The Palomar will treat you not only to great food from the Mediterranean fringes but a percussion solo, too
34 Rupert Street, London W1 ( 020 7439 8777). Meal for two, with drinks and service £100
We expect so much of restaurants. In return for our filthy cash we expect them to send us back out the door feeling a little better than when we went in. Sadly the best we can hope for from the vast majority is that they put the world on pause for an hour or two. Some contrive to suck us dry: they pound us with concepts and throbbing music of a kind designed by the US military for psychological warfare experiments, and with a straining rictus grin of enthusiasm and jollity. Usually these places are staffed by young people; bloody young people, with their optimism and their rising hormones and their unsullied dreams.