No table for me
A quick lunch today at Table 24 in Orinda. We were on our way to play cards in Oakland and needed refueling so we went where we have been before for a quick and decent lunch.
When I was a little boy, I loved to go to diners with my dad and sit at the counter like the grown-ups. I still like counters–when Gail and I go to Va Da Vi, our favorite seats are K1 and K2–the chef’s counter, where we can watch the cooks make our food.
So naturally, we sat at the counter at Table 24. This isn’t like an old time diner, sadly. The chairs are high stools, there is no jukebox machine between every 2 seats, you give you order to a waitress who is working on the floor, not in front of you. Still, it’s fun to watch the cooks working like the pounding hammers of hell turning out the food in a never ending stream.
Watching short order cooks work is always fun. These guys didn’t go to culinary school, they learned on the job, usually starting as dishwashers and working their way up. The work is hard, fast and endless; they dance around each other in a tiny space wielding implements very hot and very sharp and try not to kill anyone.
The ballet of the kitchen is meaningless if the food doesn’t match up. Fortunately, the food is as good as the floor show.
Service is attentive, and would be faster if they weren’t so darned busy. Yes, they have tables, both inside and out, but you really want to sit at the counter and watch the show. Raise a glass to my old man while you’re there.