Food & Drink

All the do's and don'ts of LA table-hovering

According to, LA has more no-reservation restaurants than any other city in the country, which means -- whether you're grabbing oceanside Bloodys at Neptune's Net or delicious Asian goodness at Pine & Crane -- at some point, you're either going to be a hoverer or a hoveree, waiting for a table or being glared at for not giving up your seat.

When that situation arises, here’s a handy guide for what you should and definitely should NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SERIOUSLY DON’T EVEN TRY IT do:

DO: Dibs the table

You're at Urth, you see a couple juuuuuust finishing up -- it's totally cool to go up to them and politely ask, "Can we have this when you're done?".

DON'T: Actually yell "DIBS"

You're at Urth, you see a couple juuuuuust finishing up -- it's totally cool to go up to them and not be a total d*ck.

DO: Acknowledge the cardinal rule of hovering. He who hovers first gets the first available table.

Related and also important: he who hoverboards first is Michael J. Fox.

DON'T: Cause a scene if a cut does happen

Alcove is a big enough place. There'll be another seat. You will eat. And it will be just as delicious.

DO: Figure out what you're gonna order ahead of time

They've got menus. Learn to use 'em. Unless it's Father's Office, then just say, "Burger, please".

DON'T: Put your bags next to the table you're sizing up

What are you, bag-marking your territory?

DO: Get drinks at the bar for yourself and your fellow hoverers

Waiting 45 minutes for a table at Golden Road? Suddenly not so bad!

DON'T: Take up a seat at the bar -- and not get a drink

Who do you think you are, the king of Siam? That's valuable drinking space, bro.

DO: Wait for your whole party to get there before the hover starts

Nothing's worse than seeing one guy sitting at a four-top on that Sycamore Kitchen patio, telling everyone "my friends'll be here in just a minute". Sure, buddy. Sure.

DON'T: Squeeze in more people than can fit at the table

Two seats at the Wurstküche benches is TWO FRIKKING SEATS, no matter how skinny/fat you are. Especially no matter how fat you are.

DO: Move on in a timely -- but un-rushed -- fashion

There are other people waiting for those precious Apple Pan seats, and you see them, and you have acknowledged them, and they have seen you finish your Hickory Burger, and now it's time to leave (or... order another Hickory Burger).

DON'T: Gather seats before you're ready to sit

Similar to the before-everyone-gets-there hover, this is just an asshat move. We're looking at you, every single person at every single brunch restaurant in town.

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Jeff Miller is an impatient hoverer. He can be reprimanded at @thrillistla on Twitter and @jeffmillerla on Instagram.