After New York’s Adam Platt famously outed himself on the magazine’s front page, the question of whether restaurant critics should — or could — remain anonymous began anew, and Eater sought the views of the most anonymous restaurant critic in the industry: the elusive Marina O’Loughlin, restaurant critic for the Guardian UK and Google Image Search cipher.
According to O’Loughlin, her anonymity prevents her from receiving preferential treatment, allowing her to experience the real service given to normal, everyday people who aren’t influential or famous. (“As [fellow critic] Giles Coren said to me on Twitter — only half joking? — ‘How can they ply me with old claret and young waitresses if they don’t know who I am?'”) But since she’s a fantastically caustic critic, England’s restaurants have apparently pooled their collective knowledge to out her:
Recently, and thanks mostly to bloody Twitter, a few more industry insiders know a couple of key descriptors of me. I do know that a recently opened restaurant instructed staff to be extra-nice to any person fitting this description, so to all of the stunning 25-year-old Asian women who’ve been recently to [redacted], you’re welcome.
WAIT. I am almost 25. I am Asian. I’m a woman. I’m pretty sure that I’m the most radiant Asian born in the history of Asiankind. This raises a few questions that I can’t answer:
- Am I secretly Marina O’Loughlin?
- Is this restaurant mixing Asians up with, say, short people with dark hair?
- Is Marina O’Loughlin really Asian?
- Should I take advantage of this information and assume a British accent, go into restaurants, and see what happens? (Actually, that’s a great idea. Next time Marina O’Loughlin’s in New York, I should try that.)
- As an existential question: who am I, really? Am I a famous critic dreaming that I am a lowly writer, or am I a lowly writer dreaming that I am a famous critic?
In any case, we still do not know who Marina O’Loughlin is, other than a “lazy sociopath.” (Which means that we’re now very much in love with her.)
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