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Radio Host Blasts Charcoal in Venice After Run-In With 'Belligerent' Investor

The radio show host takes to Facebook to share his frustrations.

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Charcoal, Venice
Charcoal, Venice
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Even if you don’t know what Tom Schnabel looks like, there’s a good chance you’ve heard his voice. The longtime public radio host of shows like Rhythm Planet has been a staple on the airwaves for years, but took to a new medium — Facebook, this time — to voice his displeasure over a recent evening at Josiah Citrin’s new Venice restaurant Charcoal.

Per the publicly available post, Schnabel says that he and some friends made their way to the new Venice restaurant on Saturday night and were stationed by the bar while waiting for an open table. At one point, a stranger bumped into Schnabel and then proceeded to get into a row with one of Schnabel’s associates.

A manager intervened, Schnabel says, and requested that the radio host's party leave the restaurant because of the incident. It seems, according to them, that the instigator was "a big investor" in the restaurant, and so he would be allowed to stay while Schnabel’s crew were threatened with a call to the police if they didn’t exit the premises.

Alternatively calling the unnamed investor boorish, rude, and a "belligerent jerk," Schnabel goes on to say that even a hostess at the restaurant felt the need to apologize to him on the way out, intimating that the same treatment from the same man had befallen her before.

Ultimately Schnabel heads next door to Le Cellier and has a nice meal, but not before vowing to never set foot in Charcoal again. The post, which carries a few hundred likes and more than three dozen shares, has also now spilled over to the restaurant’s Facebook and Yelp pages. Eater reached out to both Schnabel and Charcoal for confirmation on the incident, but as of posting neither have responded.