Little Dom's – Strange Niche Marketing

Sometimes one goes away for a week or so and upon returning moderately exciting things have happened in the neighborhood. In this case it was the opening of “Little Dom’s”. Right, we thought, let’s stroll over and check the place out.

Unfortunately the review stops here.

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Upon arrival at the place we got the full and extremely snotty “do you have a reservation” and “maybe, if you beg nicely enough, we will let you have a place at the bar to spend your money there, but only after a long wait”-treatment. Considering that the place was not exactly hopping and after a look at the clientele assembled we decided to take the not so subtle hint and left. To have a wonderful meal elsewhere where we also did not have a reservation.

So, what had happened? We let this sit for a while and then started to inquire about the place. What we heard was not so pleasant – it seems that some very strange niche marketing is at play here.

The preferred customers at “Little Dom’s” seem to be Twentysomethings with no real knowledge of good food, a penchant for being served mediocre fare and wines at overblown prices, all combined with wobbly service in return for the good feeling to be in a place with connections to Beverly Hills.

All this is not what Los Feliz has been waiting for. I foresee a bleak future for this latest addition to eateries in this corner of Los Angeles. People here do not go for this kind of attitude. Not from a place around the corner which aspires to teach the locals “how things are done in Beverly Hills.”

Three thumbs down for “Little Dom’s” without even having tasted the food.

Now that is a first time in my life.

2 Replies to “Little Dom's – Strange Niche Marketing”

  1. Our town is a small “bedroom” community at the edge of a large metro area. We have a high percentage of elderly in our population. One thing we have observed over the years is that people here will not support a mediocre restaurant with inflated prices. It doesn’t matter how much the owner dresses it up, if the food is lousy, the restaurant sinks. We’ve seen this so many times. Yet, there are one or two great success stories. One restaurant has been here about 20 years. It’s near the courthouse square, rather art-deco in design, the menu is excellent, and changes occasionally. It’s medium-pricey, by no means expensive. But it has stayed in business all these years because it serves good food with a minimum of pretense. We’ve had others that opened up with fabulous digs and mediocre food at medium prices, and poof, they are quickly gone. It’s interesting. People here will pay big prices, so long as the food matches the expectations. But most of us have been around too long to be fooled by kitchy decor and trendy menus.

  2. Karen, we are talking L.A. here. As much as I love the city, I am not blind to its weaknesses. One weakness is that “glitz” is valued in many areas higher than value. If something is expensive, it MUST be good. If it is not, it CAN’T be good.

    We live in an area where this point of view is not prevalent, and I am very happy about it. For hype people go elsewhere, they do not need it on their doorstep. Hype also would destroy the neighborhood – and believe me, the vultures are hovering.

    Good food, good wine, good service, a pleasant atmosphere, nobody minds paying for that. Quality does not come cheap nowadays. Well, it never did. I just feel so sad for people who did not have the chance to learn this or threw their knowledge overboard to hop onto the “we are the in-crowd”-train.

    But then again, who am I to judge. To each his own. I vote with my feet and take my money elsewhere.

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