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Jun 9, 2007 01:14 PM

Loud lunch at Chez Papa

Had great food at Chez Papa when I went for lunch on Friday. Perfect salad, wonderful lamb, memorable orange tart for dessert.

But I won't be going back.

Too damn loud. Why do restaurants do this?

My dining companion and I had to raise our voices to have a conversation and by the end of the meal we were both rushing to get out of there. My ears were ringing afterwards.

I can't imagine the effect this has on the hearing of the people who work there.

It doesn't have to be that way. Halfway through the meal someone decided to turn on music. They certainly didn't have to do that. You couldn't hear it, really, it just added to the noise.

I can only imagine that this is a choice by the owners. They want the place to be "lively" or don't want to spend the money on basic sound reduction.

It's too bad, because otherwise I could see this place being a regular destination for me.

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  1. I've heard a couple of main theories on high noise levels in restaurants:

    1) it's planned or semi-planned in that noise induces a lively, exciting vibe, etc.
    2) contemporary design tends to use lots and lots of hard surfaces which are very bad with noise.

    My guess is it's a combo of these or a sort of chicken and egg stuff like open kitchens. Also, totally a guess, but high noise places probably have higher turn around on table settings because few people can hang with high noise for more then 1.5 hours...might not be intentional but think about it.

    1. I had an extraordinary lunch yesterday (friday) at Restaurant Tartine...almost empty at peak lunchtime,probably because 1) its only open for lunch Fri, Sat Sun, and 2) there is no sign identifying the restaurant (on Valencia between 16 and 17)