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Food or Service?

May 30, 1996

I read David Shaw's story about Valentino winning the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Service Award among all restaurants in the United States ("It's Official: Service at Valentino Is Best," May 2) and laughed. In my dining experience, Valentino's food is exquisite, but its service is far from top notch.

My wife and I went there last year for my birthday, and the staff seemed to completely forget and ignore us. The staff even began to break down tables and put away chairs right around us while we were in the middle of eating our dinner. Perhaps if we were famous food critics or celebrities, the service would have been better.

I could understand if the James Beard Foundation honored Valentino's food, but to honor its service is very disturbing. In Los Angeles alone, there are too many restaurants to count whose service far outdoes Valentino's. Perhaps they did not get around to trying those restaurants.

PETER GREENE

Pacific Palisades

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