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Arrrgh! Please help settle tipping argument!!!

So, are you saying that if you buy a $500 bottle of wine that you should tip $100?

about 6 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food

Arrrgh! Please help settle tipping argument!!!

I wrongly assumed that when you correctly said that if you order $100 bottles of wine you likely can afford to tip more, that you meant that you should tip "normally" (20%) on the more expensive wine. Sorry!

about 7 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food

Who owns the doggy bag in a host's refrigerator?

Totally agree. I've gotten more Rolex watches from my houseguests than I can possibly wear!

about 9 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food

Arrrgh! Please help settle tipping argument!!!

I've never ordered one (and doubt that I ever will), but would you really tip $100 on a $500 bottle of wine? Quite frankly, it seems rather over the top to do so.

about 9 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food

first time in LA!!! give me your top 5.

We've only been once, and it was on one of the rare rainy nights this past winter. Our experience was so bad...wrong food (the server couldn't hear us), unbelievable noise level, and good but not exceptional food, that we can't imagine returning. Perhaps some time, but with so many other choices, it likely will not be soon.

about 9 hours ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Arrrgh! Please help settle tipping argument!!!

How do you decide which server to bless with your $100 generosity? Some are likely to be far more needy than other!

about 13 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food

Who owns the doggy bag in a host's refrigerator?

Good idea, but I don't think it's secure enough. It looks plasticky and would likely succumb to a sledge hammer or certainly, a bolt cutter.

1 day ago
josephnl in Not About Food

Arrrgh! Please help settle tipping argument!!!

Nope...I've lived in suburbia pretty much my whole life and eat out both locally as well as in nearby urban areas. To me it seems without question that people today tip more than they did 20 years ago...you don't think so?

May 23, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

One Dinner in LA - Providence v. Redbird v. Shunji v. n/naka v. Maude

Forget about Maude or n/naka...it would take a miracle to get in. Redbird, although good, is not in the same league as either of these or Providence. I agree with foodiemahoodie and would definitely at least consider Melisse.

Arrrgh! Please help settle tipping argument!!!

Your mention of tip inflation is an interesting one. Twenty years ago (perhaps even less) 15% was a pretty standard and generous tip. Today, I rarely tip less than 20%, and often when service is really good find myself tipping 22-25%. I have some friends who pretty routinely tip 25%. Will the new normal reach 30% in the next decade?

May 23, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Bucato - any visits since Chef Funke's sudden departure?

Obviously it has to be bad news, but has anyone been to Bucato since Funke's departure? How was it?

May 23, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Online Reservations...great, and not so great!

I have been using Open Table for years, probably at least 500 times and have never, not once, had any problem. It seems to me to be pretty flawless. We often enjoy eating at Hillstone restaurants (Houston's, Bandera, Gulfstream, etc.) and their online reservations are only available through Urbanspoon and Rezbook. Twice in the past 6 months I have made a reservation at one of these restaurants through Rezbook, have received an email confirmation, and when arriving at the restaurant, the reservation could not be found on their computers. This happened just last night at Gulfstream!! Rezbook has recently been taken over by Open Table, although for now they continue to be entirely separate operations. Has anyone else had problems with Rezbook...it seems really strange!

May 23, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Start a National List of Restaurants that Do Not Support Conversation: What places in your town are no where to meet friends and talk?

Unfortunately deafening noise is a trend that seems to be catching on in many of the newer (and best) restaurants around the country. The worst we have experienced recently are Bestia in LA, and ABC Kitchen in NYC. We hate it when we have to shout to be heard. I'm absolutely convinced that restaurants intentionally increase their decibel level to encourage folks to eat more quickly and promote turnover (this has been demonstrated), and to attract younger patrons who seem, unfortunately less concerned with easy conversation (as long as the wifi signal is good and that they can text and tweet)!

May 23, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

first time in LA!!! give me your top 5.

Although many of the places folks here are recommending are clearly happening hip spots with good and interesting food, many are pretty new and very few have the historic interest that you seem to be looking for. I would reiterate a few of my recommendations because of there historic interest.

Redbird although quite new, is situated in the very historic St. Viviana church in downtown LA. They have great food.

The Tower Bar in Hollywood is situated in what was gangster Bugsy Siegel's apartment in the very historic Sunset Tower Hotel. This is a wonderful Art Deco landmark building with great views of LA, and has a long history as a movie star hangout. The restaurant is very good!

Dan Tana's in West Hollywood is also an institution. It's been around forever and has been a hangout for many famous movie people. It's still very much a scene, and the food is very good, albeit generally not memorable...but the place is certainly of historic significance.

May 23, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

first time in LA!!! give me your top 5.

Not being into hip or trendy myself, and preferring places where normal conversation can occur, I'd recommend Redbird, The Tower Bar (for amazing old Hollywood vibe and great traditional food), Madeo (for wonderful traditional, although very pricey Italian food), Craft (yes, it's in Century City, but Tom Colicchio's LA outpost is terrific), and probably Dan Tana's, because it's been around forever and is a landmark. Although others will recommend Bestia, I consider it to be among the worst dining experiences in LA. The last time we were there, the decibel level was such that our server couldn't even hear our order, and conversation was absolutely impossible. Even though reservations at Bestia are impossible to come by, I personally hate the place!

