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Two Terrails

December 04, 1988

In 1982, I made a reservation to have lunch with a friend at Ma Maison. When we arrived, we were told by Patrick Terrail that since we were early, we should "go take a walk," even though there were many tables available.

My friend is an American Chinese, and felt that we had been treated rudely because of that. I felt Terrail was just rude, and we decided to leave.

Since that time, we have eaten in many "upscale" restaurants throughout the U.S. and France, and have always been treated warmly and with courtesy, proving that Terrail is the exception, not the rule.

One of those restaurants was Wolfgang Puck's Chinois on the Main. When my friend asked the aproned Puck if he was a cook there, he replied "Sometimes!" and then warmly greeted us and introduced himself. No wonder Puck has "overshadowed" Terrail.

I, for one, am not ready for the "New Ma Maison." Terrail may be able to make money for Sofitel, but they'll never be able to give him class.

PATTI KOLB

Thousand Oaks

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