Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

NEWS: Would You Like a Side of Fries With Your Misogyny?

Yesterday, there was an article in the LA Times food section by Regina Schrambling about supersized restaurants in New York.

Before I talk about the content of the article, I feel compelled to ask a question: what happened to the copyeditors at the LA Times? Did they all get fired? Because it's been so bad lately, that it appears that the articles are being thrown in without any sort of review whatsoever.

Spelling errors abound and we have to contend with sentences like this one: "Think small and you wind up in Brooklyn anymore, where daring restaurateurs can open idiosyncratic places for less than the $35,000-a-month lease burdening a small space even in the alleged culinary wasteland of the Upper West Side."

WTF? First of all--"you wind up in Brooklyn anymore"? What does that MEAN? I mean, I get it, from context, and ... I looked it up and this seems to be a regional usage of the word "anymore" in some parts of the U.S., meaning "nowadays," but ... it's not THIS region's usage, so what's it doing in this region's newspaper? Also, take a breath lady! Here's $5, go buy a period. That's a lot of big words to put in one not-so-little sentence.

Anyway, former-copyeditor/usage snob rant aside, I have more problems with the article than the need for some simple clean up.

See the article talks a great deal about a restaurant in NYC called "The Hawaiian Tropic Zone." If you know me, you can probably guess from the name how I feel about such a restaurant. But after reading it I have decided that the very existence of this restaurant completely offends me and I want to kick whoever thought this was okay in the nuts.

See in this restaurant, you are served by an all-female corps of waitresses, and the waitresses are clad in bikinis. Okay, first of all--gross. I don't want a nearly naked stranger that close to my food. Second of all ... my god, isn't being a waitress hard enough just by itself? Oh, but wait ... we are not done with these women. It is apparently NOT enough to force them to do a grueling and stressful job wearing almost nothing. They also have to compete in a waitress beauty pageant every night at 9:00 wherein all diners who want to participate get to judge them all on little cards provided at their table.

Okay, pardon my french, but fuck that. I mean, can you imagine? You already are forced to run ragged around this cavernous monstrosity of a restaurant in a bikini, serving what I am sure are the very top of the line in a-holes that would eat at a restaurant called "Hawaiian Tropic Zone" and then you have to get your butt up on stage in front of them EVERY night so that these same losers who are about to stiff you on your tip can tell you that your boobs are awesome, but your butt's a little big? Because that's just what women love, is being constantly evaluated on their looks.

But it's okay! Because they serve you butter on a slab of salt and they have swordfish on the menu instead of buffalo wings, so it's totally better than Hooters and this is all fine. Really. It's GOURMET trashiness.



amen, sister.

said by Milla at 10:35 AM Delete

But even with the local stuff! Check the caption underneath the simple syrups picture.

I know the LA Times Staff Writer team is hurting right now. But this is Fact Checking 101. I did this as an intern at the City Paper. They had a squad of grammar fluent english majors going to town on the issue before it went out. Twice.

And there are PLENTY of local food writers who'd happily freelance some decent regional coverage. I actually don't mind them covering other regions, but they should do it from the Angelenos perspective, and not hand it to some juiced-in hack.

My fed-up two cents.

said by Tableau Vivante at 11:22 AM Delete

Yay! I'm not alone ... and I agree, the copy-editing has been completely lacking for the past week and a half now, and not just in the food section, but throughout the paper.

I know times are tough economically for the print media but come on, it's embarassing for a Pulitzer Prize-winning publication to go out with so many noticable errors. And there are a lot. I caught three spelling errors without even looking for them and that should definitely not happen.

said by KT at 11:29 AM Delete

Nope not alone. I've started several rants over at my blgo a few times, only to delete them. I've wanted to try and give them as much benefit of the doubt as I can muster. And they do have a couple of swell writers on staff, Russ Parsons being one of my favorites (his Seduction by Fig article was a delight to read). But on the whole, their rep has been thoroughly trashed by the poor quality fish wrap they're chruning out.

said by Tableau Vivante at 11:47 AM Delete

And how dare I stomp on the L.A. Times with all my atrocious typos. GAH! :)

said by Tableau Vivante at 11:54 AM Delete

Ha ha! I feel that way too, but then I remember ... this is a blog, not a major news publication. We get some freebies.

