Roaming around the restaurants in Paris has been an adventure. Every single one of them has an attitude and an ambience that is unspeakable and uncommon compared to the restaurants in the States. When it comes to the restaurants that I often go to in Los Angeles, it is apparent to distinguished what is 5-star restaurant and a food truck per say. While here in Paris the aesthetics of every single restaurant is so similar that is hard to predict how much you might pay at a place.
While the famous saying states, “you should not judge a book by its cover” I have come up with my own (that is more specific to restaurants in Paris which is, “you should not judge a Parisian restaurant by its façade”.
The place was quite tiny with probably less than 20 tables including the first and the second floor. The ambiance in the room was quite different from the States; everything ran much smoother and for the most part, the waiter only came by if called him. Unlike the States when you have someone checking upon you every 10 minutes. We have in a staggering group of 20 individuals. So, we were seated in two different table. To get to the booth part of the table we had to move the table to get at least and extra centimeter of space. The walls had deterioration here and there. I have not concern about it, for me it gives it a different ambiance and a sense of originality, but if this would have happened in the States there would be a negative review about it on Yelp.
My first welcoming dish I had in Paris was fish, spinach and soufflé. Everything looked and tasted healthy. Coming from a Latin American background I questioned myself. Where is the salt? Where is the pepper? I eagerly wanted to drop the whole bottle of salt and pepper onto it. But I did not. I decided to leave the dish as it is. As I feel that putting extra ingredients onto a dish could be seen as lack of respect and shall be only be done under the comfort of your own home. Just like art. You would not maneuver the aspect of a painting or a sculpture because it would no longer be original and would become a collaboration. Which is something I highly respect. As much as I want to add hot sauce, pepper and salt to everything I re-evaluate the mindset and be open to the flavors that the dish must offer.
Getting out of the restaurant I took a quick glimpse of the people around. I came to realize how different restaurants are the states. The French have small intimate settings and embrace nostalgic settings. While American praise the new modern restaurants that are intact and built to perfection. The French enjoyed the solidarity of eating alone. While the Americans look at the act of solidarity as something strange and to me, courageous.