as a patron and from the back of the house:
1) Background music that is blasting. I want to eat, not go to a night club. While euro trash techno beats are cool for a spin class or whatever, they make me uneasy as I chomp on my roast quail. Somehow, loud, obnoxious music stresses me out when I eat!
2) Care to comment? Its awful when waitresses/waiters feel the need to comment on your eating habits when they clear your plate away…”Wow, you ate that fast; you must be hungry!” or “All you’re having is a salad? You must be trying to eat healthy!” or “You must have really liked that burrito, do you want dessert now?”. Why not just say “Oink, oink, ya pig” and be done with it?
3) Toilet paper dispensers in the restrooms Why do they never work right?? I guess the owner/manager never takes a crap.
4) Custom Menu: I suppose this is more from the food service point of view: don’t try to make up your own menu. The menu is there so you don’t HAVE TO customize your own meal. We don’t have time to change every little thing you don’t like about a particular dish… chose something else than!!! Or if you are going to modify, keep it simple, please. (dressing on the side, no mushrooms, broccoli instead of mashed potatoes are OK, but don’t ask me to create something completely new for you.)
5) Tables that are too close. I don’t need to hear Trixie & Chad break up right next to me while I try to enjoy my salad. Thats what watching Millionaire Matchmaker is for!
6) Snapping: Just dont! What are you, a king?
7) Tip-Off: The filthy rich people who have the black American Express notoriously tip 10%
8 ) Too Tiny Plates: although a completely minor annoyance, I dislike side salads that are served either on the plate with the entree or in a small bowl, with no room to toss it and the dressing on the side. Trying to get the dressing to evenly coat the salad is futile.
9) Price check? Reciting a loooooong list of specials without mentioning the prices. Gee, I’m sorry, but had I known the salmon was going to be $55, I may not have ordered it, no matter how deliciously it was lapped in a fragile basil reduction.
10) Sticky tables. enough said
Lets have it! What are YOUR pet peeves (welcoming both from a patron and server perspective)