Not as effortlessly entertaining as Benelmans' Hotel Splendide, this has elements that recall that book, in its delineation of the personalities, situations, emergencies, the staff and the clientele, of the Cafe Riche, an upper East Side haute cuisine restaurant. Catering to the apparent interest in under-the-serviette and behind-the-kitchen-doors, this tickles the insatiable palate that is curious about smooth service, delicious food, smart appeal of a de luxe eating place. What of the head waiter who drank too much, the owner whose garbage cans starved the alley cats, the patrons who brought in a spoiled child, the waiter who lost his savings, the non-paying customer who joined the staff to get free food, the chef who got caught in the ice-box, the matters of favored tables, diners, the Hungarian violinist and his patron, the buffet waiter who had a moving picture sideline, the Sunday afternoons when seconds were in command? And what of the waiter's personal life? Episodes, entertainingly autobiographical, of gustatory, gourmet range.