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"Can I transfer these drinks to my table"?

You have no argument from me. Of course, in a perfect world, one should be able to transfer a drink tab to the dining room and everyone involved in serving the drinks, food, etc. be paid at least a living wage, receive appropriate employment benefits, and share in the tip pool based upon each individual's, as you eloquently state "contributions to the customer's experience relative to each other". Of course in the perfect world this would be true. For now however, certainly if you run up a significant tab prior to moving into the dining room, most bartenders will really appreciate your either settling the bar bill with them, or being tipped separately.

about 5 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food
1

"Can I transfer these drinks to my table"?

At most restaurants when you tip your server, they keep the greater part of the tip, and a smaller cut goes to the busboy and bar. When you tip at the bar, the bartender(s) keep the greater part of the tip, and give a smaller cut to the bar back. Therefore, if you run up a significant tab at the bar, the bartender will generally much prefer that you settle the bar bill at the bar. I don't believe that restaurants generally proportion tips left at the table between the serving staff and bar staff depending upon how much was spent on food and/or drink. Please, someone from the industry, correct me if I'm wrong.

about 8 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food

"Can I transfer these drinks to my table"?

Not necessarily so. In many, if not most, larger and better restaurants there is either a separate back bar, or a designated bartender whose responsibility is solely to make drinks for the dining room. But even in those restaurants where the same bartender makes drinks for the bar and for the dining room, he or she provides a different level of service to folks sitting at the bar...from providing a drink or wine menu, to discussing drink options, to taking the order, to making the drink, to garnishing the drink, to providing snacks, to providing additional ice if desired, to cleaning the bar surface, to accounting, etc. When a bartender makes a drink for the dining room, he reads an order slip and makes the drink period...even garnishes are added by the server.

about 19 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food

"Can I transfer these drinks to my table"?

Yes, of course any nice restaurant will not question your request to transfer the bar bill to the dining room. But, if you do, the bartender will generally be unhappy especially f your bar bill is big. By doing so, you will be giving the dining room server a portion of the bar tip for a service that they did not provide.

about 21 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food

midtown/west hollywood/hollywood help

Tower Bar in Sunset Tower Hotel is pretty spectacular, especially if you want a romantic evening. Great view, old Hollywood vibe, great food and service.

Apr 24, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

How do you split the bill and tip evenly?

Don't know where you live, but in southern CA, tax is generally about 8%. So if you leave 25% for tax and tip, your tip will be 17% not 20%.

Apr 24, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

"Can I transfer these drinks to my table"?

Are you saying that you tip the bartender with each round of drinks, and then prefer to have the bar tab transferred to the table? That IMHO is not a great idea. It would be much better for you to settle the bar bill with the bartender. You are correct...if you transfer the bar bill to the table after already having tipped the bartender, if you tip 20% on your full dinner bill you will have tipped twice on the bar bill, and if you tip less than 20% based upon your already having tipped the bartender, the server will likely think you're cheap. That's why I almost always settle the bar bill with the bartender. On the unusual instance when the restaurant insists upon transferring the bar bill to the dining room, I usually put $5-10 on the bar for the bartender, then tip normally at the table.

Apr 23, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Really good Thai food in OC?

Thanks for your rec of Thai Nakorn. I've heard great things about it elsewhere, so I'll definitely go. What do you mean "the most OG"?? Do you go to the TN in Garden Grove, or the one in Stanton? Are they similar??

No, I'm from Irvine, not Fullerton, but will happily drive 30 mins for good food. What is Can Coon?? Cannot find it on Google

Apr 23, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Really good Thai food in OC?

Thanks Tony...most folks really support Thai Nakorn, and that's what I'll try first. This do you mean by "the most OG"?? No, I'm not from Fullerton...but from Irvine, but will drive 30 mins for something great.

Apr 23, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

How do you split the bill and tip evenly?

The only time I ask for a separate check is if we are dining with non-drinkers. We typically enjoy a cocktail and a glass or two of wine, and I don't feel comfortable having ny non-drinking friends subsidize it. Truth be told, not infrequently my non-drinking friends get upset by this, but I generally insist on paying more if we're drinking.

