No Free Lunch, But Valet Parking's on House

We know good, normally reasonable people who think nothing of using 1/16th of a tank of gas, practically, while driving all over kingdom come, while listening to an entire album from start to finish, just looking for a parking space.

Granted, for a big city, Los Angeles doesn't have it too bad in the magical-space-appearing department; just talk to anyone from Manhattan or San Francisco.

But, 100-percent tired of wasting the gas, sanity and time, even the most committed parking-searchers will turn to the valet.

Now, Maggiano's at The Grove is doing something nice starting on April 1: Valet parking will be covered, gratis, for lunchtime visitors.

Which got us thinking about how the merchants along nearby Third Street offered complimentary valet service during the holiday season, and how that got a lot of press and garnered much good will for the bustling stretch (which has weathered its own well-known space-for-cars issues).

Perhaps, as restaurants look for ways to survive the recession, covering the valet could be one route.

Of course, we remain enamored with all those tasty 2-for-1 entree specials and the turbo'd-out, drink-deals-up-the-wazoo happy hours, no doubt. But knowing how parking can pique people in this city, it is, perhaps, an idea worth driving by.

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