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Dec 11, 2007 04:46 PM

Does "Cut" Play Reservation Games? [moved from LA board]

Recently, the Los Angeles Times published an article about various high-flying restaurants that purport to take reservations only during exceptionally early or exceptionally later hours, supposedly being "booked" solid at other times. When the Times reporters went to the restaurants during more popular dining hours, they found there was plenty of available seating (with some of the supposedly busy restaurants being almost empty).

For the past two months, we have attempted to get a reservation at Cut. We were told each time that there was no reservation available during the 7pm to 8pm time slots; all that was available were the very early or the very late hours. We were told that, if we wanted a reservation at 7:30 or 8, we should call 30-days in advance. We did so. No luck. Still, no availability during any of the popular dining hours.

Is Cut playing games, reserving its best times for persons it perceives to be VIPs? And, is Cut even worth the trouble?


Food Scrounger

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  1. Did you try walking in?

    Re. your question "is Cut even worth the trouble?": not to me.

    1. I can't speak to the games part. We reserved a table for a party of 10 30 days out. They gave us a choice of 6:00PM or 9:00PM. We opted for 6:00 P and ended up having our table until almost 11:00 PM, no rushing. The whole experience from top to bottom was fantastic.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tinitime

        Well, yeah. 10 people paying Cut prices is quite the profit. they were not going to make you do anything you didn't want to.

        1. re: Diana

          My party of 2 recieved the same great treatment and have been back 3 or 4 times since (at 6, 7:30 and 9 reservations) and had the same level of service every time.

      2. i just called yesterday and got a friday night 7:30 for january 4th - they didn't seem too snooty or unaccomodating

        1. Some restaurants set aside a portion of their seats for walk-in business. I can understand sizing that portion depending on business trends.

          1. We are going for Christmas Eve, which meant we had to call on Nov 24th as they do only take reservations one month out.

            The phones open at 10 AM. I called on Nov 24th and talked to the hostess at 10:01 AM. She offered me 6 or 9 PM. Having also read the LA Times article about this insanity, I admit I had a little heat in my voice when I said, 'You mean to tell me you just booked up from 6:30 to 9 in one minute?' She was at least honest and said they take no reservations many nights between those times, to make sure the people in the early seating have enough time to dine and are not rushed. Because I have been before and loved it, we booked at 6. I do hate the game, though.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Tom P

              Yes, when my fiance called they also said they only take reservations for 6 and 9. Not at 6:30, not at 7:00, not at 8:00, etc. So at least they're consistent.

              We went at 9 on a Thursday once and it was packed the entire time we were there, fwiw.

              1. re: Pei

                The "general public" may only make reservations @ six and nine, but rest assured that tomcat and beckham will get anytime they please.

                When I was there (6:30 reservation), people were arriving all night long. If, indeed as they say, they only take six and nine, then that wouldn't be the case.

                And, for the original poster, I wouldn't go back to CUT unless someone else were paying. And even then, it wouldn't be one of my top choices. They have attitude galore and the food just isn't that great - the apps and deserts were the best things on the menu - not a great sign for a steakhouse!

                I'm glad I went, however, to get it out of my system.

                1. re: manku

                  I have no doubt you're right about a certain set being able to arrive when they please.

                  However, for me the draw of CUT is precisely that they have amazing apps and desserts. Yes, the steaks were a step above the usual (LA's not a great steakhouse town in either price or quality compared to New York or Chicago), but it was refreshing to have choices beyond creamed spinach and a choice of potato.

                  As for service, we did notice a little snootiness on the part of the front desk, but our server for the evening was nothing short of fantastic. Polite, informative, attentive without hovering, and sincere. We both noted at the end of our meal that it was the type of service we look forward to at high end establishments--there's rarely a balance found between brusque but efficient and cheesily enthusiastic/friendly but slow.