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Jan 10, 2013 09:15 AM

Farmshop disappointment

I really wanted to like my meal here. Reservations were at 7:30 on a Tuesday night. Arrived 5 minutes early and told it would be "a couple of minutes". One other party of 4 also waiting for their reservation. You'd think, a Tuesday night you wouldn't have to wait, but alas wait we did. Manager comes up to us at 7:55 to say she is sorry for the wait and thanks for being so patient. "Would you like a drink, while you are waiting"? Of course we think how nice of her to want to buy us drinks. We accept her invitation only to find the drinks on our bill. She did over hear us discussing this and then removed it from the bill. Should have never been on the bill, we believe. This aside, my main complaint was how very salty the food was. Jidori chicken and veggies underneath were way over salted and I left about half my meal. Probably not returning.

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  1. You arrive five minutes early and complain you have to wait?

    "Would like to have a drink at the bar" - how could she have phrased that so you would understand that they're not picking up the tab.

    Too salty sucks. I've been there a dozen times, and I've yet to have a "too salty" issue.

    5 Replies
    1. re: foodiemahoodie

      Now, to be fair, the OP wasn't complaining about the 5 minutes they waited from arrival to their booked time of 7:30, but rather about the 25 or 30 minutes they waited beyond their 7:30 reservation time.

      That said restaurants are at the mercy of their guests who are dining. If a table takes way more time than could be reasonably anticipated by the FOH staff then I don't blame the restaurant for my wait. Judging table turn over is not a science but rather an art.

      Salt sensitivity is really a difficult issue. I think restaurants should severely under salt and then let you add your own salt afterward from a table supplied shaker/grinder.

      1. re: Servorg

        True, we were approached by the manager, after we waited for 25 minutes. As we were standing near the front door, just waiting, she said how sorry she was for the wait, and would we care for a drink. I am not cheap nor do I over expect free drinks, but it seemed clear to the 3 of us, she was offering to buy us drinks.

        1. re: Servorg

          what? really? i think it should be the kitchen's responsibility to always season correctly at the get out. if i wanted to season my own food, i would cook at home.

          anyhow, this is mainly a review on service and not food. i know both are important but i actually think they offered good service because they did comp your drinks in the end. so they recftified your misunderstanding.

          1. re: monpetitescargot

            "...i think it should be the kitchen's responsibility to always season correctly..."

            Unless the kitchen is also directly tied in to the "Psychic Hotline" I'm unclear as to how they can know each individual diner's personal preference when it comes to salt? Not too mention (but I will anyway) that salt sensitivity seems to wax and wane in many of us depending on physical variables that I see at work in my wife (for one example). Much better plan for the kitchen to under salt and let each of us adjust the level at the table.

            1. re: Servorg

              is it a restaurant's job to "know each individual diner's personal preference when it comes to salt"?
              of course not.
              its their job to put out food to sell. their reputatuion and business rises or falls on the quality of said food, of which seasoning is only a part.
              i,assume a chef is sending out his or her best effort, according to their trained and hopefully expert palate.
              the rest is up to me. if its too salty, i can say something and they can rectify it. if its not salty enough, i can ask for some salt.
              when im paying restaurant prices, i want someone to do the cooking and seasoning for me. thats their job.

      2. Restaurants usually ask if you want a drink at the bar while waiting if there is a wait. It does not mean its going to be comped. I have never expected free drinks when asked and I have never been surprised. This was clearly a misunderstanding on your part and an expectation issue. This is true of any restaurant be it NYC, SF, or LA, highest end or mid-tier. You usually close out at the bar which is nice for your bartender or have it transferred to your bill.

        Restaurants like Gjelina ask if you want a drink while waiting all the time. They would go broke giving away free drinks to everyone waiting.

        31 Replies
        1. re: Porthos

          Would be a great scam to always come early and expect drinks on the house.

          1. re: foodiemahoodie

            What's with the snark? Read the original post! They were offered drinks at 7:55, when they had a 7:30 reservation.

            1. re: jlbwendt

              I'm also confused by the snark, as well. The OP, IMO, is not complaining about having to wait 5 minutes for a table. Having to wait 25+ min on a non-weekend night at a relatively pricey restaurant *is* something worth complaining about.