May 22, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

first time in LA!!! give me your top 5.

Please tell us more: can you travel to other parts of the city; what is your budget; is it just about the food, or does ambiance matter; are you wanting fancy, or street food, or something in between; are there some cuisines you especially like or want to avoid, etc. There is so much range of great food in LA ranging from the refined (think n/naka, Maude, or Providence) to a Langer's pastrami sandwich, to some food trucks. What are you looking for?

Haven't returned to a former favorite restaurant because of bill issue.

My point is that if I were to break a glass and create a mess in a restaurant (or in someone's home for that matter) I would be terribly embarrassed and would want to hear some kind words..."not to worry', "it happens all the time", and be treated graciously, and have the mess cleaned up asap. Of course the restaurant is not obligated to replace the meal gratis, and I'm sure you are right they could expect to be compensated for the broken glass (although I've never heard of that happening"). Nevertheless, imho, I would expect that in a well run restaurant, the server/management would do their best to make as little a fuss as possible, to reassure me, and yes to replace my meal gratis. This kind of business smarts is in my opinion " a no-brainer" and if handled properly will pay for itself over and over again. The op would not be posting this, would not hesitate to return, and would likely refer friends The server would also hopefully be well compensated by the guest. This is what is called a win-win and results in creating good will!

May 22, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food
1

Who owns the doggy bag in a host's refrigerator?

To me, a "doggy bag" contains leftover food that was on someone's plate. I cannot imagine anyone eating my leftovers (except perhaps for my spouse)...and certainly not without at least asking me first. Am I wrong??

May 21, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

restaurant/waitress adds to credit card bill. what to do?

I have left 0 tip perhaps twice in my life, and in both cases I was treated very rudely or insulted by the server. In these instances I have spoken with management and explained clearly what happened. In both instances, profuse apologies were made, and in at least one instance the employee was terminated (it was obviously not the first offence).

May 21, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Haven't returned to a former favorite restaurant because of bill issue.

I am truly shocked by your attitude. If someone breaks a glass in your home do you send them a bill? Yes, I do expect hospitality when I dine out. If I were to break a glass and create a mess in a restaurant (or in someone's home for that matter), I would be terribly embarrassed by this, and yes I would like to be treated nicely by the host. Of course if it were in a restaurant and I were treated well, the staff would be so well compensated that they'd be looking forward to my return!

May 21, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Haven't returned to a former favorite restaurant because of bill issue.

Of course the restaurant probably is not legally required to comp you for your ruined meal, nevertheless common sense, hospitality and good business practice all dictate that they do so. Good will and pleasing regular customers is important for all businesses, perhaps especially small mom and pop places.

May 21, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

The Ultimate Greek Salad, Plus 8 Great Greek Recipes

A tradional salad in Greece almost always has oregano, usually sprinkled over a nice block of feta. The feta is rarely crumbled...it's almost always a slice or small block, and almost always sprinkled heavily with oregano. Lettuce is almost never a component of salads in Greece, the major components almost always being tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, Kalamata olives, and feta. A heavy sprinkling of oregano, and a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice (most often) or wine vinegar make the dressing. A traditional Greek salad with perfect ingredients is heavenly!!

May 19, 2015
josephnl in Features

Norwegian Restaurants in Los Angeles/Orange County

Can't be too enthused about a place touting itself as a Scandinavian-Turkish restaurant. Sort of like a Thai-Lebanese restaurant!

May 12, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Famous Recipes

It's really unfortunate that at least half of the links on this wonderful compilation of classic recipes do not work, but fortunately I think that all of the recipes are available if you simply google "saveur + recipe name". For example, if you google "saveur salmorejo" you will get:
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

May 10, 2015
josephnl in Home Cooking

Memories of the Windsor Restaurant!

Actually, the Tower Bar Restaurant at the Sunset Tower Hotel emits an old Hollywood vibe that although perhaps a bit more elegant, is still very reminiscent of that era.

May 10, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

OK...so if I understand what sarahbeth is saying is that she agrees with raytamsgv is that In 'n Out is fine for a decent $3 burger, but that the widespread adoration for the place is beyond her comprehension. I guess I agree completely, and find it incredulous that so many CH's find it so wonderful.

May 09, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Norwegian Restaurants in Los Angeles/Orange County

Are you kidding? Since Scandia in LA and Gustaf Anders in OC have both closed, I don't think there is any Scandinavian restaurant of any kind in southern CA. Oh...if you're craving Swedish meatballs, I suppose you could go to Ikea!

May 09, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

What in the world do you mean by "totes"?

May 09, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

"Can I transfer these drinks to my table"?

PhilD...Hospitality seems to be a thing of the past in many places. I don't know where you live, but the latest trend in many of the hottest LA restaurants is "all accommodations to the menu respectfully declined"...going so far as to refusing to leave off a bacon garnish on a salad for a guest who will not eat pork, or refusng to provide a wedge of lemon for one's fish entree if so desired.

May 08, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Famous Recipes

I have. But if you Google Saveur and the specific recipe, you can usually find it. For example, on the above link Senate bean soup comes up mallomars, but if you Google "Saveur Senate bean soup", you get the recipe!

May 08, 2015
josephnl in Home Cooking