Because it Needs to be Said!

LA Born&Bread Takes on the 10 Most Annoying People in Re...

LA Born&Bread Takes on the 10 Most Annoying People in Restaurants


So, anyone who knows me understands that I take eating seriously. While dining, I want to dine…undisturbed, in other words, nowhere near ten of the most annoying people you’ll find in restaurants. Herein lays my list of the top ten annoying people in restaurants. Do any of these sound familiar to you?


#10   The Server Abuser: (SA) We have all seen, heard, and dined with the SA. She needs to feel some power over someone, so why not the server? After all, he or she is definitely responsible for your crappy day or life, right? She asks the server for wine suggestions, sniffs like she’s a bloodhound and finds nothing acceptable, nothing ? But she sips at least five or six expensive wines before settling on the house cab. She is sure to ask the server for his recommendation for an appetizer too. When he brings the ahi tuna tower, she makes an “icky” face and says, “Obviously we don’t have the same taste.” She demands the server take it back then orders a mixed green iceberg salad with dressing on the side. Her gourmet taste is sure to impress everyone in your party. For her entrée, she requests the filet mignon well done, then chastises the server when it resembles a piece of charcoal. Who, I ask, who, orders meat this way? The patient server (who by the way, at this point, is so done) offers to bring a new medium filet. No dice. The Server Abuser wants the manager, stat. The manager saunters over with the server meekly following behind. “Yes, what can I do for you?” he kindly asks? (Trust me, he’s already got her number). To which the Server Abuser barks, “This dinner was horrible. The service was awful, and the food sucked.” “Oh, I’m so sorry. Let me comp it for you, and include dessert” utters the manager. “Can I have two?” asks the SA?  As I sit and watch this, I really want to get up and give the Server Abuser a piece of my mind, but I can’t because I need it.


#9 The Substituter:  I love establishments that have the words “no substitutions” printed on the menu.  One has not fully experienced a truly obnoxious meal until one has dined with the  Substituter. Okay, hipster twenty-something, sporting your vintage PETA tee shirt, kvetching about your dairy/gluten allergy; did you honestly just order a Cobb Salad? Seriously, this is her, verbatim, “Can I get the Cobb Salad but with no bacon, no blue cheese, no egg, and no turkey?” Really? Why don’t you just get a mixed veggie salad and add avocado? I don’t get it. And it’s not like there aren’t twenty other salads available either. This is Brent’s. The menu is like a dictionary for crying out loud, as my nana used to say. I didn’t give her a piece of my mind either because truly, I find Tori Spelling sitting behind me much more interesting, and Tori doesn’t substitute.





 # 8 The Mobile Device User (MDU): “Yeah, I’m so important that I could barely squeeze you in for lunch. However, I had my girl call your girl so here we are.” Order your meal and be prepared to eat it with at least a party of 5: The MDU Party. (You, MDU, and 3 of his best friends, all whose name begin with “i.” We’ve all dined with the Mobile Device User. “Oh, I just need to check my messages, hold on one sec.” “Oh, okay,” you manage to utter as you are in the midst of expressing  that you have regrets over splitting with your ex, or have come down with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. (It’s real, my friends, it’s real!) Possibly, when he’s done texting, the MDU will offer to research AIWS because his ipad is just happens to be within arm’s reach! And he will offer. When the research is done, sure he’ll show you his Facebook page and you’ll count the seconds until your food arrives. Finally, you’ll eat, but not without listening to this week’s free Starbucks’ download courtesy of the MDU’s ipod. Finish your meal and don’t be surprised if the Mobile Device User asks, “Can I get a hug from my best friend?” To which you should have one and only one reply: Go ask your iphone!


 #7 The 10 Way Check Splitters: These are some of the worst nightmares a restaurant could ask for. Have these people ever heard of an ATM?  Why can’t they stop and get cash before dining with a large group? Why? Because it is just so much easier to let the server run ten different credit cards when she is busy serving ten other tables at the same time. And hey, don’t tell her beforehand either. Wait until the end and throw in the Groupon deal too because that’s not annoying.  Let’s make them redo the entire check for $12 each because that’s not a shitload of extra work at all. Note to Check Splitter: Cash-don’t leave home without it!   

 #6 The Over Perfumer: Have you ever had a meal ruined by one of these?  Trust me, it’s beyond nasty. Just as I was biting into a great bacon cheeseburger and some sublime onion rings at The Local Peasant, I swallowed a gulp of my neighboring diner’s Jessica Simpson  “perfume”. Gross. Disgusting. What’s even better? All three of her tablemates chose to represent equally offensive celeb fragrances (think Kardashians, Paris Hilton, Snooki) that competed with each other; and with my dinner. Most diners would probably agree. We are there to enjoy the smell and taste of the food and drink not the smell of cheap toilet water. There is a smoking ban in restaurants. The  perfume ban should follow close behind.



