I recently found myself way out west with time to kill. I pulled into a typical strip mall and decided to have lunch at an upscale Italian restaurant. I couldn't get seated even though the place had a dozen unoccupied tables. It's adjacent to a Chinese takeout joint, but the line of disgruntled customers there wound well past the door. I settled on Fronteras. The food at the standard-issue Mexican restaurant was more than acceptable but the service was sparkling. Why is that so rare?