              Yes, restaurants DO ask you if you'd like to wait at the bar for a table to open up. In my experience, this is usually done almost immediately after being greeted and, in such a circumstance, there should be no expectation of the drinks being comped (duh).

              However, the OP was approached by a *manager* after *25 minutes* of waiting for a *reserved* table. I'd expect the drinks (1 per person) to comped, as well, and find it rather surprising that the restaurant either wasn't planning to do this or didn't communicate the intention adequately to the bartender.

              1. re: ilysla

                I am astounded by the number of people that expect a comped drink or something after a 25 minute wait.

                As Servorg mentioned, the table is at the mercy of the party dining ahead of you.

                I suppose people would also be upset and also expect a comp for being asked to leave a table after 2 hours so the next party could seat.

                Real tough that restaurant business.

                1. re: Porthos

                  While I wasn't present to hear the phrasing the manager used I think if it was something along the lines as stated "Would you like a drink, while you are waiting?" it becomes less clear than (for instance) "Would you care to have a seat in the bar until we can get your table ready?" - or some such.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    Who said anything about "expecting" a "drink or something?"

                    After waiting 25 minutes past my reservation time I would at least "expect" an apology. Or are disorganized restaurants the norm in LA? You'd better believe if the OP had shown up 25 minutes late, her table would be forfeit. Restaurants have reservation systems so one doesn't have to wait (at least not long.)

                    Asked to leave after 2 hours? How is that relevant to this conversation?

                    1. re: jlbwendt

                      They did issue an apology. Read the OP.

                      How is being asked to leave after 2 hours relevant? Because the party before you had exceeded their 2 hour slot and are now holding up your table which is why you are now waiting for your table. The table isn't sitting there empty...

                      1. re: Porthos

                        I never said they didn't apologize, only that an apology would be the one thing i would "expect." I also wouldn't expect anyone to be asked to leave.

                        1. re: jlbwendt

                          I also wouldn't expect anyone to be asked to leave.
                          Then how do you suppose the restaurant get the OP seated sooner if the party ahead of OP was taking their sweet time?

                          1. re: Porthos

                            This restaurant has only one table?

                            1. re: jlbwendt

                              I will avoid the obvious response.


                            2. re: Porthos

                              Something tells me that the OP, if given incentives to stay and wait (a couple of glasses of champagne or an appetizer) wouldn't have been so concerned that their table wasn't ready on time.
                              It's a cheap, simple, hospitable compensation for the restaurant's inability to seat them on time. Once the restaurant let the time go by without the incentives, then the rest of the meal, once they were seated, was scrutinized i.e.: oversalted food and they've decided not to go back.

                              1. re: latindancer

                                Your "opinion" is so untrue. I've dined all over the world and consider myself well versed in dining. Farmshop, on a Tuesday night had one early seating and our table was not ready at 7:30 as it should have been. We were the last reservation of the night (7:30) and by the time we finished, we were the only table left. Seems to me the restaurant did not honor our reservation. If I kept my clients waiting for almost a half an hour, I wouldn't have any clients left. As for the salt aspect of my food, I stand by my earlier remark. It had nothing to do with having to wait for my table.

                                1. re: xoxohh

                                  Okay, sorry....

                                  Didn't mean to voice my untrue opinion.

                                  1. re: xoxohh

                                    <I've dined all over the world and consider myself well versed in dining>

                                    Yeah, great....lots of us have and do.
                                    I really like Farmshop. I love the food and love the retail food shop next to it. I like everything about Brentwood Country Mart, actually. If I have to wait 25 minutes, I'll take into account that I've left my home to go out to dinner and I'll chill...I'll know I'm getting a great meal and if I know the wait is because a few people have taken longer than they should have? Okay, whatever, I'm out. I can afford the meal and I'm going to enjoy the night. End of story....nobody's fault and I'm over it.

                                    1. re: xoxohh

                                      <I've dined all over the world and consider myself well versed in dining>

                                      Then I'm sure it's not the first time you've had to wait 25 min. Dine out enough and stuff happens. Even to the best of the best.

