Hot tables frequently involve sucking up to a Maitre d' who you vaguely recognize as "Maitre D'" from Season 3 of Two And A Half Men. Put yourself in charge with Table Pronto.
Just launched in LA, Table Pronto creates a market for the most coveted reservations in town, put up for sale by honest cancellers, or flinty-eyed reservers who made their bones scalping Aerosmith tickets. Using it's simple: choose a restaurant and immediately you'll get available tables; search by options including party size, days/times your interested in, and amount you're willing to pay (how bad do you really want that promotion/marriage to come through?). Key your credit card, and you'll get an email with the name of the table donor, who hopefully won't be named Francis, or "Malibu."
If you're the one with the unusable table, Pronto's got you too -- just post your res for sale, and you'll be the one sitting at home counting your money, and your...Me-e-e-en.