Red hot in the Redwood Room?!
Nothing gets me more frustrated when establishments try to fake a hot scene and create demand. As a guest of the Clift Hotel in San Francisco I finally visited the famous Redwood Room on my last night there. The hostess informed me on arrival that I would have to wait at least a half an hour for a table despite there being 4 open tables. I informed her that I was a guest of the hotel but she said that I was welcome to hang out in the lobby living room and order drinks and snacks from out there. The ‘living room’ was quieter and more peaceful but I soon discovered that service was spotty. After sitting there for about 10 minutes without a welcome a tall man in a suit asked if I had been helped yet. I said no and then he introduced himself as the manager. So I turned on the charm and introduced myself and explained that I had wanted to sit in the Redwood room since it was my last night and had limited time but was not granted a table. He offered to look into the wait for me. He came right back and escorted me to a nice table for two. 10 minutes later he told me that the table he seated me at was reserved for another party and that I would have to relinquish it in about an hour citing that he has to offer all guests an opportunity to experience the Redwood Room. Oh, you mean the snobbery? It was raining out and I suspect that many wouldn’t show up for their tables. My guest arrived, we had a great time despite the super hot (spicy) noodle box that on the second try was delivered with sliced hot peppers and the attitude. I am told that San Francisco just doesn’t have that many sophisticated establishments and when I suggested to the manager that they might think of opening another cool spot he remarked, ‘then it would be oversaturated!’ We never did get kicked out of our table so ‘don’t believe the hype’.