I’m fundamentally opposed to restaurants that don’t take any reservations. Here’s who gets a pass – bars, fast food joints, tiny holes in the wall and some restaurants in Manhattan. So by that logic, I’ll give a pass to DC ramen shops like Daikaya and Toki Underground, on the grounds that ramen is considered fast food in other cultures. But places like Little Serow or Rose’s Luxury? Not so much.
It’s inconvenient, annoying and anti-social. I like people, but I can’t stand in line for 2 hours with another couple and then get ready for another 2 hours of dinner with them. No mas. Not to mention my feet would be killing by then. I’d have eaten the stale crackers and mashed protein bars at the bottom of my purse. And … I am just offended on principle.
But moral outrage only sustains me for so long. Oh, don’t get me wrong. In the case of Little Serow, it’s sustained me until this past Memorial Day Weekend when I realized it might be one of the few days of the year when it’s actually possible to snag a table.
So put aside the outrage – for an evening at least – and see …
When I got to Little Serow at 5 pm on Friday, there were already more than 20 people in line and another 5-8 behind G who had gotten there a few minutes before me. It was hot and humid, and we waited in the blazing sun, standing side by side, with our backs to the sun, so we wouldn’t fry ourselves. At 5:30 as the restaurant let the first people in, we were able to move to the shade, where it wasn’t as annoying. Besides, the line was moving.
The good news: Little Serow has a great system, and the staff is super nice. They have it down to a science and are incredibly accurate at predicting how long the meal will take.
Of course, we *just* missed the second seating, making us numbers 57 and 58 in a 28 person restaurant … We wouldn’t be seated until 8:30 or 8:45. Yikes! So a 45 minute wait in line netted us another 2 1/2 hour wait?
Just as we were debating whether to bail, the two people immediately ahead of us changed their minds and asked to be removed from the list (thank you!!!). That made all the difference in the world, bumping us up to 7:15 or 7:30 which was much more civilized.
Off G went to pick up and drop the dogs at home, while I went for a drink nearby (long week). First, I went next door to Sushi Taro for a seat at the bar, but was told politely that the bar was full. And that’s why that place is so civilized. They only take as many patrons at the bar as there are seats. So no crowding 8 deep at Sushi Taro. Makes sense. Alas for me.
Then I started toward Hank’s, but remembered that G didn’t really like it – not sure why. So I headed to Fox & Hounds and plopped down at an outdoor table and ordered a beer from the surly platinum-haired server who asked if I was old enough to drink. So I’ll give her a pass on the attitude. Yes, flattery works. After a few minutes, our former neighbor showed up unexpectedly. I caught up with Bruce on the news from the old ‘hood, then G showed up, we had another round, and then got the text – the magic text.
So in all, a very pleasant wait. But also not a typical one because of the long weekend. And a shorter one than we would have had because the two in front of us bailed (thank you!!!).
Was it worth it? I’m glad we waited, but I’m pretty sure I won’t do it again.
More on the food in a bit.