Restaurant Etiquette, Los Angeles
When you are in Los Angeles, either in the city of L.A. or in another part of the county, you'll see several restuarants. On the window of establishments, you will see a letter- either an "A", "B" or "C". These letters go accordingly to the quality of food preparation and overall kitchen standards of any place that regularly handles and serves food. As one would imagine, an "A" is a superior quality, "B' is for the most part acceptable and "C', is , well, below average and simply, unsatisfactory. Most often, you will see "A" or "B" but there are quite a number of "C" on some windows. The letter system of grading restaurants is meant to be a guide for restaurant guests. Take it for what it is.
The guide is not 100% fool proof. The testing for the grades can be seen as questionable at times, if not more. Still, in the long run, I think that most food inspectors are doing their jobs and grade correctly to the best of their abilities!
In contrast, Orange county does not participate in the letter system.
Expect more restaurant tips for L.A. There are great dining spots here, especially downtown, in the Westside, Pasadena, Santa Monica and in the Valley. Oh I just need to go to more and do the work to make reviews!
Dining out in LA tends toward the casual, although you should still dress appropriately. That definitely means shoes and shirt; a jacket is appropriate for men at some upscale restaurants.
When you arrive at a restaurant, it's customary to wait by the entrance until the host seats you; only in very casual places may you choose a table yourself.
Classic dinner time is 8pm.
Smoking inside restaurants and bars is prohibited by state law, although outdoor areas are usually exempt.
If you want a more substantial hot meal, lunch is usually cheaper than dinner. Chinese and Thai restaurants are among those offering special set lunches for $7 or less. Dinners too can be affordable - even at fancy restaurants - if you stick to one main course and a single non-alcoholic beverage.
Restaurants are notorious for huge markups on beer, wine and even bottled water. If you're
concerned about money, stick with LA tap water; it's perfectly safe to drink. If you want alcohol, order beer or wine by the glass and avoid expensive cocktails.
Remember that your final bill will swell thanks to sales tax (8%) and a tip (15%); valet parking can also add another $2.50 to $5 to your total. Thus, a moderately priced $35 dinner for two (food only) will actually run you about $50.
...when you're done eating in a restaurant.
Being to NY and LA in one week, I experienced this in both cities.
I consider it to be rude, but as it happenend in "fancy" restaurants as well, I guessed it's just a local / national custom.
Tip: when you're having dinner with someone, and you're done, leave something on your plate so that the won't take it away, or at least ask you before they do.
Please disregard any notion of cell phone ettiquette you may have learned where you came from. Immediately commence calling people in restaurants, movie theatres, live music venues, Heck, start brokering heated film deals and make a loud commotion! The locals all do it with reckless abandon! Of course, I'm joking but it's appalling to watch the local trendies behave in such a fashion. Try ditching the phone and enjoying your trip unfettered.
The best in dining, shopping, entertainment and a non-stop kaleidoscope of street performers combine make Downtown Santa Monica and Third Street Promenade a favorite destination for visitors and residents alike.
Tip: Wait at the sign "be seated" and have your identification card with you. I didn't get a beer as I forgot to have my passport with me that day!
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Everywhere you go and shop something you have to pay 8.5% more in tax.
The tax does not include in the price. So don't be suprised that you have to pay more in the counter.
When you go out to a resturant here and order a soda you get refills for free.
So you can basically drink as much soda as you wish for the price of one.