Kudos to Alan Davidson for debunking the pretensions of pricey restaurants whose chefs "interpret" food as though they were symphony conductors and have it served to you by "snooty" waiters.
But, in contrasting this to only one alternative--of cheap, fun food in a down-to-earth atmosphere--he misses the happy medium: an elegant restaurant where the service is excellent without being intrusive or pretentious, as is the food (and the chef).
Ruth Reichl, praising restaurants where you don't have to wear a jacket and tie and spearing restaurants where you do, misses the boat still further.
It's tragic that in Los Angeles, we now have mainly the two extremes. (And one phenomenon neither mentions: pricey restaurants with "fun" decor like cement floors and exposed ceiling pipes.)