I was recently reminded of a what I consider to be a strange phenomenon that occurs in many bars/clubs here in LA (especially Hollywood). I have encountered many bars/clubs that reserve most of their seating for people who would like to eat dinner (even at 10 or 11 o'clock on a weekend night), creating a crowded bar of standing drinkers and empty tables for to-be-seated diners. The image of a packed bar/club with empty tables reserved for dinner always makes me scratch my head (this past weekend it was at the Velvet Margarita). Every time I have been talked (i.e. suckered) into sitting at a table and ordering food, it has turned out to be overpriced and subpar with poor service - making me suspect that the whole dinner option is just a scheme to get more money from Joe Q. Clubgoer.
I was wondering if anyone else could share some experiences on bars/clubs that serve food that should be avoided by all costs ("Drinks only, Please"). Conversely, if there are any bars/clubs that serve excellent food (despite conventional wisdom), please share those as well!