Sometimes, you can, in fact, kid a kidder.
But this was not one of those times.
When doing a walk-though of the now-open Sushi Roku at the W Scottsdale Hotel & Residences a few weeks ago, I talked with one of the restaurant's owners, Philip Cummins of Innovative Dining Group, about how seriously the restaurant takes its atmosphere-setting playlists.
He talked to me about how a company designs 30-day set lists that adjust moods every 30 minutes, from the breakfast crowd to the late-night cocktails scene.
He talked to me about how Janet Jackson ate at the West Hollywood location and was so smitten with the background music that she asked for a copy of the set list.
He talked about how Sushi Roku is SO proud of its carefully cultivated music selection that on its Web site it sells CDs called Sounds Like Sushi Roku and Sounds Like Kitana, its sister restaurant.
Being music-obsessive, I had the public relations company mail me a copy.
For $20, a price no one has paid for a CD since the mid-'90s, I expected either 50 songs, or 15 mind-blowing ones.
After several listens, I've surmised that if Cummins is really into music as much as he intimated, he must have had nothing to do with the creation of this 13-song experiment in tedium.
If he was involved, I can only assume he was snowing me about how much he loves music.
It inspires little other than breathtaking boredom.
But I ate at the restaurant last week with an open mind. I listened to the music.
But the music was a total non-starter.
I barely noticed it, and when I did, there was nothing so compelling about it that would inspire me to develop anything that could be described as a feeling. It was nightlife elevator music.
I know no one goes to a fancy restaurant at a chichi hotel for the music. But when you're selling a scene more than cuisine, that music better be pretty freaking cool.
The food is just fine, not amazing. The servers were polite and totally on-point. The saketini was lovely. My date loved his lychee mojito, but it was so sweet, I wanted to brush my teeth after the first sip.
Cummins stressed that in hospitality, every tiny detail must be perfect.
I would argue, then, that in hospitality, no detail is tiny, and the music at Sushi Roku is far from perfect.