The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2015

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4  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2015 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR IN CHIEF The Snoot Factor I've been around long enough to remember those snooty, pretentious res- taurants where the relationship between the customer and the staff was more adver- sarial than friendly. Today's restaurant goer is accustomed to being welcomed into a con- vivial, affable ambience. Gone are the days of the imperious, dismissive maître d', the self- important elitist sommelier, the greeter who makes you feel like you are crashing a party you don't belong at. Or are they? I recently experienced an intense blast from the past at a pretentious new French-owned restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. This place exhibits all the characteristics of those long gone "temples of gastronomy" where the customer is made to feel like an ignorant rube. Everything and everyone seems to reek of "attitude." The point, for modern restaurant personnel, is to treat your customers like welcome friends. Let people know that you are happy that they chose to spend their money at your establishment. Look at the statistics of how many restaurants fail. Developing a cordial rapport with customers is the only way to create a loyal base of regulars. Unfortunately, I can't give you my impressions of the food from the restaurant. We found the atmosphere there to be so oppressive, we left before ordering. —Anthony Dias Blue

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