This discussion is relevant to my interests.
LA hipster restaurants are distinguished by four things:
1) counter service
2) communal seating
3) expensive drinks
4) disdain for amenities
You know you're at a raging shithole if you stand in line to walk up to a bored tattooed guy who pulls you a glass of water from a tap with a fire hydrant on it when you turn down his 8-dollar IPA and then refuses to give you ketchup while you sit at a long-ass table with eight strangers all carrying yappydogs in their arms as if they were Paris Fucking Hilton. The experience is not unlike McDonald's except at least at McD's they pretend to like you (and the tables are only big enough for your party, not three they expect to mingle). And hey. McD's lets you get your own goddamn Diet Coke.
But where things get really fucking dumb is where the shithole is colocated with a "mother restaurant" that does the exact fucking opposite.
Eat at Destroyer/Pizzeria Mozza and you will wait, walk up to the counter, be dismissed, pay cash, wait some more, and be the only person there not instagramming your goddamn food.
Eat at Vespertine/Osteria Mozza and you will valet your car, tip the maitre'd, be shown to your table by a third person, be offered wine by a fourth, have your table cleared by a fifth, and probably be told something ridiculous about the chef.
Kahn greets guests at the door and follows up regarding any notes from the reservation booking — he then ensures that the menu is adjusted to guests’ dietary restrictions: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free. While his vision for Vespertine is ultra-specific, Kahn welcomes the challenge of adjusting the menu to the diner’s needs. “I would be super excited if someone only ate white[-colored food], that would be fucking killer,” he says. “A total white menu.”
And when asked if he was working toward not needing to greet every guest every night, Kahn quickly answered: “No, what would be the purpose of that?”
So. If you're a prole you're given the food but nothing else. But if you're a patrician you're slavishly fawned over. The real difference between the experiences is how much they suck your cock.
Wurstkuche will sell you a nine dollar pheasant hot dog but they'll make sure you know that you're scum. Mozza will let you know that their breadsticks are made by a lady who got her own fucking episode of Chef's Table.
Much as I hate LA, it is definitely the Patient Zero of stupid food trends the rest of the country will find itself subjected to. Fucking cupcakes, macaroons, bone marrow... the ruination of pizza in the '90s is all about Los Angeles and the Bullshit that Is California Pizza Kitchen (who stole their schtick btw). Thus, if my experiences are any indicator, the future of the service industry is as follows:
- none at the low end
- too many at the high end
You can eat at Destroyer for $20 a head. Vespertine is $500. Objectively speaking, that $480 is all the people making you like your food more.
I see this in the high end travel magazines, too. What sets a patrician vacation apart from a plebian one is the number of people waiting on your whim.
Side note, it saddens me that Chrome's spellcheck acknowledges "instagramming" as a word.