Bar Stool Proto-Cool

images-1Last Thursday, my Fab Man Dan and I decided to meet after work at the new swanky bar and restaurant, “The Tar Pit” on La Brea. It was around 8:30 when I arrived, and the place was packed!  My sweetie hadn’t shown up yet, so I saw a man leaving his seat at the bar and nabbed it.  As I was sitting down the woman next to the empty seat turned and said, “I’m saving this for my friend who is coming”.  I smiled and politely told her I was going to sit down and order a drink.

I got my drink, a mint, lime and gin number and was fab.  Ordered a fried artichoke appetizer, super yummy!

Ten minutes sailed by and suddenly, the woman’s friend showed up.  She turned to me and said, “My friend is here, we’ll need your seat now.  You’ll have to move!”  I politely told her that wasn’t happening.  I would be sitting there until my table was ready.  Okay, maybe I wasn’t uber polite, but I was firm and really, I was not antagonistic.  She then went ballistic, telling me I was a bitch and that I had taken ‘her friend’s’ seat. For the next five minutes… she huffed and puffed about how rude I was.  I pointedly ignored her.  So did everyone else in the bar.

Dan showed up and we left and got our table.  Okay, so normally, I would just let this go.  And I tried to.  But it made me hate the place.  Granted it was full of scenesters.  Not really my style.  Lots of overdressed, very loud people who don’t quite look at anyone, but look awfully good while not doing it.  Then I thought, hell, maybe I was the one who committed the social wrong.  Maybe I shouldn’t have taken the seat, ordered and pretty much drank my drink and ate my snack, when she was saving the seat.  But I figured, this isn’t high school cafeteria time.  It’s not cool to ‘save’ a seat when there are lots of folks waiting.  So I did my thing.

On the plus side, the food was excellent!  We ordered a butter lettuce salad and the dressing was a perfect french viniagarette.  Hard to find.  They called it a Green Goddess dressing, but it was a lite piece of perfection.  We shared some pickled deviled eggs… super yummy.  Then ordered the steak Diane.  It was excellent. The prices were not too bad.  All the wines were marked at $38 per bottle.  Mark Peel, who also owns Campanile really can deliver on the food and drinks.

But, yuck on the atmosphere.  Loud, weird and uncomfortable.  There are booths, which looked way more delicious to hang out in and view the room, but they were packed.  Oh well!  Still on my quest for the perfect bar and restaurant somewhat in the ‘hood.

20 Replies to “Bar Stool Proto-Cool”

  1. You can’t “save” a seat at a crowded restaurant or bar. It’s epically rude.

    That place intimidates me and I’ve never even been there. There was such a hoo-ha when it opened, and it all left me feeling like the whole thing would be quite a scene.

  2. This is absolutely silly. There shouldn’t be any “saving” of bar seats. It would be one thing if her friend was in the restroom, or had stepped out for a smoke…but to save a seat for someone who has not yet even shown up? Annoying.

  3. It would be a different analogy if it was a movie theater and she was saving a seat. You also gamed the scenario by buying a drink. If the Bar owner was there he would say the seats are for paying customers.

    Some people (like that woman) think they can publicly embarrass another person in public by speaking loudly. A soft voice (firmly and not timidly) speaks volumes on who is being a bully and who has class.

  4. Thanks for the feedback…it’s always good to do a check on social protocol with my peers.
    Sinosoul… wow! Bar Bouchon sounds like the perfect place. It’s a bit far for me, but I am on that side of town occasionally, so it’s good to know. Thanks for the tip!

  5. You can’t save a seat at a bar UNLESS THERE’S A DRINK ORDERED AND THERE AT THE BAR. How do you think the bar management feels about a non-existent, non-drink-buying ‘ghost’ sitting there? They were probably very happy to have Tammara’s $10 or whatever.
    I know from bitter experience that OC buttwipe ex-jock sideways-baseball-cap wearing microwimps will NOT save a seat for you at a movie, especially in Brea.
    I know I’m from the SGV, but seriously: why is this place intimidating? This is what I had to say about Silverlake Wine’s Blue Monday:
    http://potentialisamuscle.blogspot.com/2009/07/silverlake-wine-tasting.html

    Anyways, Tammara, I think you were in the right. If she was drunk, well, that happens.

  6. I agree there’s no saving bar seats, at least not unless some marking claim is made via the application of any of a variety of bodily excretions. And then really, who’d want to sit there anyway?

    But to be sexist on top of being gross, if it were me sitting there instead of Tammara, I probably would’ve been chivalrous and given up the stool for the bitch’s friend.

    By the way, does the place Tartini? They totally should.

  7. This reminds me of the time in Dupont Circle in DC that I pulled up to an open public parking space on the street, and a man was standing in it. I had to back up slowly until, loudly protesting, he had to step out of the way. When I got out of the car, he said that he was saving the spot for his girlfriend, who was going to be pulling up “any minute now.”

    What a fucking joke!

  8. Julia, I hope you read this post ; my name is Craig and I am the Chef de Cuisine at The Tar Pit. I apologize for the rudeness of some people , in the future feel free to stick your head in the kitchen and let me help expedite a table for you ( not there on Sun and Mon ). People with class and decorum are the clientele I wish to serve. Hope to see you soon !!!!!

  9. Sorry, I think this was on Julia’s blog ; written by Tammara. Either way you both are welcome to see me !!!!

  10. Just signed up for Metblogs to make sure Tammara gets my post ; my name is Craig and I am the Chef de Cuisine at the tar pit. I’m sorry you had a mediocre time at my space. You have cart blanch to stick your head in the kitchen and I will help to expedite a table for you ! people with class and decorum are the guests we want. We are new and the once the newness wears off hopefully the fly by night guests will move on and it will be your local !!!!! Sorry you were inconvenienced !!!! -Craig

  11. Craig- thanks soooo much for making the effort to get in touch. That means a lot. I felt like maybe it would be a wonderful place once it calms down a bit. The noise is deafening…. but the booths look really intimate and fun.
    As I said the food was REALLY impressive and good! I especially liked the butter lettuce salad! That dressing is so classic french, yet on the menu it’s listed as Green Goddess. Is it a Green Goddess? If so, I’m going to have to dig up a recipe and add it to my repertoire! I also really adored the steak, and I only eat steak about twice a year, so I reserve it for times I think it would be fab. It was. Again, thanks for your concern. What makes a place great are the people who care.

  12. I hadn’t given a lot of thought to The Tar Pit before, but given Tammara’s solid endorsement of the food and Craig’s interest in taking care of good clientele, I’m in. Now I can’t wait to try it out. Also, I like to think I’m one of those people with class & decorum, too. ;-)

  13. Sorry Tammara, it’s not at all you. It’s me. My use of “Tartini” as a verb (instead of a noun as intended) was due to me being a lame ass and somehow failing to proceed it with “serve a” as in some sort of a pitch-black branded martini.

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