Pret-a-Reporter

L.A. Maitre D's Reveal Diners' Most Insane Special Requests

Illustration by: Luci Gutiérrez

From the celebrity vegan who scarfed steak in the kitchen to the table for one (dog), the most outrageous asks in a town of finicky diners.

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.

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 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."

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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!

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