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Losing taste for Batali?

April 05, 2006

AS a former fan of Mario Batali, I was appalled to read of his attitude and the "house rules" at Del Posto ("Where Has the Love Gone?" March 29).

If my memory serves me correctly, don't the patrons of an establishment have the right to decide when they can order their food?

Having been in the food service industry for nearly 30 years, I'm well aware that certain meal courses must be properly timed. But based on Batali's comment -- "I'd rather have a restaurant with attitude than just say 'let's make people happy' " -- I'm inclined to believe such an attitude has nothing to do with being in the service industry and everything to do with stroking his ego and padding his pockets.

After all, why allow people to kick back and enjoy a relaxing meal when you can push many more diners through the doors by keeping them on a schedule? Hopefully the "celebrity chef gone wild" has more than adequate liability insurance because he admits to employing a wait staff who isn't required "to focus on your food allergies."

Anaphylactic shock, anyone?

CHERYL ANNE YUHASZ

Santa Monica

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