What's with L.A. and all these dark restaurants?
I can see in the dark like a cat, so even when a restaurant is quite dim, I can usually make out the menu. But then I'm odd that way. Friends who come with me usually end up trying to hold a candle up to the menu, moving it slowly up and down in order to see each item. Occasionally, some well-prepared person has one of those clever little lights that hang on a key chain, which are very useful when the battery isn't run down.
What's with the dark restaurants? It’s not necessarily romance, that’s for sure. It's about atmosphere, about exclusivity, and privacy. If the place has any pretensions to being a celebrity haunt, the management wants it dark enough that you won't be able to spot Cameron Diaz or George Clooney across the room all that easily.The late Bastide, at least, used to provide a book light for reading the wine list when you were seated in the garden.
— S. Irene Virbila
Photo credit: Rolex Dela Pena / EPA