Sometimes less is much, much more. At the Bite Size restaurant in L.A.’s suburban Toluca Lake, for example, the little things make all the difference. Owner-brothers Bruce and Mark Tiger learn every patron’s name. The regulars, who range from construction workers to studio bosses, know each other too, or if they don’t, the Tigers make the necessary introductions. The chumminess is enhanced by the only waitress, Linda Boggis, who cheerily calls out “bless your heart” whenever someone leaves a tip.
Then there’s the food. You should try it, all of it, and at the Bite Size, you can. In addition to standard fare, the restaurant, which is just 500 square feet, offers 32 items that have been miniaturized without any shrinkage in flavor. The dinky dogs are 3¼ inches long. There are teeny tacos, pygmy pizzas, bantam burgers, puny pitas and peewee potato chips. No morsel is longer than four inches or costs more than $2.59, and you can consume a mini four-course meal for $3.76.
“We stress that our food be the exact miniature of the regular product,” says Bruce, 40, the burly brother who is the chef. Asks Mark, 33: “Can we start ya off with a bite-size falafel?”
“Sometimes I’ll get a burger, a pizza and a hot dog all together,” says Craig Sherwood, high school baseball coach and loyalist. “I can eat three things without getting all bloated.”
First-timers seeking a little gustatory change are advised to arrive at the Bite Size early because, although the Tigers started small when they opened in April 1987, their following has grown very large. “We’ve always been heavy eaters,” Bruce says of himself and Mark, who were in real estate before cutting down on their food. “And we always liked bite sizes because we could eat some of everything.” There’s one more nice thing about the petite portions. If your eyes get too big for your stomach, you can always take a little Alka-Seltzer.