Regarding "Food's Extra?" by Catharine Hamm [On the Spot, Jan. 16]: When somebody pays more than $1,000 for a ticket in first class and cannot eat what the coach passengers are eating, I think it's time to have a QMI, or quality marketing intelligence meeting.
A few years ago on Amtrak, a young woman joined us for dinner (tables were for four). She looked at the menu and, after much fussing, told the waiter there was nothing on it she liked.
Instead of saying, "I'm sorry. That's all we have," the waiter asked her, "What would you like?" She replied, "A nice salad." Her wish was his command. A few minutes later, a gourmet salad arrived with all the trimmings.
She was overjoyed. The waiter had diffused a potentially embarrassing situation for not only himself and the young woman but also for the other first-class diners.
I chuckled as I read D. Esquibias' complaint about having to fork over $6 for an entree on an Alaska Airlines flight because his wife did not want the free chicken sandwich offered to first-class passengers.
I think it is great that while people across our country are scrounging and scrimping to try to make ends meet, the Esquibias family can afford four first-class flights at more than $1,000 a ticket.
What I find queasy is that the letter writer's obvious dissonance, sense of entitlement and selective pettiness will be lost on a majority of readers.
I don't think Hamm answered the question asked by D. Esquibias from Westlake Village. He said he was flying first class. Why were they offered only a chicken sandwich? I'm shocked that first class was merely serving chicken sandwiches. I thought it was unlimited alcohol, better meals, snacks, warm towels and comfortable seating.
Santa Barbara dining secret
I read Rosemary McClure's comments about restaurants in Santa Barbara for under $10 ["Santa Barbara on a Budget, Jan. 9]. She forgot, or maybe she is not familiar with, Santa Barbara's best-kept secret: Mexican Fresh on the Mesa. It's not far from Rose Café, but the food is so much better. It's less expensive as well. I'm totally addicted.
I can't determine how or why the legendary La Super-Rica restaurant was excluded from McClure's list of Santa Barbara bargains. A glaring omission, but perhaps it's just as well — the lines to get in are long enough already. Thanks for keeping it quiet.
I was in Santa Barbara twice last year and prefer organic meats and produce (mostly local as well) at the Summerland Bistro, Soujourner Cafe and Blue Agave. My average tab was $15 to $25 for healthful, tasty, local fare, all in historic, charming little rooms.