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Waiter to the Rich and Shameless: Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,520 ratings  ·  224 reviews
A down-and-out musician chops off his hair to become a server at the top of the Hollywood food chain, discovering a cloistered world of money, fame, bad behavior and intrigue.

Waiter to the Rich and Shameless is not just a peek into the secretive inner workings of a legendary 5-star restaurant; it is not just a celebrity tell-all or a scathing corporate analysis. It is a to
Published December 12th 2014 by Smashwords Edition (first published December 11th 2014)
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Paul Hartford We unfortunately don't have a hardcopy, it only exists as ebook or in paperback. Thanks for the compliment, I'm so glad you enjoyed my memoir. As you …moreWe unfortunately don't have a hardcopy, it only exists as ebook or in paperback. Thanks for the compliment, I'm so glad you enjoyed my memoir. As you probably figured out I don't often check up on my Goodreads account. You are more than welcome to leave a review here on Goodreads if you'd like, I would love that.(less)

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Nov 25, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only thought that comes to me is the writer's expression 'I love me, who do you love?'

This is a tale of how good this fella considers himself to be as a waiter in a poshy restaurant and how much better it (and the world) would be if he ran it. As well, he places his customers on his ladder on the basis of how much he gets as a tip for his service. Full stop.

5% of the book breaks from the story line to describe either the outfits worn by the customers or the ingredients of the meal/s on menu.
Mike Zickar
I enjoyed a lot about this book. . . the author writes fascinatingly about evenings serving a mixture of celebrities including Rod Stewart, Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp, and nearly all Hollywood stars and moguls (surprise, Donald Trump was a jerk). He also does a good job describing the tension between a corporate run establishment where macro decisions are made from people in a faraway place, while staff are stuck trying to maintain their own dignity and preserve the culture that made the restaur ...more
I HATED this book. I hated the pretentiousness of the writer and the absolutely foul language. I don't know what possessed me to buy it, because it's nothing but a bunch of name-dropping by a wannabe rock star loser. Wow, was this awful.
Xia Xia
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
How do you rate the life of a man?
I sincerely have no idea.
This might very well be the first and last autobiography I ever read.

Should I rate the cussing and the disrespectful descriptions of the famous guests dining at the Cricket Room just because I don't approve? Then I would be a total hypocrite. When I read fiction I prefer the book to be written in the voice of the character, not in the voice of the author. Why should I judge a non-fiction book differently, if that was the real voice of
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was a fun read and one I shared with people almost the entire time I was reading it. I loved the celebrity encounters...hey, I'm that kind of girl and not shy to admit it. I also bartended and waitressed for a couple years, so that made the story that more interested...although I never waited on the rich. Shameless, maybe, but not rich.

I'd like to thank all the reviews prior to mine who said that Pauli's restaurant was probably the Polo Lounge because I had no idea and really wanted to know
May 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't impressed with this book beyond the writer's dedication to service. He was lengthy in unnecessary details and crude in his language. If I had to read the word 'crap' one more time, I was going to do it. I've waited tables before and have the utmost respect for all in the service industry. I just wish this was less about his cocaine and sex fueled life and more about actual Hollywood tales. He wasn't reporting anything people didn't already know.
J.P. Willson
Truthfully I am not sure where to begin.
Having worked in the food-service industry for thirty-five plus years, there was something that was just 'off' throughout the entire book. It was not until I read the authors epilogue, yup the end of the book, this is where I became offended.
"...but to pay the bills I kept falling back into my old ways:service jobs."
"...finally decided that day that I can't be that buttoned-up fucking cardboard figure of a waiter or butler..."
My apologies to anyone in the
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a celebrity or a foodie fan then you will love this!

