28. January 2007 13:44
On January 27th, in the year of our Lord and Savior, 2007, I attempted to have dinner at the restaurant. Being an experienced Japonais diner, I made reservations nearly a month in advance. One would think that such diligence would escalate one’s priority past the walk-in crowd. Maybe last year.
As the clock swept well past reservation time, I checked with the host several times and was told after each one that our table was “paying” which presumably meant that it would be available shortly. After 50 minutes of “paying,” my companion and I gave up on the hope of a fine dinner and decided to eat at the bar. This decision had consequences to which we’ll come back in a paragraph.
Having lived in LA for most of 2006, I have become accustomed to dining room ineptitude. I even forgive most of their infractions just as I would a misbehaving child, contenting myself to an eye-roll and audible sigh. But I hold Japonais to a higher standard. One does not need to be an operations guru to know that a 15 minute delay is uncomfortable but tolerable, 30 is annoying and beyond is simply unacceptable. One also must not blame the table-hoarding patrons as it is not their job to manage flow. When diners are taking their sweet time and reservations are crowding in, suck it up and buy the hoarders a bottle of cheap champagne (at the bar) and watch how quickly they’ll high-tail it out of their seats.
Now, we must re-visit the unfortunate consequences of the bar’s abbreviated menu.
In LA, revelers are limited in their alcoholic intake because of the inevitable drive home. A person can easily pull a Paris Hilton by having a margarita on an empty stomach. Therefore, in Chicago, one is forced to capitalize on the ability to drink to the point of dementia and take a cab home. My companion’s and my alcoholic intake, although impressive, is tempered by the size of the evening’s dinner, however, to limit ourselves this day seemed like a colossal waste of a Saturday night in the city. And so, there we sat, angrily drinking at the bar with nothing but a few rolls to distract our respective digestive systems from metabolizing the free-flow of alcohol. My memory failed somewhere during the fourth bite of the Spicy Mono Roll but I am told that we had gone to several places hence.
As my Sunday fell casualty to Saturday’s hangover, I have no one to blame but you for not keeping my reservation time and interfering with a precise and calculated formula for alcoholism and thus ruining my weekend. Although your food prevents you from making the full descent into restaurant mediocrity, your operations have certainly deployed your landing gear.