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Taking a noise snapshot at L.A. restaurants
Taking a noise snapshot at L.A. restaurants

We know it's noisy out there in the restaurant world. Customers' complaints are growing, critics are including noise commentary in their reviews, and restaurateurs, to some extent, are trying to figure out ways to modify the acoustic mayhem. But just how noisy is it? With a decidedly unscientific approach, all it took was a sound meter app (deciBel Pro) and visits to a dozen restaurants and bars across Los Angeles to find out. In many cases, we're all dining with the noise equivalent of a lawn mower running next to us: That's 90 decibels. Normal conversation is 60 to 65 decibels. (And the decibel scale, like the Richter scale, is logarithmic: The higher up the decibel...

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