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Industry Vets Share Their Biggest Restaurant Grievances of 2015

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As is tradition at Eater, we close out the year by surveying local food writers on various restaurant-related topics, and we'll be publishing their responses throughout the week. Readers, please feel free to share your thoughts below. We asked: What was your biggest restaurant grievance of 2015?

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Michael Gardiner, San Diego CityBeat: The departure of Anthony’s from the iconic downtown harbor side location might have been a chance for a major upgrade of more than just income to the Port of San Diego. Instead, it will look nicer, the food might be a notch better, but I cannot help but feel the sense of missed opportunity. The Brigantine may be local but it is not much better than average, and Miguel’s struggles to see "average" from where they’re lodged. This could have been an opportunity to truly define our waterfront and highlight what San Diego has to offer. Instead, a cramped bidding timetable and singular focus on revenue left only the big boys -- the average boys -- to play and mediocrity to carry the day.

Erin Jackson, Thrillist: I think the lack of affordable, counter-service restaurants serving a small (but mighty) menu of well-executed items is serious a missed opportunity. I wish local restaurant owners and chefs would take a cue from Portland and look to restaurants like Lardo, Grassa and Bollywood Theatre for inspiration. There is a lot of fertile ground between fine (or even traditional) dining and fast-casual chains.

Michele Parente, San Diego Union-Tribune: Where is the polish? Not to offend, but PYTs at the hostess stand who sound like they’re 12 don’t scream "sophisticated city!" Nor do the overly-casual waiters who respond to "thank you" with "no worries." Why aren’t people better trained in their restaurant’s wine program? Why aren’t kitchens turning out dishes with flavor with some consistency? Why ad infinitum. We’re failing the basics, people. Get thee to LA, SF, NYC, Portland and the Valle and see how it’s done.

Amy T. Granite, Discover SDChefs who peacock on social media for the wrong reasons. I don’t care what the person who’s cooking my food looks like—let alone what they look like shirtless or pant-less in aprons or chefs’ coats, posing with pig heads and other hardcore props. I’d much rather be shocked by graphic food porn than unappetizing photos of chefs, wouldn’t you?

Barbarella Fokos, San Diego ReaderLines, or what I call the "fast-fooding" of "Slow Food."

Frank Sabatini, Jr., San Diego Community News Network: What ever happened to appetizers first, salad next and then the main entrée? I’ve lost count how many times multi-course pileups have occurred at my table.


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