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Why did the Hipster burn his mouth?
February 24, 2012 4:29 AM   Subscribe

London is being overun with restaurants which are not only too cool to take reservations but increasingly don't want to tell you anything about their restaurant at all.

Because he ate pizza before it was cool.
posted by Just this guy, y'know (29 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is just a super short article about many London restaurants not accepting reservations, and some seemingly random links to restaurant sites; maybe you could rework this a bit to be more informational about the trend or the London restaurant scene? -- taz



 
At least the last one in the list states that they're not "trying to be cool."

Admitting you have a problem is the first step...
posted by kuanes at 4:33 AM on February 24, 2012


Not posting a menu makes me craaaazy. Both my partner and I have (different!) food allergies, so it's nice to know if I can have anything but liquor for dinner when I go out to the chichi new place down the block. Not that I'll turn up my nose at liquor for dinner!
posted by zinful at 4:36 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having turned up at an empty restaurant only to be told it was "fully booked", this doesn't bother me at all. Of course, the trend will likely fizzle out before it reaches my provincial neck-of-the-lamb.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:38 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


And not like anything in London is down anything resembling "the block" from me either, I suppose. Still!
posted by zinful at 4:38 AM on February 24, 2012


The Americans are coming, the Americans are coming!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:39 AM on February 24, 2012


If I had a daughter, I'd lock her in the cellar. Damn you Yanks, with your swing music and your nylons.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:41 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


You think with a financial statement like this, you can have ze duck?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:41 AM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


That first restaurant link, Duck Soup, has a menu and a location. What else could I want to know?

And if not taking reservations is the ultimate in cool, then I've really come up in the world of hip because I've never made a reservation in my life. I just show up and McDonald's gives me food.
posted by DU at 4:42 AM on February 24, 2012


What criteria did you use to select those restaurants at the end?

Princi, one of your links, is more like an upscale bakery/deli than a restaurant. They have tons of fresh pastries that they bake everyday and an always-changing selection of mains.

You can't get a menu even if you show up there. There is no menu. Just the food.
posted by vacapinta at 4:42 AM on February 24, 2012


Rule #1 Don't queue
posted by the noob at 4:45 AM on February 24, 2012


this is a huge problem in toronto, finding a nice, but not too fancy resturant that doesn't change its menu daily, and doesn't takes reseverations for parties smaller than 6 is proving impossible.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:45 AM on February 24, 2012


Damn you Yanks, with your swing music and your nylons.

Overpaid, over sexed, and over there!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:46 AM on February 24, 2012


On one hand in NYC I kind of liked restaurants that didn't take reservations because there was always a chance however miserable or small that you could just go there on a whim. Whereas it seems sometimes like Chicago is ruled by restaurants where it is extremely hard to get reservations and they don't offer any walk-ins whatsoever. Or something ridiculous like one table a night. Schwa, El Ideas, and Next come to mind. No waiting outside or nursing a drink you don't really want for a couple of hours while waiting for a table, but dining becomes so much more formalized and seems like accessible.
posted by melissam at 4:47 AM on February 24, 2012


Mishkin's takes reservations.
posted by urschrei at 4:49 AM on February 24, 2012


Princi (3rd link) has a Order form for large orders, which is rather like a menu.

Some of the Mishkins restaurants (6th link) do have menus.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 4:49 AM on February 24, 2012


I dunno, I think Princi is a restaurant. They do Pizza, Lasagna, glasses of wine etc.
The point is more that these places seem to require reviews to tell their prospective customers what they do and don't sell.

From the website I'd assume they were just a bakery, but the review implies otherwise.

And for Spuntino, it's even more of a mystery.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:49 AM on February 24, 2012


I didn't know anyone liked reservations.
posted by melt away at 4:53 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is no menu

That's rule # 1 of the restaurant club
posted by infini at 4:54 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm happy to tell you that Meat Liquor is AWESOME.
posted by timshel at 4:59 AM on February 24, 2012


As is Pitt Cue Co.
posted by Optamystic at 5:02 AM on February 24, 2012


What is it about restaurant websites? I clicked on 3 of the links, and got a page not found error, a divx player error, and a blank purple background that wouldn't scroll. If you're not going to tell me anything, can you please just use html to do it?
posted by that's how you get ants at 5:02 AM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Does this trend reflect the deep anxieties, tensions, and inhibitions that English people harbour about everything in their culture? I really wouldn't like to say.
posted by Sonny Jim at 5:03 AM on February 24, 2012


I'll wait for the Yelp reviews.
posted by tommasz at 5:07 AM on February 24, 2012


What is it about restaurant websites?

What it is about restaurant websites. (Link in that post is here now.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:08 AM on February 24, 2012


One of my student employees is in the process of purchasing an Indian restaurant. And though I am horribly jealous that he's got more drive, focus, and motivation at 21 than I have had over the course of my entire life, I was able to choke down enough bile to ask him, nay, BEG him to make sure his restaurant website doesn't suck. I caught him trying to pick what song would autoplay and was like, no, please please please no.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:14 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


MelissaM, I didn't have any trouble in Chicago getting a table at any of the places like schwa or moto. Although, to be fair, I am of a certain age, and have a Colbert-like eyebrow raise that seems to terrify snobby children working the seating chart at the front door.

That said, when traveling, I gravitate towards places that don't take reservations, but if I break out a passport to go somewhere in Dallas, an hour away, I choose places that take them, simply because I'm working within the constraints of my babysitter's curfew.
posted by dejah420 at 5:15 AM on February 24, 2012


Okay, I am assuming that there are lots of restaurants that serve perfectly good food and don't require reservations, even in London, right? I mean, the Shanghainese Bao Shop and the Orwell Memorial Canteen or whatever you have over there? Surely not everything takes reservations or has big lines, even though that's the language of the article? At least in Large Midwestern City most of the places with good food are pretty small and average and mid-range; I've found only a few of the very posh places to be worth the fuss, and I can't imagine compounding a night of dancing with a long wait in line for so-so food.

Also, using "rock" and "rock up to" as verbs/verb phrases outside the context of music is my least favorite [trivial] thing ever. I dislike it even more than when people used to talk about a "sexy stovetop design" or refer to everything as "hot". It makes me think of skinny women with heavily processed long hair wearing this year's jeans and some godawful modal rayon tanktop with sequins as they try to allure their hedge fund boyfriends.
posted by Frowner at 5:15 AM on February 24, 2012


Burger and Lobster dont need to elaborate too much, all they sell is Burger and Lobster !
posted by duffers5000 at 5:16 AM on February 24, 2012


Okay, I am assuming that there are lots of restaurants that serve perfectly good food and don't require reservations, even in London, right?

Yeah. Half a dozen of them are linked in the post.
posted by ninebelow at 5:19 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


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