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LA Restaurants Surrender to Customer Cell Phone Use

The website for Third Street restaurant Il Covo lists the loose English translation for its Italian name as “den of thieves” or “lair.” But after reading Jessica Gelt‘s recent LA Times article about how this establishment and others around the city have been overtaken by Smartphone-wielding customers, FishbowlLA is inclined to look up the Italian for “end of civilization.”

Then again, we’re not in the business of catering to LA’s multi-tasking parents, studio execs and Cedars-Sinai superstars. For those who are, like Il Covo general manager Eric Rosenfeld, it’s now all about accommodating device-totting diners. For example, his restaurant provides small plates on which customers can place their Smartphones, so as to avoid spillage:

“If a diner would like to have their phone on the table, we want to protect it as much as possible,” Rosenfeld explains, adding that many restaurants in Los Angeles even keep a discreet stash of iPhone and BlackBerry chargers on hand and train servers on how and when to approach a diner on a phone and what to do if a phone is in the way when it comes time to deliver a plate. (The hard and fast rule is never put your hands on another man’s phone.)

Another one of Gelt’s interview subjects, Farmer’s Market Short Order restaurant chef Christian Page, notes that “the phone is part of the place setting now.” Right next to the fork commonly misused by diners for their appetizers.

To read the full article, click here.

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