                          2. re: Porthos

                            <also expect a comp for being asked to leave a table after 2 hours>

                            Actually, this happened to a few of us @ a very high end, prolific restaurant in LA a few months ago, name will not be posted. We'd made the reservation, arrived on time, and they couldn't find the reservation. When they kindly seated us, the manager told us we'd have to leave within 2 hours so the next party could be seated. We were a party of 6 and one of us had confirmed the day before. There were no comps and we didn't ask. If we choose to go back there, which we will because the food is outstanding, we'll all be very, very careful about the confirmation the day before, the day of and an hour before dinner....with the owner.

                            1. re: latindancer

                              Nobu Malibu makes it very clear in a nice way that all tables have a 2 hour time limit when you make your reservation.

                              1. re: wienermobile

                                This isn't Nobu. When it comes to restaurants or any other business where I'm going to spend MY money, I'm not one to feel like going to a place where they're going to dictate how long I can stay. It's not my business and they can run it any way they want but it's not the way I roll.
                                This experience I noted was their mistake and then they told us we'd have to leave at a certain time...
                                Wasn't cool.

                                1. re: latindancer

                                  Certainly isn't the first time a popular restaurant has told diners it was not expecting that they have two hours to dine before their reserved diners can expect the table. As noted above, it is not a science in predicting when diners will vacate a table, but an art. Some places do it better than others. Nonetheless, you are considered a " walk in" whether or not it is their fault that they could not find the reservation you may have made. May not be fair, but it's life. And it is up to your discretion as to whether or not you want to stay and abide by their dictates. Not like you didn't have the choice to walk out or not.

                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives


                                    In our case, without getting too specific, one of our guests, a very good friend, really wasn't the type of guest they wanted to let go with any sort of negative attention. Had the reservation been made in the guest's name there wouldn't have been an issue and that's 'life' :). Once she appeared they were all over the place with apologies.
                                    We were treated very well, once we were seated, so it wasn't a big deal. As you say, we had choices but oh, the food is so damn great....

                            2. re: Porthos

                              Quote: "Real tough that restaurant business."

                              Indeed, it is. The people running the restaurant are not newbies to this business. While table turn over is not an exact science, it's something that one expects to be reasonably managed.

                              I wouldn't need to be comped b/c try to be a polite customer and leave in a reasonable amount of time (unless I've made it very clear that I intend to stay ahead of time and comped the restaurant for the fact that they couldn't turn the table over). It cuts both ways....

                              1. re: Porthos

                                Back when Gigi was running the Palm in West Hollywood, on nights the place was overflowing, he would walk up to lingering tables and politely offer to buy them a drink at the bar. It was a nice cue that they needed the table turned and I suspect most regulars rarely if ever took him up on that drink...though I am sure he would gladly have provided it. So, yes, it can sometimes be good business to offer a comp to clear a table. However, it should not be an expectation.

                                1. re: New Trial

                                  New Trial,
                                  that approach was used on me at Pacific Dining Car downtown and it was perfectly executed.
                                  i had scheduled a business breakfast meeting there and we continued ironing out the specifics of the deal until the lunch crowd began to show up.
                                  the restaurant management offered to buy us drinks at the bar.
                                  we moved to the bar and had coffee.
                                  i tipped extravagantly.
                                  the whole situation was handled smoothly and gracefully and i continued to pour expense account dollars into that restaurant for years thereafter.

                                  it sounds to me like the hostess at Farmshop didn't have the grace or the power to handle the situation (i.e. didn't have permission to offer free drinks up front when the flow got backed up)

                              2. re: ilysla

                                i'm with foodiemahoodie, jibwendt, and ilysia on this one.
                                also, xoxohh was originally told that the table would be available in a few minutes, and it clearly wasn't.

                                when i was told at stella rosa that it would take over an hour to get a table i was given enough accurate information to decide to go elsewhere. that scenario, imho is OK.

                                otoh, when you are told it's just going to take a few minutes, and then it takes close to a half hour, that, in my mind, is not ok.

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  "i'm with foodiemahoodie, jibwendt, and ilysia on this one."

                                  Aren't jibwendt, and ilysia at complete odds with foodiema?

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    you're correct.
                                    my tally of the names was off.