Apr 23, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Private dining room near Palos Verdes?

+2 for Terranea. I attended a small catered dinner there (~20 people) and it was excellent, and the setting is great. I didn't pay, but I'm quite sure it was pricey.

Apr 23, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

"Can I transfer these drinks to my table"?

If it's only a drink or two, I'm happy with double tipping. But if the bar bill is substantial, I'd definitely settle it at the bar so that the bartender gets the full tip s/he deserves.

"Can I transfer these drinks to my table"?

Tipping the bartender directly for the service that he or she provides is, IMHO always the right thing to do. Indeed at a few restaurants where they pretty much insist on transferring the bar tab to the table (Craft in LA, for example), I always leave a tip on the bar. I know that by doing this I'm double tipping, but I think it's the right thing to do...and bartenders remember the next time I'm in.

Really good Thai food in OC?

Is there a really good Thai restaurant in OC? I've heard that the Bamboo Bistro in Corona del Mar is good...and also the Thai Nakorn in Garden Grove is good, bot looking at their websites it's hard to tell. Is there a CH worthy Thai restaurant in OC?

Apr 22, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

"Can I transfer these drinks to my table"?

Bartenders pretty much always prefer you settling the bar bill directly with them. They get more of the tip that way. If you transfer the bar bill to the table, your server will get a cut of the tip for a service that he or she did not provide. I pretty much always settle the bar bill with the bartender before moving to a table. Bartenders appreciate this.

How to invite friends for dinner, where everyone pays for their own food?

I'm sure you're correct. It just seems that with folks I hang out with our communication (either expressly stated or implied) is less ambiguous than others must experience.

Apr 22, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

How to invite friends for dinner, where everyone pays for their own food?

I'm really very surprised that ther's so much discussion about this. In my circle of friends it seems to always be so obvious. If someone says "I or we'd like to take you to dinner at Restaurant XYZ to celebrate your birthday/promotion/anniversary", it seems pretty obvious that they are treating. Otherwise, when we get together with friends, we typically discuss when and where we should eat, and it's equally obvious that it will be Dutch. It's never an issue. I truly don't understand why there's ever a problem or ambiguity re this.

Redbird (Downtown)

After a terrific dinner at Redbird in February, we returned recently and were quite disappointed. The food was very uneven. Some things were great...others were quite poor. Drinks were good, but very small (perhaps the smallest martini I've ever been served in southern CA. A spicy Thai soup with crab was delicious. Breads were excellent. The pork chop we were served was dreadful...at least half fat...it should never made it out of the kitchen. Beef two ways and salmon were good, but definitely not special. Service was professional and friendly, but very slow. And...the obnoxious 3% health care surcharge...what can I say. All in all, it was a disappointing meal. Have others noted recent change?

Apr 21, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

How to invite friends for dinner, where everyone pays for their own food?

Perhaps it is nitpicking, but if someone says to me "I'd like to invite you to join us for dinner at Restaurant XYZ next Friday evening", I'd assume they were planning to treat. To me, the word "invite" implies a hosted event. When I want to have dinner with friends, I typically will ask whether they would "like to get together for dinner next Friday", and then, at least with my friends, everyone assumes it's Dutch.

Apr 21, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

How to invite friends for dinner, where everyone pays for their own food?

If you use the word "invite", I think it changes the whole picture. If I'm invited, I assume that I'll be a guest.

With our friends we commonly suggest that we get together for dinner, and mutually pick a time and place. In this setting, everyone assumes it's Dutch.

Apr 21, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food
1

How to invite friends for dinner, where everyone pays for their own food?

Totally agree with you, but I guess it depends on your relationship and previous experience with your friends. When we suggest to friends that we meet for dinner some evening, it's always assumed it will be Dutch...it almost always is, and it's never awkward or an issue. On the other hand, if it's a special occasion, the invite is different, like "we know that next Thursday is your anniversary, and we'd like to take you out to dinner". In the latter case, of course we plan to treat...otherwise it's always assumed that if will be Dutch. Easy, peasy...but it completely depends on your previous experience and relationship with your friends.

