Your food is too much work, please pass the cheeseburger.

Gourmet foodie culture in the US is interesting. And that “culture” could almost classify as “cult”. I’m feeling down about high-end food today, because I wasn’t swift enough this morning to be able to book a seat at Per Se for my birthday dinner. I tried similarly to get into French Laundry the last few times I was in the Bay Area with equally poor result. And yet, I walked in to a Joel Robuchon restaurant in Paris last year, was seated in spite of a botched reservation, and had a lovely lovely lunch. Admittedly, we’re not talking about El Bulli, which has some of the same cult foodie problems–but there’s a level of enjoyment I lose when trying to get into a restaurant is a huge chore and people treat getting in to high end places as some kind of crazy prize.

I completely sympathize with chefs who feel that to control food quality they have to keep the number of covers a night very small–especially those doing extravagant multi-course tasting menus. But don’t you lose something when it’s so impossible to get reservations?

I suspect I have no point with this, except to be sad that I won’t be spending my birthday at Per Se, and I feel like I need to think hard before trying to pick up reservations at WD-50 or Ko–as it’s the same kind of issue of limited space and everyone and their mothing trying to get in.