Want to be an empowered diner and get the "good tables", here's some advice from a hostess in DC:
"And as you tuck into your pasta, you think, "Who are all these people who always get good tables? What do they have that I don't? They must be real Washington insiders, with tons of money and clout. No one cares about little old me."
Well, folks, there is a bit of truth in your thinking. But not a whole lot.
The truth is that these people do have something you don’t: information and experience. Most restaurants are in the business of pleasing people. Nothing pleases us better than giving you what you want — assuming we know what you want in time to make that happen. And people who get good tables know that."
Also, be sure to check out the article "Dude, you ordered a burger" for insights from Boston's waitstaff on "acting like a normal human being in restaurants".