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The Worst LA Dining Gripes and Grievances of 2015

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The city's food writers and critics air their biggest pet peeves from the year that was.

Belcampo, Santa Monica
Belcampo, Santa Monica
Wonho Frank Lee

Jeff Miller, Editor, Thrillist LA

So many new restaurants played it safe. We're supposed to be emerging as one of the best food cities in the country; I'd love for more chefs to take bold chances and develop personality rather than make predictable-if-good choices.

Garrett Snyder, LA Weekly

Having to ask for tap water (blame the drought)

Eddie Lin, Deep End Dining

E. Coli outbreaks at Chipotle.

Esther Tseng, EstarLA

Amongst the whole small plates explosion, the art of coursing out a party's order has sometimes - not always - gone by the wayside. When you're told the "plates will come out when they're ready," that could mean a whole range of things, and on the worst end it's meant this big lag between the small and not-so-small plates coming out, and/or too many coming out at a time.

Stacey Sun, DineLA

Flossie's closed. They had the best fried chicken in LA.

Tony Chen, Eater LA Contributor

Andy Ricker

Lesley Balla, LA Magazine, Angeleno, Zagat

I'm really tired of the "keeping up with the Joneses" menus around LA. I love cacio e pepe, but does everyone do the simple dish justice? No. I love charcuterie, but not everyone makes their own salumi, pates and terrines, so why would I order it? I'm just tired of one menu after another reading the same.

Euno Lee, Eater LA Contributor

The desperate-to-be-hip business naming formula of "common noun, ampersand, common noun."

Lesley Bargar Suter, Food Editor, LA Magazine

Too many times, the best thing on a restaurant's menu was also meant to be split among four people and costs $100 or more. I'm sure the 60-ounce [insert meat cut here] is incredible, but I also know I can't afford it. Or finish it with my table of two. Can we find some middle ground between small plates and large format, please?

Lucas Peterson, Eater LA Contributor

I know you need to turn this table over, but don't take my drink before I'm done.

Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch, Food is the New Rock

That too many new restaurants in L.A. are changing the game, so much and all the time. There also too many essential and iconic things we need to eat before we die, and I'm kind of tired of having my mind constantly blown. It's exhausting.

Nicole Iizuka, Senior Producer, Popsugar

BAD poke. I don't want to say names, but those "let's throw some spicy mayo last minute onto some cubed up fish and call it poke" - just NO.

Caroline Pardilla, LA Magazine, Eater Drinks

Newswise it would probably be the whole hospitality charge and no-tipping thing but for me it's restaurants too hot to get into like Jon & Vinny's. I just wanna eat!

Jon & Vinny’s Wonho Frank Lee

Bill Esparza, LA Magazine, Streetgourmet LA

Spirits. Can we not all buy the same bottles from the same distributors, for those of us who stick to wine and spirits when dining out? There are plenty of cocktails out there but we could use a better selection of spirits to order neat.

Hadley Tomicki, Urban Daddy LA

Servers asking the table if it’s our first time at the restaurant, so they can explain, "how the menu works." I’m old. I know how menus work.

Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA

There's still an imbalance of dishes on too many menus around town. Rustic doesn't have to mean heavy, and authentic isn't always going to mean something is rich beyond belief.

The Offalo

Confusion about tipping, service fees, separate BOH tip lines on the receipt, etc. To be clear: I agree that BOH deserves higher wages.

Joshua Lurie, FoodGPS

What is this, Festivus? I'm happy as long as the food arrives fast, flavorful, and with a smile.

Meghan McCarron, Associate Features Editor, Eater

Too often in LA the theater of service has been low on hospitality and high on facts. I don't ever want a server to explain anything to me ever again.

It's even worse when the server has their facts wrong. A friend of mine asked which dishes contained gluten on a menu only to have our server condescendingly insist glutenous rice contains wheat gluten (it doesn't) and that clearly wheat-based noodles were safe. We ended up giving up arguing with him and just ordered as best we could.

Matthew Kang, Editor, Eater LA

Instagram bait. Just because it looks good doesn't mean it tastes good.

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