L.A. Chefs Confess: Valentine's Day Dinner Is Hard To Do

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Tasty or gouge-y? Photo: Miguelpdl/Flickr

If anyone wants to know who's really desperate on Valentine's Day, look no further than our local restaurants, who have so thoroughly penetrated our own inboxes with pleas for their dining schemes tonight that they basically make this dork look like Wilt Chamberlain. But of course, if you really want to be cool in 2013, you must have a jaded approach to Valentine's Day and any warm and cuddly emotion that doesn't drip with irony. So it goes that some of our local chefs admit that while they'll happily take your cash tonight, they're not sure the V-Day rush is necessarily the greatest evening to experience their cooking, letting L.A. Weekly know their true feelings regarding the holiday.

Making us miss Manhattan, one anonymous chef recounts the time he served a table of dancing naked transvestites to the shock and delight of other diners and another V-Day service when he got smacked with a lambchop. Michael Voltaggio also admits that there's extra pressure during the Cupid-crazed crush, rememerbgin a night he almost lost his job, which explains why he isn't doing anything special at .ink for the holiday.

Not afraid to play it straight, Baco Mercat chef-owner Josef Centeno admits what we already know, telling Besha Rodell, "Valentine's Day is NOTORIOUS for being let's-gouge-the-diner nights in the industry...In years past I found that most of the time you are left with a lot of extra product that costs a lot of money (lobster, caviar, truffles, Champagne, etc.)."

Only L.A.'s very own sweetheart, Mary Sue Milliken, isn't afraid to open up her affections, letting Rodell know that, "It's a stressful night, and the likelihood of shit hitting the fan is so much higher. But I love working on Valentine's Day....It's about love, and I love that." Awwww...

Amateur Night: Why Chefs Hate (And Love) Valentine's Day [Squid Ink/LAW]