Sunday, December 04, 2005


La Luna

Silence greeted Kelly and me when we walked into La Luna. There was only one family sitting at a table, and no staff in sight. In a minute, a waitress came out of the kitchen and apoligized; the staff had been planning their Christmas party. We only saw two more groups of people arrive during the whole time we were eating there.

I don't usually expect a restaurant to be almost deserted at dinnertime on a Friday evening in a fair-sized town. The empty feeling somehow clung to the restaurant like a fog. It somehow even extended to the walls, which were decorated with a classy mixture of paintings and antiques. Somehow, the decour felt like it was missing something, just like the restaurant seemed to be missing patrons. I felt vaugely unsettled by this. If I were Stephen King, I'd start to think of writing a story about a restaurant haunted by the ghost of a murdered chef just to capture that feeling.

The food did nothing to explain why the restaurant was so empty. We ordered an apetizer of fried mozzerella that we agreed was one of the best fried cheese foods we'd ever tried. I couldn't pass up a fifteen dollar New York Strip Steak, which came with diced potatoes and green beans. The steak was so big that I wondered how they could afford to sell them at that price. The preparation showed an outstanding talent with spices. The only demerits to my meal were a few tough spots in an otherwise tender and flavorful cut of meat.

The service also did not seem like a ready explanation for why there were so few patrons. After the slight delay in getting a table, they waited on us like we were the only ones there. While we almost were the only ones there, the staff was most attentive and polite.

There were a few cleanliness issues, but they did not seem to be enough to explain their business woes. The men's room had a small hole in the plaster, and one of the "legs" for the sink was missing. I suspect some of this defered maintenance was a symptom, not a cause, of the small number of customers. The only other thing I could think of was a small fleck of bone that turned up in one of Kelly's meatballs, but surely that would have to be just a small case of bad luck... wouldn't it?

I'm still a little puzzled as to why La Luna seemed so empty.

1820 GA Highway 20
Conyers, GA 30013

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