Ever wondered what celebrities get up to when we are not watching, wouldn’t you love to get a glimpse behind closed doors to judge their behaviour when the public aren’t looking? Paul Hartford takes us on a bird’s eye tour of the celebrity A and B list and shares with us not only his thoroughly entertaining memoirs but some amazing food and wine menus too. This book satisfies on so many levels, I loved reading about the celebrities a
Jun 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is the story of one man's work as a waiter at the "Cricket Room" in Beverly Hills, which I believe is actually the Polo Lounge. The stories are real. The names of the actors are not changed. It's an interesting read, but it's also everything I hate about LA and Hollywood. His stories of some actors are highly amusing, others make me think this guy doesn't have a very good read on character. And he seems like a little bit of a jerk at times. One thing is for sure though, he loves his job and ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If someone had made a movie called 'Confessions of a Beverly Hills Waiter' and set it in today's celebrity world, this book should have been what it was based on. Hilarious, disturbing or just downright peculiar, these tales of incidents where high profile celebrities show themselves to be anything from a total jackass to even more of an angel than their publicist portrayed them are told firsthand by a man working in *that* restaurant in Beverly Hills (if you've been there you'll easily recognis ...more
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a really fun read for me. In part because I'm right about the same age as the author Paul Hartford. So, his reflections on the LA rock music scene of the late 80's and early 90's resonated with me and was very amusing to read about. I also really enjoyed the style of his storytelling. Very raw and straight up without holding back. I loved his expressions and comments. I seriously laughed out loud reading about his drunken Ozzy experience and the way he mimicked the way he spoke. Hysteri ...more
Jan 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a former waiter at Zuni, here in SF, I very much related to this book. It's great to hear someone tell the stories of how people survive the stressful world of restaurant work. There are funny anecdotes, as well as appropriate venting over the insanity that one experiences. It's a love/hate existence, and I don't regret a minute of my six years waiting, but I'm also glad to have moved on. Paul is a like-able guy and human, although sometimes a bit self-congratulatory, and I enjoyed his person ...more
Erin Daniels
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Add me to the long list of readers who loved this book! I discovered this because it was a suggested recommendation from another memoire I'd finished and I'm so glad I took a chance on it. I expected a thinly veiled glimpse into the dining habits/personalities of the rich and shameless but was thrilled to realize that the author has no time for hints and fake names. The gloves were off and mega A-listers like De Niro, Pitt and Depp were called out front and center along with the rest of their qu ...more
Apr 30, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad I didn’t pay for this book.

This book was mostly about the author.
-his failing music career
-cocaine addiction
-alcohol abuse
-sexual exploits
- his honeymoon in Italy
- his wish to leave his job as a waiter at a very exclusive restaurant.

This wasn’t the reason I chose to read the book!

He did present some jaw dropping stories about some celebrities. Scum like Roger Waters screaming and yelling at his groupies. Russel Crowe holding court over his mates.

However most stories were just bland
Kristina Sanchez
This was a delight, satisfying that curiosity we all have about people whose lives must be so very different from ours. I loved hearing about the extravagance, the kindness, and the quirkiness. The author writes with a quick wit and an honest pride in his work.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from Booktasters in exchange for my honest review. I chose the book because I was intrigued by the title – it sounded like it would be a highly entertaining, light but captivating read about a waiter’s interactions with the famous patrons of a famous LA restaurant, and all the complex goings on behind the scenes and in his own life.

And that is exactly what it was –so it was perfect! I really enjoyed reading it, and I definitely recommend it.

Pauli’s apparently true story of t
DianeK Klu
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only bought this book because it was the daily deal on (I don't care about celebrities personal lives) I am so glad that I did. It was amazing to see how much energy and care that he put into his job. I hope all upper management from any business reads this and learns not to rule with fear and to ask the people who actually do the job, what changes that they think should be made to improve service, staff moral etc. Thanks for writing this book. 😊 I think you should also offer cons ...more
Martin Grossman
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Waiting Game

"Waiter to the Rich and Shameless" is an insider's look at what really goes on behind the scenes at a legendary Beverly Hills watering hole at the epicenter of the Los Angeles entertainment establishment. Savvy observers will be able to easily identify the venue. Hint: “The Cricket Room” is not its actual name.