                              3. re: jlbwendt

                                You're right. For some reason that didn't come up on my screen originally. Now it does.

                              4. re: foodiemahoodie

                                From the description I too would have expected the drinks to be free -- and to be fair, it is entirely possible that the manager meant them to be free but that the message didn't make it through to the bartender/server.

                              5. re: Porthos

                                Have to disagree with you, Porthos (and I usually don't!)- one of my better NYC dining experiences started with a delayed seating at Tasting Room (when it was still in the east village) where the manager simply walked out with two glasses of bubbly an handed them to us while explaining our res might be delayed 15-20 minutes.
                                During my restaurant-working days, I used to seek out deals on two kinds of sparkling wines- cheap, good dry ones to serve to guests while they wait, and cheap half bottles of Moscato to comp for any table that had a mishap during service...

                                1. re: jdwdeville

                                  Actually, thanks for illustrating my point. If they are going to comp you, they will come out with some house champagne or specifically say drinks on the house.

                                  If they ask, would you like dessert? Does anyone here expect you're going to get comped? If they are comping you, they just bring out dessert and say this is on the house.

                                  If they offer you a drink at the bar or ask if you would like a drink while waiting, it's on you. How do they know you aren't going to order Krug by the glass or Macallan 30?

                              6. It's obvious that most are getting away from the point so I'll move on... I'm sorry you had that experience there, we've been there several times for breakfast, brunch & lunch. Yes there is always a wait, even if you have a reservation, annoying yes BUT it is the people eating/chatting that prolong your wait, c'est la vie right? I have had one item that was a bit over-salted for me and I think I prefer salt but, that one dish aside, knowing we'll always wait aside, I really enjoy it there. The food is super tasty, you can tell it's a farm-to-table place. Everything they make really does have such wonderful flavors, even down to their lemon marmalade which is to die for. Maybe give it some time and try it again? :)

                                1. <Probably not returning>

                                  ...and this is part of the reasons restaurants fail. What would it taken for you to have left happy and excited about coming back? It's little things, on the part of the management, to ensure customers leave their place somewhat pleased. In your case, you waited longer than you wanted to and the food was oversalted for your taste. The restaurant business is just such common sense...make sure your customers leave the front door wanting to come back, no matter what it takes.

                                  34 Replies
                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    agreed. a free drink for 2-4 on the house is actually one of the cheapest thing they could give away. drinks and wine have high profit margins. why cheap out? the best restaurants that stay do seem to have great customer service.

                                    the hostess should have made it clear by saying "you're welcome to go to the bar and wait for your table if you'd like" or something like that versus, "will you like a drink?". That's an offer.

                                    Turning tables is a tricky job. I used to work at a very popular mid tier restaurant in the late 90's in SF. on a weekend nights the bar was SO packed we (the hosts) would have to walk around with a sign on a stick to find the parties waiting. We had these big round booths in the back for parties of more than 4 and they would linger by drinking tons of coffee and water at the end of their meals. how do you tell them "ahem, you've now been here for over 2 hrs. can you please go somewhere else like a bar of a coffee shop?" you can't do that. they just paid a nice $300 for dinner and drinks. luckily it was usually big parties that tended to linger but we sometimes had those 4 tops that sat and yapped too.

                                    1. re: trolley

                                      y'know, i just don't understand people. what IF you told them, "you've been here for a while, and we need the table."? is that such an offensive thing to say?
                                      it seems some folks get so self righteous when it comes to restaurants.
                                      once i went to a high end, groovy restaurant in l.a. table for four, we had a reservation, sat down when it it was empty. by the time we were finished -- we ordered a bunch of food, nothing too excessive, and a couple bottles of wine and some cocktails -- the restaurant was full and people were waiting.
                                      a waiter came up, and asked us to move to a communal table, where there was room, and they would comp us dessert. i said, oh, you need the table, and the waiter said yes.
                                      and you know what? we moved. congenially, too. and would have done so if dessert hadn't been comped, too (i think we ordered two desserts, tops).
                                      same thing happened at pann's, on a sunday morning. me and a friend of mine sat there, chatted, ate our food. chatted some more. eventually, a lady came up and asked if he wanted anything else. i looked around at the crowd, and said, oh, you need the table. she said yes. and you know what? we paid our bill, got up and left, happily.

