At Los Angeles Food & Wine, I asked chefs, “Tell me about the last time you dined in your restaurant. What was the experience like?” 8 chefs had done it. Read about their experiences.
Vartan Abgaryan (Cliff’s Edge)
It’s probably been over a year. It’s tough. The experience was fun. When they know I’m eating, it’s a different story, but I need to do that again, sometime soon.
Scott Conant (Scarpetta)
I did it last night. I sat at the bar last night and had some friends join. Freddy [Vargas] sent out a bunch of food from the kitchen, things he wanted me to taste. It was very convivial, just like I like. The drinks were flowing, just like I like. The food was great. Service was spectacular. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be: fun.
Kris Morningstar (Terrine Restaurant)
The last time I dined was at my last job at Ray’s & Stark Bar. I realized that we needed to improve our value. At that same point in time, I was battling my own food cost. I made some changes to both drop my food costs and to bring the prices down. Even as a guest who wasn’t paying for it, I wanted to make sure the perceived value was there.
It was great. I had lunch at Fishing With Dynamite. Our server was Sydney. She was a brand new server. She had worked the door as a hostess and had just been trained as a server, and she did such an amazing job. It was really great. The service came off great because she was just engaged enough, but wasn’t overbearing. She timed the food perfectly. It’s so great to sit down and eat at your own restaurant. As a chef, you’re constantly tasting the product, but it’s so seldom you’re tasting the whole thing all at once. You taste the fried chicken, or you try the batter, or you try the accompaniments, or you try the sauce. Getting it all together was awesome. We had a huge shellfish platter. The oysters were cold, clean, cut properly. We had the Thai snapper. It was awesome. And then you sit down and just feel so grateful for how the team’s doing, so you can go back to the kitchen. Anytime I see something good, I love to go back there and, at the top of my lungs, let ‘em know how awesome that was. I’d love to do it more often. I wish I could dine at that restaurant once a week, but you’ve got to run a business too.