Chef With Unpronounceable Name Opens Restaurant With Unpronounceable Name.
September - 15 - 2009
Potential customers, directory assistance operators and cab drivers struggle. Restaurateur Łódźki Działoszyce also struggles. The gifted chef is saddled with the burden of opening an aspiring 5-star restaurant, but one that cannot be easily found in the phone book, talked about among friends, inquired about in a taxicab, talked about at a party or read about in the newspaper.
Łódźki Działoszyce’s, whose restaurant packs a potentially phenomenal culinary punch for the most perspicacious food fan is all but invisible in the food-for-fun world. Why? Because no one can find it? Why? Because no one can ask where it is. Why? Because no one can spell it or pronounce it.
Nestled in the Hollywood Hills among the throng of pronounceable restaurants is the cozy, ten-table gourmet Mecca, but apparently only for those who know how to say its name. Problem is, no one can, much to the chagrin of Działoszyc owner of the eponymously named restaurant, Łódźki Działoszyc.
“In the self-indulgent American bastion of style – Hollywood – no one cares how a gifted restaurateur’s name is really pronounced,” he complains. “They say whatever they want.” The consequence of all this is that unless one is Polish, they’re doomed to say it wrong. As for Americans, they would never know the difference anyway, a no-win situation. “The laughable part of it all is that when Americans casually anglicize Łódźki Działoszyc’s name, they balk at the mere possibility that they might be saying it wrong, insisting that Load-sky Galoshes is, in fact, the way my name is pronounced,” bemoans Działoszyc as he stands ready for the throngs in his nearly empty restaurant.
People have been known to call the eatery to place reservations – the restaurant is only open from 5 ‘til 7 PM, then again from 8 ‘til 10 – only to be confused when Łódźki Działoszyc answers the phone, “Łódźki Działoszyc.” People often hang up because they think they’ve called a wrong number.
The problem would be virtually nonexistent if Działoszyc would simply name his restaurant “Bit o’ Poland” or “Pork ‘n Pint,” or “Kingdom of Cabbage.” But Łódźki Działoszyc will not budge. “Nobody disrespects my family name,” he bellows, wagging his beefy finger as a lone woman at table 2 quietly sips a spoon of czernina. “Once a Działoszyc, always a Działoszyc!” he grumbles as a pot of chicken broth quivers on the stove.
“I can’t understand why the need to say my name anyway,” he said.