                                      life's too short, man. you don't own the restaurant. they got a business to run. sheesh.

                                      1. re: linus

                                        What always makes me shake my head in wonder and laugh in disbelief is that it's the folks who linger and linger and linger, and who would be the first to take indignant offense if anyone at the restaurant asked them to vacate the table (even if they were offered seats and dessert in the bar) are the very first ones to complain about being made to "wait" for their reserved table.

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          We don't agree often Servorg but I agree with you 100%. They're also the ones who expect the table to be held for them no matter how late they are running.

                                        2. re: linus

                                          not everyone is as aware as you Linus. you'd be surprised how entitled some people get when they dine out. i once waited tables at a failed restaurant in a hotel in downtown SF. one elderly couple basically spoke down to me the entire time as if i were watson, their butler. it was almost comedy but sadly they were serious. and the man, had to take "charge" and tell me what to do every step fo the way.

                                          i think most of us here are food inclined so we've been out to restaurants numerous times and many of us worked in the industry.

                                          i think it's up to the management on how they deal with lingerers. in this instance, the bar was always packed with no lounge area so it wasn't an ideal place to direct people to. and management had the waitperson try to move people along but in the end they (my superiors) didn't want us to verbally move people along.

                                          yeah, i agree, with you. there shouldn't be a problem if you were told to move along in a nice way. the other month a friend who had moved overseas was in town for one day. we went to Tender Greens (not even table service) and over welcomed our stay. we got some glares and we acknowledged it and left but sadly and luckily i think there's a few people out there who just don't get it.

                                          1. re: trolley

                                            <I think there's a few people out there who just dont' get it.>

                                            For sure. I'm always overly compensating. When I see a crowd waiting, and we're finishing up a meal, I'm the one who tells my party to move along....people are waiting.
                                            I can't imagine sitting there and lingering and having a manager or wait person confronting and asking us to move.

                                        3. re: trolley

                                          if you offer a free drink, many will decline it while still giving the restaurant "points" just for making the offer.

                                          sometimes a restaurant will offer me a free dessert during one of my "dieting weeks."
                                          although i will decline the dessert, the very fact that they made the offer, all other things being ok, will predispose me to liking and recommending the place.

                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                            totally westside. as i said a drink is easy to give away, especially wine. and i also think restaurants need to be honest with customers. if i walked up and if the host said" there's a table that won't leave that we reserved for you. we're trying our best to move them along so please forgive us" or something to that extent. too many restaurants are concerned with airing out their dirty laundry that only restaurant professionals may care about. i wouldn't think "oh, the FOH doesn't know how to turn tables over. they're clearly rookies". i would actually have some empathy if i were told more detail why i'm not sitting on time.

                                            1. re: trolley

                                              <I also think restaurants need to be honest with customers>

                                              Nail on the head. A few months back we took a dear friend out to dinner, with a reservation made a few months in advance. It was a late reservation, for 8:30. We were on time, checked in with the hostess and she said it would be a few minutes, so we went & ordered drinks at the packed bar. More than 20 minutes went by and my husband went over to talk to the hostess, and the story was that they were waiting for a party to leave so they could seat us. More time went by and my husband became quite annoyed. Finally they sat us, apologized profusely, sent out a comped amuse, AND offered us dessert on the house. If the situation had been handled the way the OP's was, I would most definitely not go back or recommend the place here. It's all in how the restaurant handles it.....

                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                " If the situation had been handled the way the OP's was, I would most definitely not go back or recommend the place here."

                                                What part of the interaction with Farmshop do you think was handled badly? There was a misunderstanding about the drinks being comped, but the manager did take them off the bill. Other than that I don't see a lot (or really anything) that the restaurant did wrong.

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  The manager came up to them 25 minutes later than their reservation time?? It's not like there's even anywhere to wait for your table there, unless you want to go back out into the Mart....their little overpriced gourmet food area would take one all of about 10 minutes to browse around in. For a Tuesday night, seems to me it wouldn't have been that difficult to do a better job at ensuring the customers weren't left there to stew for a half hour.

