Have you ever noticed, when you return from a dinner out, that cooking odors have become embedded in your clothing? Some of my favorite restaurants — mostly Asian, for some reason — seem to suffer from inadequate kitchen ventilation. I don’t mind inhaling the odors while I’m at the restaurant — they may even enhance the overall culinary experience. But I find them nauseating when I continue to smell them in my clothing after I leave the restaurant.
I’ve never felt comfortable complaining to a restaurant manager about this problem. It’s almost as awkward as telling a friend that he has body odor. But there is no denying that I think about the cooking-odor aftermath when I’m trying to decide where to go for a dinner out. Sometimes the decision turns on whether the next day is laundry day. Is it really possible that the offending restaurants are unaware of the problem? Or that they are incapable of upgrading their kitchen ventilation?