As soon as I get more than like, five readers, then the L.A. Times can yell at me about my grammatical mistakes and unprofessional swearing and I will take it like a woman.

said by KT at 12:00 PM Delete

You have FIVE?! I think I have two. Me and my husband;).

said by Tableau Vivante at 12:55 PM Delete

Yeah, not only do I have you, I have some friends, my mom and my aunt. I'm totally famous.

My husband I have yet to woo into readership. But that's okay, because he gets to hear my rants in person and eat the food, so depending on the situation, he gets either a better or worse deal than the readers.

said by KT at 1:03 PM Delete

oh snap....
you said, fuck......

said by Sooslo at 6:01 PM Delete

GROSS! What is wrong with people? How do restaurants like this pass health inspection? This just further proves my theory that people should have to take an aptitude test to go out in public. Or have children.

said by Colleen Cuisine at 6:42 PM Delete

That's a good question, actually. Is it really up to code to have people serving food without being covered? To have their BODILY SECRETIONS so near to the food.

said by KT at 6:58 PM Delete

I'm so conflicted. On one hand, as a moderate liberal raised in the SanFran Bay Area, I'm just as offended as you are. On the other hand, as a red blooded American male, I find myself attracted to/titillated by the concept of this restaurant in an "OMG, I'm so ashamed of myself" sort of way; which is why, I suppose, the restaurant will thrive. Because, even if you disregard the assholes who will go to wallow in the objectification of women, there are plenty of normal, decent guys like myself who will be drawn to the concept even if we never admit it in public or allow ourselves to go. The line isn't whether or not we're attracted to the idea, it's whether or not we admit that we're wrong to be.

As my fiancee says, men are sluts. =b

- Chubbypanda

said by Chubbypanda at 1:55 PM Delete

As an ex gogo boy, the waitresses know what they are getting into when they take the job. So I have nothing else to say there

However, yeah, I do not want boob sweat on my fries. Ew. The judging... yeeeah, trashy and a bit soul crushing, but you know what you get into, and if you're smart, you get out.

The place prolly won;t last that long. I mean at Hooters I get awesome beer and shibby hot wings. And hot wings kick ass.

As for the copy editors. Yeeah, I mean I make spelling errors on my own shit or my blog because I might get tIerdd or lazzzzy, but for work you should be professional and know what the heck you were hired to do.

said by Garrett at 5:19 PM Delete

You have more than five readers my dear. I could compliment you further but that's as necessary as putting buttercream frosting on a scoop of Ben & Jerry's.

In fact, for once, I can't really add anything. You've said it beautifully.

said by Acme Instant Food at 6:26 PM Delete

I read that article and was disgusted too.

said by Arianne at 11:29 AM Delete

Times aren't tough for the LA Times financially--in fact, they are one of the few major papers to turn a tidy profit--but the owning Tribune Co. shareholders want even MORE profit, which means staffing cutbacks. LA area billionaires have offered to buy the paper, even, so that it can retain the high quality of journalism to which it is accustomed, but the Tribune shareholders don't want to give it up. Gotta love capitalism.

Also, can you post that article on le Bitch blog?

said by Anyanka at 4:39 PM Delete

I'll try to remember to post it when I get a minute.

As for the Times, after viewing the craptastic !NEW! layout, I can only surmise that whoever runs the Times needs to start taking their ADHD meds again.

I don't know if they're trying to look like they just cut and paste their stories onto the front page from a bunch of different newspapers or this is some new avant garde wave of typesetting that I simply do not understand.

said by KT at 4:49 PM Delete

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