Mountain Views News, Pasadena Edition [Sierra Madre] Saturday, October 7, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:9

Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 7, 2017 9FOOD AND DRINK & MORE Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 7, 2017 9FOOD AND DRINK & MORE 

This is the question: when is a restaurantfair game for a review? With the popularityof Yelp and message boards on the internet,
it seems that the feeding frenzy of reviewsbegins as soon as a restaurant opens itsdoors. We can’t blame social media, 
however. Even before everyone andtheir sister became a restaurant blogger,
newspapers big and small wanted “theirguy” to be the first to review the new kidin town. What is the difference between 
a movie review and restaurant review? In 
my mind, plenty. A movie will be edited 
to pieces and previewed a hundred timesbefore it hits the screen - many times theending will be changed or the musicalscore played with - you get the picture. I have been doing this long enough to know the opening daygeneral manager and executive chef probably won’t be around by the first anniversary anyway. 

Merrill Shindler from KABC Radio feels that if a restaurant is charging full fare they are open to a fullreview. My dear departed dad, Elmer Dills, thought six months was sufficient time to iron out anykinks. He’d say, “the paint isn’t dry yet!” and that’s actually what led me to this article. I went to the new 
Nick’s Restaurant on South Lake the other night, and I could smell the paint (I really could!). Pasadena 
“godfather” of restaurants, Gregg Smith, told me he felt six weeks was plenty of time to get the acttogether - if you can’t succeed in six weeks, you are in trouble. The smart restaurants do what is called 
a soft opening - limited hours, limited menu, and discounted food. That gives the restaurant plentyof time to get to know their community and the guests can sample the menu. I tend to get pretty goodvibes about a restaurant, maybe you do too? Will it make it, is there parking, is the bar area cool? Sure, 
during the first week the food may be slow to come out or your chosen drink isn’t quite like the oneby your favorite bartender, but the restaurant itself is fluid; it has life. My approach is simple: I’ll writea ”first impression” review, and then go back in six months for an update. I will usually find a totally 
different restaurant at that point. Or at least I hope I do. 

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