Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post has delivered a hulking 3,000-word story on the
state of DC’s loud restaurants
, a story that echoes the themes of a February LA Times piece.

Minimalist modern design is largely to blame: All that glass, steel, and tile produces cavelike echoes. And despite the fact that noise has become the second-most-cited diner complaint regarding restaurants (right after service), there’s a general attitude that a) noise won’t keep people away, and b) shouting over the din of dining adds a sexy “night on the town” edge to the experience.

To each his own, but Sietsema has decided to follow the lead of publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle and add decibel counts to his dining column in the Washington Post Magazine.

Hard not to applaud that kind of news you can use, but Sietsema goes a little over the top when he asks readers to empathize with the guy who—“[f]ueled by a few drinks”—proposed to his girlfriend in a jet-engine-loud restaurant, and then got all huffy about how it turned out. To quote the Internet: Somebody call the Waaahmbulance!

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