This story first appeared in the June 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
"Hold the cheese," "no oil," "dressing on the side" … Nothing surprises L.A. restaurant staff in a town of finicky diners, except perhaps these requests that some maitre d's shared with THR:
► A celebrity asked to have a steak made and served in the private dining room so he could keep up the appearance of being a vegan.
► Someone asked if they could buy out the restaurant to seat their tiger. Needless to say, it didn't happen.
► A vegan tasting menu for one diner in a group, but he also insisted on having the foie gras.
► A separate table for someone's dog.
► Nothing purple on the plate -- ever!
► A diner asked for beef tenderloin in the shape of an elephant for her son's third birthday.
► "Don't ever decrumb the table! The less disturbances to our conversation, the better."
► A regular asked to have the entire menu read to him every time he came. The staff wasn't sure if he could read or not.
► A mother throwing a family party decided to teach her tardy relatives a lesson. She instructed the restaurant staff to set out dirty plates and table settings wherever latecomers were seated, as if they had missed the meal -- lesson learned!