Sometimes, justice can prevail: A judge threw out a lawsuit from East Village drag queen eatery Lucky Cheng's against restaurant guide Zagat. The 2004 Zagat guide gave Lucky Cheng's a single digit food rating for the past two years (most recently a 9 out of 30), prompting the management to sue Zagat for defamation. Supreme Court Justice Diane Lebedeff wrote in her ruling:
While this restaurant owner believes it has `hit the sweet spot' with its menu and food choices, the Zagat reviewers suggest the menu selection misses the mark a bit, notwithstanding that the establishment as a whole offers an entertaining and engaging evening. This disagreement over taste and fashion is not the stuff of defamation.
A restaurant review, no matter how harsh, is not an appropriate basis for a libel action because it reflects an individual's subjective opinion about the quality of food, service and decor.
The judge added that the First Amendment allowed for people to air and publish their views. Thanks, founding fathers for the Constitution! God Lord, if this lawsuit made it through, next thing you'd know, Amanda Hesser would be getting calls from lawyers, not to mention Frank Rich from old Broadway producers. Ah, Lucky Cheng's - home of underage drinking, bachelorette parties, and middle-aged businessmen looking for cheap thrills: A true NY institution.