Wednesday, January 30, 2008

DineLA Distress

Is it just me, or is this whole Dine L.A thing also the source of this "oh no, I got to take advantage of this but where and when should I go" type of distress?

Take me for example, dining in most of the places mentioned is only something I daydream about endlessly, hoping to one day, by some crazy organization of instances, get to sample . So, of course, I jump on the whole bandwagon (not to mention $34 for me is still a hell of a lot; like food for 3 weeks!), but still...the ultimate question still remained: where and when?

So I make a reservation for one of the prime L.A restaurants at the moment: Grace. And for Wed. Jan. 30, 2008, without any specific time, I am 9th on the waiting list. Pheeew, at least I did something to try to "take advantage of this 'once-in-a-lifetime' event".

So Wednesday finally comes, and by some other crazy allotment of instances, my brothers friend (who is serving as my only VERY APPRECIATED sponsor for 'real restaurant' visits right now) wants to have late lunch. Crap, where to go!? So I rummage through every single participating dineLA place to see which one I was going to use this ultra-rare opportunity on. Where, where, where! But after getting unjustly violated by the law for riding my Vespa in an industrial district (long story involving misidentification and frisking), I am left even more uneasy and anxious than usual, and still can not think of a place to have lunch (as if there were any that were open after 2:00PM anyway)

Anyways, I end up seeking some comfort at Real Food Daily (I know, but since I leave to the carnivore capital of the world on Sunday, and never been to the NOHO location...). I end up finding that needed comfort in the last day of the monthly special 'loaf' of squishy, squashy lentils, barley, millet, butternut squash drowned in pan dripped gravy, oblique cuts of undercooked carrots, parsnips and one Brussel Sprout, Emerald Forest as it is called on the menu.

And after this filling meal, on the suffocatingly packed bus ride back home (suffering from post-traumatic scooter disorder), I get a phone call from Grace letting me know that a spot had opened up at 9:00PM..."Can I call you back to find out?" Hmmmm....take advantage, live up to my name (glutton it since I wasn't that hungry)? Finally sample one of the 'best', most talked, written, hyped about places in L.A? Spend all that dough without thinking about the future? Go all the way back to the other side of town again? By myself? Was King Salmon, Quinoa, Artichokes, Lobster Nage really worth it?

By the time I almost go insane thinking about it and call back: "Sorry, the table is no longer available"

Can someone please provide me with some sort of remorse-resolving solace?

Is this whole thing really worth it? (how about in Grace in particular?)


Anonymous said...

For $34, Grace is a steal. However, it hasn't ever blown my mind. Fraser's got some neat stuff abrewin', but in my mind he can't touch Cimarusti and Providence.

Wednesdays are the days to go to Grace, though, because his Close to Home menu is most likely to make an appearance then (they do their shopping at the SM market). It's also donut night.

Anonymous said...

haha yes it is stressful! i almost feel it's wrong if i dont go try, like missing out on the "hip" thing to do. I will be trying SimonLA tonite and will post about it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, read your post here... what a bummer! Nope, no plans for me to eat at any of the DineLA place. None of the restaurants are places I'd be much interested in eating at, and most of the offerings are far from vegetarian or vegan friendly. Too bad, would have been nice to see a veggie place get involved (unless I'm missing something?). Sadly I have no words of solace to offer... other than that I think the whole DineLA thing ain't that big a deal and even with the "cheap" prices, it's all still way too expensive. I say, save your tears and dough... and go splurge on the cheap and yummy food at the Farmers Market!

Oh, and there is no Real Food Daily in NoHo... don't I wish!!!

H. C. said...

So sorry to hear!!!

And you'll either be inspired or loathsome by my own Jan. 30 rundown -- I, too, was on the Grace waitlist -- but was just idling around OpenTable that day when suddenly I discovered a 8PM table slot there, so of course I snapped that up ASAP. And I went. So who knows, maybe you could get lucky too on another day.

My Grace meal, however, was a bit of a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

I may be stating the bleedin' obvious here (so if I am - sorry) but next time some restaurant offers you a last minute table say 'yes!'

You can always change your mind later and let them know.