“The Cricket Room” is THE place where celebrities go to see and be seen. It's where they relax far away from the watchful eyes of a prying public. It's where they make deal
Sep 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, nonfiction
I maybe should give this book two stars but I’m not actually sure right now

I hate almost every chapter of this book. It’s begins with this dude trying to gather sympathy about his super hard life having to live in Europe as a child not being able to understand the cultural differences, then to his super mega tragic inability to not be a rock star. Everything that happens is the universe screwing him and aren’t we all so sad for him?
Then he becomes a waiter. We are introduced to his “I’m totally
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I didn't think I would like this book that much, but it also wasn't expecting so much fun from celebrity gossip. Paul Hartford writes in a very fluid and interesting way, and while this book is far from getting the next Hugo Award, it is still an interesting read because it exposes the somewhat sordid world of serving tables in one of the fanciest restaurants in Beverly Hills. He also talks a bit about his own personal life and the difficulties about the not-so-glamorous life of waiting tables f ...more
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was expecting interesting info on celebrities but that is not what this book is all about. It was an enlightening read about how difficult it can be serving others. I will think about this book when I am a guest at a restaurant in the future. Not a thriller but I did enjoy the read.
Allan Guldman
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This guy is sassy! A really fun memoir!
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty sure "Cricket Room" == Polo Lounge
Claudia Turner
I wish someone with substance, sense and sensibility had written a book with this premise. The only perk to reading this was relief when it was over. And while I find it admirable that Hartford hates Trump as much as I do, I mean, what a bunch of miserable twats this comprises. Being observant and loquacious is lost on all of the food and style details. Did I buy Cosmo and People’s love child? This was a cheap reality tv show stuffed into a book, moaning every other page about how great waiters ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Hartford was a musician feeling like he'd missed the trends and decided to make a change. He applies for a job to become a bartender in one of the most upscale restaurants in Beverly Hills and, to his great surprise, gets hired for the job. After five years he's moved into the restaurant as a waiter. His total of ten years of service is the heart of this memoir in what he calls, for legal purposes, The Cricket Room, a thinly disguised Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

 What follows is
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
Waiter to the Rich and Shameless : Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server
by Paul Hartford
I wrote this review based on a copy the author sent to me.

A true account of the experience from a servers point of view having worked in numerous restaurants and nightclubs before interacting with the «  rich and shameless « in Beverly Hills, California. It's a peek into the workings of a five-star restaurant and Pauli's chaotic challenges surrounded by the elite. The author describes his heartbrea
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal book with just the right type of content for our ecology. I had been wondering about the way the rich handle their lives, and you see the approach when you see strewn out cutlery and bits of food lying around after a party. The not drunk wine goblets, all left for someone else to clean. “We won’t do it,” for there is no dearth of people who you can get through money. I suppose for Pauli who had once the dreams of becoming a Rock star, it was a question of ONCE YOU ARE IN, YOU ARE IN. ...more
Mandy Peterson
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun read!

"Waiter to the Rich and Shameless" was a tipsy romp through the Cricket Room - one of the top restaurants in Beverly Hills for famous folks to drink and dine. It's only recently that I can admit how much I love reading a good celebrity tell-all. This book fit the bill.

I appreciated (but didn't heed) the author's warning about a few chapters being racy and more controversial than others. While it didn't effect my reading and actually those chapters do serve to show how Hartford b
Debbie Viscosi
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How does a long haired rock and roll musician become a waiter to the stars at one of Hollywood’s most iconic restaurants? The answer is found in Paul Hartford’s book “Waiter to the Rich and Shameless: Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server”. Paul Hartford starts a music career that stalls. Looking for a new challenge and source of income, he stumbles upon serving. He starts working as a bartender at the legendary restaurant. The tips were good but he began to long for more. Serving was ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this book- I think the author is a good writer. I thought the book was funny at times, but you could also feel the author's frustration with how corporate America works. And I think readers will be able to relate to a lot of what he talks about. Also, the disconnect that we don't always realize is there between us and famous people- especially when you have so much contact with them. But he finally realizes that he is just serving them- it doesn't really mean much more than that, whi ...more
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In order to become Hollywood's top Waiter to the Rich and Shameless, Paul “Pauli” Hartford had to abandon his long-haired rocker dude persona and double down on his dedication to five-star servitude. After several turbulent years at the top of his waiting game, Hartford comes clean in this daring confessional, dishing about everything from debauchery to deification at the Beverly Hills hot spot he ...more

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