                                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                    I'm not sure if it's being assumed that the restaurant was just keeping the OP and her party from sitting down at their table for no good reason, or what? When guests linger, talking long after they have finished all of their food and no longer want anymore coffee then the restaurant has a choice, to ask them to vacate the table, in which case THAT person would be coming to this board to air the terrible injustice that Farmshop did to them. Or they could wait until they left (which most restaurants do) and then sit the next table late for their reservation. I don't like to wait for my reservation either, but I get that it's the party in front of me keeping me waiting - not the restaurant.

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      I think people don't care and just want free stuff for any perceived slight or injustice be it the restaurant's fault or not.

                                                      1. re: Porthos

                                                        Exactly, kind of explains the state of the Union about now, doesn't it??

                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                          Let's keep it chowish.

                                                          In my experience though usually I've never been comped for anything.

                                                          Just my bad luck in being a rube at these gourmet, high priced, Hollywood hot spots.

                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                            i'm comped all the time.
                                                            but, then again, i usually don't frequent the highest end, most trendy, most expensive, most written-about, restaurants.

                                                            in my experience if you go to a mid-sized, or family-owned restaurant and become a recognized regular at said restaurant, and consistently tip generously, and are always polite and pleasant, and compliment the food, you are very likely to have things comped for you. also, in restaurants that tip-share with the hostesses, you will often end up getting better tables and shorter waits.

                                                            this strategy doesn't work at the "hot," "trendy, celebrity-packed restaurants.

                                                            it's not rocket science.

                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                              not to open up a can of worms (how come when people say this they're always actually opening up a can of worms?), but you are a woman.

                                                              in my experience, regardless of behaviour, women get comped exponentially more than men.

                                                              no, i have not done my own scientific study nor researched this topic with any vigour.

                                                              1. re: linus

                                                                I concur somewhat with Linus.

                                                                And it doesn't hurt that i'm a schlub. So that doesn't really help matters for me to put it lightly.

                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                  Also, if you happen to be an attractive woman, then the sky might just be the limit.

                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                    1) i'm way too old for the sky to be the limit.
                                                                    2) re: the "woman" thing, i'm comped more than not by female servers, bartenders, and hostesses that are young enough to be my daughter. after those groups come the owners/managers.
                                                                    makes me guess that the "woman" thing is not what is in play here.
                                                                    i truly believe it's the extravagent tipping, pleasantness, and being a regular that is what is making the difference here.

                                                                    once i had a restaurant owner actually tell me that without a reliable cohort of regulars, his whole business would fall apart.

                                                                    the way he saw it, keeping the regulars in place, was a major part of his job. it went so far that, no matter what the price, he NEVER rented out the restaurant to a private party on a weekend night because he didn't want to cause the regulars to even think of changing their routine, much less to have them actually be turned away.

                                                                    obviously the hot, trendy, and corporate-owned restaurants would be a totally different story.

                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                      well, put on a fat suit, some cystic acne, a bad wig, and act exactly the same.
                                                                      i'm pretty sure your comps will lessen significantly.

                                                                      perhaps i'm delusional -- well, i am delusional about a great many things, but i digress -- but i think i exhibit more than a few of the behaviours that get you comped.
                                                                      i'm old, and i can count the probable number of comps i've gotten on all three toes.
                                                                      then again, one time i did get comped, it was awesome.
                                                                      i should also add a coupla times i've forgotten my wallet, and the waitrons let me go and get it. believe me, i then tipped the hell out of them.

                                                                      just to be clear, wsg, i don't begrudge you your compiness.

                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                        Neither do I. More power to you in regards to your comp worthiness.

                                                                          1. re: linus

                                                                            kind of OT but do you remember the story of Ruth Reichl and i think it was LeCirque? she went in one day disguised as a "Molly", a shy retired high school teacher and they treated her like crap. the following visit she went as herself and it was the difference between night and day. there's some truth to what you're saying.

                                                                            1. re: trolley

                                                                              But Ruth Reichl, even sans disguise, is not much of a looker.

                                                                              Sort of like a homely Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                praise be this is a food centric site, ipse, so i can keep following your advice on where to eat.
                                                                                maybe it's because i don't look like john freakin' garfield, but i don't think ruth is bad looking, despite her complete and utter lack of a neck making her look like a female rock 'em, sock 'em robot.
                                                                                she has great hair, for example.

