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Industry Tastemakers on Their 2014 Restaurant Grievances

As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. We've already covered Best Standbys, Top Newcomers, 2014 in one word, best dining neighborhoods, biggest dining surprises of the year and single best meals of 2014. Now, 2014 restaurant grievances. Readers, please add your thoughts to the comments.

YIE2014dark_small.0.png Q: What was your restaurant grievance in 2014?

Mitchell Wilburn, VegasChatter: Lollipop wings.  Lord keep me from those lollipop wings. For being minimally easier to eat with lipstick on, it turns something simple into a mess of cartilage and sinew.

E.C. Gladstone, About.com/GoVegas (Guest Contributor); JackColton.com (Dining & Drinking Editor); NowImHungry.com (Titanium Overlord): Mine? Not enough daring and too much inconsistency. Waaay too much praise for places that were basically keeping pace with global trends.

Bob Barnes, Editorial Director of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional,
Las Vegas Reporter for Gayot and Regional Correspondent for Celebrator Beer News: Having servers bring a fine craft beer in a frosted glass, as cold masks the intricate flavors of most beer styles. Also, having a lemon inserted into my beer without requesting it (lemon juice also masks a beer’s flavors).

Michael G. Uzmann, Doctor, Blogger, Wandering Diner: The "service" in Las Vegas compared to almost anywhere else in the nation. In a word, dreadful.

Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas: Definitely CNF charges. The "Concession & Franchise Fee" is tacked onto restaurant tabs, often without customers knowing about them until they get their check. Cabo Wabo Cantina (Planet Hollywood), Sugar Factory (Paris Las Vegas) and Señor Frog's (Treasure Island) all have CNF charges. It's insulting, predatory, indefensible and borderline fraudulent in my opinion, and customers should discourage this awful practice by going elsewhere.

Robin Leach, gossip columnist for the Las Vegas Sun: COPYCAT RESTAURANTS FAILING ALL ORIGINALITY, OVERHYPE BY TOO ENTHUSIASTIC PR PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW ABOUT FOOD & WHEN TWO GLASSES OF WINE EXCEEDS THE PRICE OF A BOTTLE!

Don Chareunsy, Senior Editor, Arts + Entertainment, Las Vegas Sun: I stopped dining at a handful of restaurants this year because of rude staff and poor customer service. We all have bad days, but never, ever take it out on customers. Also, enough of the "gourmet" doughnut shops. No, thanks.

Brock Radke, food and drink editor for Las Vegas Weekly: Deviled eggs. They just never feel like a restaurant dish, no matter what you do to 'em. That being said, the ones at Eat are crunchy. Have you tried them?

Jim Begley, freelance food and drink writer for Las Vegas Weekly, Desert Companion, Las Vegas Magazine and sundry publications: Dumbing down of menus. Challenge diners and you’ll be rewarded; don’t feel the need to placate the lowest common denominator.

Louis Hirsch, Foodservice Designer for JEM WEST, contributor for Vegas Burger Blog and the upcoming Vegas Reuben Blog: Corrupt Criticism. Just because a negative comment is placed into a review doesn't mean we can't see through an inherent need to be nice to the owners and PR companies. We know who doesn't wanto to lose their comp card and invites to openings. As an operator, restaurants should WANT to make critics pay for meals, in order to evaluate their faults and make them better. Critics need to have $$$ to eat out on their own and explore, whether on expense or their own dime. If you love food the way you say you do, get out of the Del Taco line.

Travel magazine pieces notwithstanding (we do need promo pieces written for the tourists I get it), it seems the savvy owners know how to manipulate their relationships, and the less affluent owners have to hope for some objectivity. If it was transparent on both sides, writers might have the power they THINK they have now.

JoAnna Haugen, Las Vegas contributing editor, Travel Weekly: Giada doesn't serve her signature dish, lemon spaghetti, at lunch, which is surprising and disappointing.

Amelinda B Lee, photographer for Eater Vegas: I really couldn't come up with a recent answer for the restaurant grievance.

Susan Stapleton, editor of Eater Vegas: So many restaurants still being shut down by the Southern Nevada Health District. So many burgers. I get it that tourists often like to eat something familiar, but sometimes these simple meals can cost as much as a nice dinner out.

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