#5 The Loud Mouth: The Loud Mouth is an ever-present figure in dining life. There is sometimes more than one in a party, but usually,  one stands out as the real noisemaker of the group; the one I want to stab with a fork. The Loud Mouth (and there are no exceptions here) always has either a shrill, high-pitched voice and laugh that can be heard all the way to the kitchen or a testosterone-enriched deep, announcer type voice. Disapproving glances will not deter the LM from continuing to blurt out details of his last colonoscopy or her fungal infection. Furthermore, if you’re a Loud Mouth drunk, go away, remember, this is why god created bars.


#4 The Awkward Blind Date: If you haven’t been on one, you’ve certainly seen one. You know, where the couple sitting next to you is having such a bad time that he keeps talking (about himself) and she is playing Scrabble on her phone. Awkward Blind Daters make other diners feel uncomfortable too. One especially bad blind date that we witnessed happened not so long ago at Farfalla. The attractive couple next to us ordered drinks and started conversing. That is, he did. He went to UCLA, grew up in Brentwood, drives a BMW, vacations four times a year, and works out every day. Really what about her? She managed to squeeze in a few mandatory uh-huhs, but it wasn’t looking promising to me so far. I really was rooting for this girl too. Not that I was eavesdropping, but I did manage to learn that she was a young lawyer, as was he, and a mutual friend had set them up. After ordering the 3 cheese platter, (the cheapest appetizer on the menu by the way) he continued to drone on and on about himself. Finally, she excused herself to visit the Ladies’ Room. And she never came back. Yeah, just like that, she never came back. And he ate the cheese plate. All of it. Once again I did not say anyt hing, but I may or may not condone her behavior.


#3 The Lingerer: Been waiting long for your table? The check has been dropped. The hostess tells you she is just waiting for the table to pay as they have occupied your prime booth for roughly two and a half hours already. So you wait, and you sip a nice glass of wine. Then you finish that glass, and The Lingerer is still sitting. Subsequently, the manager asks TL if he can buy the party a round of drinks at the bar. TL, not realizing that restaurants do have more than one seating on Saturday night, looks at his watch dazed and confused. “Oh, wow!” he yawns, “How’d it get to be 8:30 so quickly?” Because you sat here for two and a half hours, that’s how, I want to scream. But I don’t, because I might trip him on his way out instead.



#2 The PDA-ers: These two are so disturbing on many levels. Don’t you love going to Spago or waiting for a reservation at Providence for a month only to find you are seated next to the people who are seemingly never going to see each other again? I always picture that he is going off to war, or that she is a foreign spy going undercover on a secret mission. It may be months, maybe even years before these two lovebirds will be able to reunite. For this reason, they cannot keep their hands and mouths off each other. But alas, both you and I are sorely mistaken. Throughout drinks they kiss and declare their love for each other. Over appetizers they feed each other. By the time the entrees come, you are frantically searching to find them the best room rate-quickly. When both of them get up to use the restroom at once, you breathe a sigh of relief.


#1 The Schnorrer : “I’ll just have a Diet Coke. I’m not that hungry. You sit down with her, she looks at the menu then tells you she isn’t getting anything because she’s just not that hungry after all. “Why did you come then?” you ask yourself? “I mean, can’t you just grab a Diet Coke at Mc Donald’s or 7-Eleven?” No she couldn’t because there are no crabcakes or baseball cut top sirloins there. So you order an appetizer and you sheepishly take a bite. Because you’re polite (and because you feel awkward) you ask, “Would you like to taste one of my two crab cakes?” “Oh sure,” replies The Schnorrer, “But just one bite, because I’m not that hungry.” So she takes a bite, then another, until, shocker, she’s eaten half your appetizer. Well, you just chalk that up to the fact that all she’s eaten today is food off someone else’s plate at lunch. Then out comes your entrée, a beautiful thick, juicy steak and a twice baked potato cut in half. You know where I’m going with this. “Wow that looks yummy! Can I get another Diet Coke please?” she asks the waiter. “Oh and maybe some more bread?” Next, of course, you end up giving her half your dinner (like always) to which she remarks, “Gosh, I didn’t even realize I was hungry.” But you love her, so you put up with this crap time after time. Anyway, who else is going to let you order every dessert on the menu and sleep the whole way home?











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Barbara | Reply 13.03.2014 08:47

So true and very funny. Very well written.

Ellen Snyder | Reply 11.03.2014 10:42

Love how much you learned at the Writer's Workshop.....Brilliant, Spot-On observations, and hysterically written.

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