23. January 2009 20:03
Dear Mastro’s Steakhouse,
On Friday, the 23rd of January, the year of our Lord and Savior Jesus H. Christ, Two Thousand and Nine, we dined at Mastro’s Steakhouse Beverly Hills. Dinner was a symphony of errors. Not for want of service or flavor but management.
If a restaurant chooses to datestamp its menu like an entry in a server log, it should take care to make the date current. My menu stated that it was December 23rd or some such thing giving the impression that the ingredients have been patiently sitting on the counter hoping someone would order them for a month. Yes, intelligent diners will understand that a restaurant does not reprint a menu every day but there is no reason to boldly proclaim the menu’s age unless it’s flattering.
I have, with advancing age and wisdom, begun informing the wait staff of my steak’s preferred temperature rather than giving a blanket term that everyone seems to define at their convenience. The preference is cool red center. Having advised the waiter of this, my steak was still overcooked throughout its majority but there was definitely a portion of the center that managed to evade heat at all. As I relished this morsel I wondered what natural phenomenon could have made this possible.
Inflation happens. Costs increase and having no alternative, people accept it. However, when one charges US$39 for a fine cut of slightly overcooked beef, and has an extensive wine list with bottles in the thousands of dollars, charging US$18 for a martini is beyond explanation. It is simply an assault on alcoholic decency. Mastro’s is a restaurant, not a resort. Even Sunset Tower charges US$15 and one could argue that it is both. Completely unacceptable.
And finally, when one wants to be taken seriously in any field that requires communications such as from the kitchen to the customer by way of the menu, one learns to spell properly. Ask a random sample of people on the street for the spelling of Johnnie Walker’s family of scotches, and one is likely to hear the same mistake 8 out of 10 times. Fix the damn thing before someone does a special titled: Celebrity Restaurants: They’re just like us! They can’t spell either.
The Food Bitch