Ocean Beach

You’d think that winning Bravo’s hit show Top Chef would make you a celebrity in the SoCal food circuit, but you’d be wrong.

Sign On San Diego reports that Michael Voltaggio, the champion of Top Chef: Las Vegas, ran into some trouble when he tried to get some fish tacos at San Diego’s storied South Beach Bar & Grille, which cards all of its customers to make sure they’re over 21. Voltaggio’s license was “washed out and illegible,” and I guess running an ultra-gourmet restaurant and having a bio on BravoTV.com weren’t enough to prove his identity. The manager stood his ground, demanding a state-issued photo ID, causing Voltaggio and entourage to hop back in their limo and grab some grub at Sushi Ota. Of course, the celebrity chef popped off a couple angry tweets, calling the door manager “cocky” and “arrogant.”

In a way, I respect the restaurant manager for enforcing his entrance policy equally, with no special treatment for celebrities. Very democratic. Something else to chew on: Tom Colicchio is using his fame to push for better school lunches for kids—couldn’t Voltaggio do something a little more productive on Twitter?