The Ivy: Where paparazzi are the pigeons

Celebrities don't go to The Ivy for an intimate lunch with friends. If you're in the public eye, you're making a silent (or not so silent) agreement to "make an appearance" where food also happens to be. Or as the bitingly hilarious Michael K. from D Listed puts it: THE IVY: Where THIRSTAY hos can quench their thirst on $30 lemonade and camera flashes.  

one-of-a-kind dish!
Any city dweller knows the perils of dining al fresco, with fearless pigeons scuttling for crumbs. Paparazzi do the same thing at The Ivy, dragging cameras and waiting for crumbs. I get the up-and-down until they realize I'm not thin enough to be famous, then they move on to the next person in oversized sunglasses.

eeehh, nothing compared to Villa Blanca
The one complaint I've always heard about the Ivy is that it's overrated. On the contrary, my Cajun shrimp plate was really special, and I know I'll never be able to get it anywhere else. All the same, the tuna tartare was mediocre and my mint julep too strong (taste=C effect=A+!). And while the decor was quaint and lovely, it was too packed. But why do these minor things send my Los Angeles friends into a tailspin, especially when we've experienced so much worse? Did they expect Angelina Jolie to serve them Cream of Orphan Tears on a tray that once belonged to the estate of  Liz Taylor, just because they've read about The Ivy in tabloids? 

I think the real problem is that it's overpriced. If they brought their costs down, people won't fly into such a tirade when they recount their dining experience. Because at the end of the day, some of these people seem pissed that they plopped $60 down on a grilled cheese sandwich and got no star sightings out of it. Most of the time, that's what it's really about.

the iconic fence
But of course, The Ivy will never comply. They know what they're doing. As long as stars know that the paparazzi will be there, and the people know that the stars will be there because the stars know that the paparazzi will be there, this charade will continue to grow. So will the rants and so will the prices. C'est la vie.

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