Who: Samia Khan, Anand Murthy, and Top Chef Masters star Rick Bayless.
What: Dining together at a new restaurant (sort of.)
Where: At Bayless’ new restaurant, “Red O” on Melrose in Los Angeles.
When: A few Fridays ago, 10pm.
Why: Because we were hungry.
Alright here’s the deal. We didn’t ACTUALLY eat with Bayless. But we ate near him, and well, watching him as he ate the food he “designed” counts for something, right? (I’m sure someone out there would get equally excited over seeing Steve Jobs use an iPhone or Lady Gaga dancing to “Bad Romance” at a club.)
Anyway. Anand is a vegetarian, and as a result, had a bone to pick with Mr. Bayless. Problem? As he puts it… most nice restaurants have minimal vegetarian options.
Yes. We wanted to go up to his table and address this issue. No, we didn’t actually do that (please…haven’t you heard of nice-restaurant etiquette?)
Lucky for us? Bayless happened to be leaving the restaurant the EXACT same time we were. And happened to be walking in the same direction.
The Khanversationalist in me must strike up a convo. So, uh, the issue is addressed.
Hi Mr Bayless? My friend has something he wants to talk to you about (yes I passed the issue off to the vegetarian.)
They discuss it. Bayless comes off as slightly defensive. Conclusions, however, are reached.
Result: The clientele that enter high-end restaurants order vegetarian options only 10 percent of the time. To have more than 10 percent of the menu as vegetarian opens up opportunities for wastefulness (ie food gets thrown out.)
Thus… it’s all business for Bayless.
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