Apr 20, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Best fish dish in OC!!!

Ok, I know that Wildfish Seafood Grill in Newport Beach is owned by Darden, and thus should be pretty mediocre...but it's not! Indeed Wildfish serves up some terrific food and drink, with always great service, in a pretty pleasant dining room. The food there is so good, that we've pretty much become regulars.

The Chilean sea bass entree that they serve, is imho one of the best fish dishes served anywhere (and I'm including the Michelin 3 star seafood restaurant Le Bernardin in NYC!), and to me is the best fish entree served in OC. The sea bass entree is a pristine block of beautiful white fish, that is gently steamed, and served simply with a soy based broth and Japanese style pickled ginger. The preparation is so simple yet elegant, and the wonderfully high quality of the fish really shines through.

Because the sea bass is so delicious, I hardly ever order an other entree, but many others are also great...especially the swordfish which is topped with crab and avocado. I'd definitely stick with seafood here...the steaks are fine (similar to the Capital Grill, another Darden restaurant), but the fish here really shines.

Apr 20, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Open Table bummer.....

I have been using OT at least 3-4x/week for several years...many hundreds of times. I don't recall a single glitch, and the number of restaurants that do not award points are very few indeed. With regard to "getting the worst tables"...this is in my experience absolutely not true. Indeed restaurants can see that I dine out frequently, and individual ones recognize me as a regular...and I get treated especially well, at a favorite table, and with a preferred server. OT is great!

Apr 19, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Another tipping question?

Are you in favor of a restaurant check being itemized for food cost, rent, wages, breakage, utilities, health care, taxes, trash collection, etc.? To single out health care cost for a surcharge is strictly a political move...and if truth be told, most restauranteurs are likely reducing the hours worked by most employees so as to evade the requirement to provide health care. Health care insurance should be provided to all regardless of employment...but that's a whole different story.

Apr 18, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food
1

Another tipping question?

Yes, but to address my original question...when a restaurant tacks on a 3% surcharge which they allege to benefit the staff, is it not proper to reduce the tip by 3%?

Apr 18, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Another tipping question?

Agree completely. What is so different about the restaurant industry. I don't see Costco, TJ's, Home Depot or Ace Hardware charging a healthcare surcharge. If costs go up, prices must follow if you want t make a profit and stay in business. And yes, if servers see their tips decline because of the surcharge, they sure as hell should speak up or work for someone else!

Apr 18, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Another tipping question?

The healthcare surcharge is definitely not legally required. Only some restaurants charge it, and only some label it as such. Healthcare costs are no different in the restaurant industry than in other businesses. You don't see hardware stores adding a surcharge for healthcare.

Even though I hate shortchanging hardworking servers, perhaps by so doing, it will result in them pressuring restauranteurs to cut out ridiculous surcharges, and price their menus as they need to to cover expenses and make a decent profit.

Apr 17, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food
1

Another tipping question?

I essentially always tip 20% on the full bill (including tax), but for very special service, I adjust the tip up to as much as 25%. Recently, at several very upscale restaurants in Los Angeles, a surcharge of 3% has been showing up on checks. This is variously described a "health care surcharge" or "as a way of showing thanks to the kitchen staff who do not share in the tips left for the servers". This surcharge is not optional...it's a part of the bill. Question: If the tip I am inclined to leave is 20% (or 25%), if it reasonable to adjust this downward to 17% (or 22%) in that we've already given 3% allegedly to benefit the staff?

Apr 17, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Faith & Flower - anyone been yet?

Agree completely. For terrific food downtown with pleasant ambiance it's tough to beat Redbird.

Apr 17, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

One Dinner in Mendocino

You should leave out Cafe Beaujolais even if it's free! What was once a great restaurant (and one of Julia Childs' favorites) has declined terribly.

Apr 12, 2015
josephnl in California