A night on the town goes to the dogs

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While a strong wind whipped about Monday night, the Little Next Door was headed into a minor storm of its own.

A man and a woman, making quiet conversation and each with a small dog on a leash, sat on the French brasserie’s tarp-covered patio. Perhaps it was the night’s powerful gusts that startled the dogs, but before her chocolate pot de crème arrived les chiens went into a frenzied, high-pitched bark-off. It was impossible to hear anyone at your table, it was impossible to hear yourself think, it was impossible to hear what the manager had rushed over to say to the man and woman.


The dogs eventually calmed down and diners returned to their wine, their saffron salmon, their Moroccan chicken soup, their pommes frites. More wine, more bread, s’il vois plait!

But then the waiter stepped on the smaller of the two dogs as he brought the check over. In return, the dog attempted to sink tiny fangs into the waiter’s leg, ripping his pants but causing very little real harm. A second round of barking, this time epic and interminable, shot through the restaurant. Chaos reigned. The waiter wanted to be compensated. “The pants are brand new and now they’re ruined,” he said. The man and woman insisted he was the worst server they had ever had. The manager negotiated quietly and helplessly.

Man, woman and dogs soon walked out. The waiter, pants torn, returned his attention to diners and most of us left with a parting gift of a croissant for our morning coffee.

As observers, we were unified in our silent condemnation of the man and woman, vocal in our support of the waiter’s plight and sympathetic for the dogs’ miserable night out.

--Tenny Tatusian

File photo: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times