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Hizzoner Richard Riordan's Magic Touch

Inside Riordan's Tavern

Russ Parsons has a conversation with former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan about all of his restaurant success over the years: Gladstone's is one the highest grossing restaurants in Southern California, the lines at the Original Pantry are still omnipresent (and down to 26 minute waits from 29 minutes), and he's opened three new places (Riordan's Tavern downtown, Village Pantry and The Oak Room in Pacific Palisades) in the last year. So what's the secret?

"When it comes to restaurants, I would say I can't paint a painting, but I can tell when it's good. I can walk the restaurant, and I can feel when things aren't going right. I may not be able to design it from the first, but when it's done, I know what's not working and what is working, and I know it when I see customers are not happy."
What wasn't working for him that day was bacon on sandwiches, an added cost. Until, of course, he ripped into the 'Mayor's Burger', a FO rip-off with bacon, caramelized onions, blue cheese and arugula. "That's a really good burger."
· Richard Riordan grows his restaurant empire [LAT]
· Riordan's Village Pantry brings big changes to the Palisades [~ELA~]