                                                                                elvira, on the other hand, looks like a homely, un-comped marilyn manson.

                                                                                getting back to comping, surely it doesn't surprise women would comp women more readily than men. comping women is less threatening and less like an invitation.
                                                                                if a woman comps a man, many men (not me of course) might get ideas.
                                                                                if a man comps a man, the compee might get ideas, and, sadly in contemporary society, might be squicked out.
                                                                                temporarily forgetting "not that there's anything wrong with that." (seinfeld tm)

                                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                                  Well, I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I'm not sure I would engage Ruth even after a decade-long vow of celibacy.

                                                                                  And, while I might make Quasimodo look like price charming, I've been comped by both men and women and have never been "squicked out" ... and again, not there's anything wrong with being squicked out.

                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                    I'm with linus once again, if the picture on the back of Reich's book published a few years ago is accurate, she's not half, half bad looking. She wouldn't put a supermodel to shame, but she's not half bad in yea, you put it well, an Elvira-kind of way, But I think Elvira has some other friendly assets, or rather double assets, at least as of a few year ago.

                                                                                    Though to keep it chowish, I did like Farm Shop and it's not half bad. But I don't think the food they serve there is great or anhything. And their prices are pretty out of whack, and this has nothing to do with being comped.

                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                      ah, vive le difference on chowhound. like i said, ruth's no supermodel, but put a gun to my head and make me choose between her and elvira, and i'm choosing ruth every time, sophie.

                                                                                      i was only making a little funny about man squickieness.

                                                                                      however, the dearth of my comps compared to everyone else here on chowhound is making me question both my deodorant and what i had previously believed to be a charming personality.

                                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                                        however, the dearth of my comps compared to everyone else here on chowhound is making me question both my deodorant and what i had previously believed to be a charming personality.

                                                                                        I think it's neither.

                                                                                        I think you just have to be a bit more courteously assertive. It's obviously gauche to come right out and asked to be comped (unless you're in Vegas), but sometimes if you give constructive genuine criticism to a restaurant staff, and it's relevant and poignant, they will do everything to make it right.

                                                                                        I'll give you an example. I was at Oceanaire in DC one time and I had ordered the trout and towards the end of my meal, the server swings by and asks if we enjoyed everything, and I told him that while the trout was cooked perfectly, it was a tad too salty and the kitchen was a bit heavy-handed with the wine sauce, masking the sweetness of the fish. But I said this was a minor hiccup as the overall meal was just fine. Come time for the bill my trout was comped (which I believe was ~35).

                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                          interesting. i guess my goal(well, not a goal as much as a pleasant surprise) is more often a different kind of comping, wherein you show such a degree of tipping, courteousness and interest in food and/or drink, the server or barkeep feel compelled to shift you something(for free) just because he/she think you'd like it.
                                                                                          it's happened, just rarely.

                                                                                          the comping of which you speak has happened to me, i think, but i'm not the kind to complain about food to the server very often.

                                                                                          non hostile question: did you eat all of the aforementioned trout?

                                                                                          1. re: linus

                                                                                            non hostile question: did you eat all of the aforementioned trout?

                                                                                            Yes (or as much as I wanted to).

                                                                                            I wasn't looking to get comped. They solicited my opinion and I gave it to them -- in a non-harsh manner.

                                                                                            But I will add that I am sort of a regular at Oceanaire in DC ...

                                                                                            1. re: linus

                                                                                              yeah, and i usually respond that everything is fine or ok even when posed with the obligatory question of "how is everything tasting ? "

                                                                                              if it tasted like fucking crap, is one too really respond truthfully to that question. ???

                                                                                              hmm, maybe that's a question for another thread.

                                                                                              i think usually a lot of people are just not assertive on that note.

                                                                              2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                I do agree with you and the restaurateurs that sometimes treat there regulars better. I'm prolly going to get shit for this but would a restaurant wanted to treat a client better you visits once a week or a client who visits once a year ???

                                                                                but then again it is a fine line, you don't want to treat that special occassion, once a year customer poorly, due to Yelp, word of mouth, etc.

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