To the gentleman at Silver Trumpet who seated us on Thursday, Nov. 10:
I owe you an apology. You see, I lied to you. As you showed me to my seat, you asked me politely, “You have the same last name as the OC Weekly food writer. Are you him?”
Flustered and quite shocked that my cover was blown, I blurted out, “No, I'm not.”
I immediately felt terrible . . . not because, for the first time, I was
identified as a reviewer, but that I had to be evasive to you about it.
At that point, my reaction became a desperate act to make sure I
wasn't going to get any special treatment–that the food I was about to
taste would be the same for me as it would be for any other customer.
After the meal was over and I paid the check, I intended to come clean
to you, to tell you that you were right, that I was that guy, but you
It was all because of my carelessness. I had made the reservation using
the Open Table app on my phone, not realizing it was logged in with
my real name, not an alias. And when I arrived at the restaurant and
you asked for my last name, I said it by reflex–a perfect storm of
stupidity on my part.
I'm not even sure if you believed me, but as the meal I had at this
first visit was the disappointing prix fixe I mentioned in my review
and the better meal was the one I had weeks later when I returned and
you weren't there, it seemed it wouldn't have made a difference.
Nevertheless, I apologize. You got me. I do hope, however, you've
forgotten what I look like by now. I'd like to come back to eat there
and just be another one of your well-treated customers.
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.