Over the weekend, Red Medicine — the same Beverly Hills restaurant that kicked out L.A. Times critic S. Irene Virbila and distributed photos of her once-anonymous face — publicly tweeted the names of several customers that never arrived for their reservations. The problem with the tweet-shaming is that it just listed the no-shows' names without giving them a chance to respond — and people often have valid reasons for skipping dinner. In fact, we reached out to the named customers and it turns out that at least one of them wasn't able to make their reservation because they had a death in the family.
Asking not to be mentioned by name, one of the several no-shows we reached out to responds via e-mail:
I'm not on Twitter and therefore didn't see the post so it has no effect on me but yes, I am that [Name Withheld]. I wanted to take my fiancée and friends out to Red Medicine because I had been before with a friend and loved it. I set a reservation that day at 6:00 P.M. for a 7:30 P.M. reservation (so clearly they weren't busy). Unfortunately, about 20 minutes after making the reservation, I got a call from my mom saying my uncle had passed away and it was the last thing on my mind to call and cancel our reservation.
They did have my cell phone # and never called to see where we were. If they had called my cell I would have told them my situation which I hope they would have understood.
Not sure why they would try and publicly embarrass me in this difficult time for me and my family. I would not like to be published by name but don't mind you letting them know I won't be back at their establishment anytime soon.
And there you go. For at least one of the seven people called out by the restaurant this week, it was a truly understandable, human situation that kept them from making their table.
Earlier: LA Restaurant Outs No-Shows on Twitter [Eater]