Last week's Times dissing of Bastide—S. Irene Virbila downgraded it from L.A.s only four-star restaurant to one star—gets a full story on page three of the Business Journal. Rebecca Flass examines the record and finds that other restaurants panned by Virbila, including Matsuhisa and Parkway Grill, still score very high with Zagat Survey diners. But David Slay, the former owner of La Veranda in Beverly Hills, describes how a bad review killed him off.
The review came out on a Sunday morning, he said, and by the time he got into work that day, the calls were already coming in from people canceling dinner reservations.
“It was devastating,” said Slay. “Business literally dropped every day. I thought we had a good, loyal clientele, but it was over with quickly.”
Business declined by more than 50 percent and within five months he had closed the restaurant.
Bastide's chef wouldn't comment for the story, nor would the owner, but general manager Donato Poto said, "Everyone is doing their job. She is doing hers and we’re doing ours."