After seeing "Lost in Translation" (very good), we wandered over to this new Cuban joint on 2nd Ave, near 87th (I think it's called Cafe Havana), which we've been meaning to try for a couple of weeks. Menu looks promising, good music playing, we figured we'd give it a shot.
We walk in, it's about 9:30pm on a Sunday. A few tables of people on the sidewalk, and no tables of people inside. That's it. The place is empty. We tell the guy (a waiter) that we're a table for two. He points us toward a tiny table in the middle of the room. We eye the booths on the side. We ask if we can have a booth. He says "the booths are for 4 people." We say "the place is empty and it's 9:30pm on a Sunday." He says "sorry, those are the rules." We start laughing, we say "you've got to be kidding, you have no customers, and you're SAVING the booths for tables of 4?" He says "sorry, those are the rules." We walk out. On the way out, the waiter who was serving the sidewalk tables asks us why we're leaving. So we tell him "they won't let us have a booth." He says he can't believe it, but the owner is that big guy sitting right there at the bar, who obviously heard the whole exchange we had with the waiter inside, and said nothing.
So left we did.
We ended up at Fiona's, our favorite local pub - pints of Guinness and good burgers.