Online reservations, especially ones you can make using your phone, are pretty darn convenient. There are a ton of companies that offer this service, although Open Table pretty much owns the bulk of the market. But yesterday Urbanspoon launched a new service through its Rezbook function, which allows you to see what tables are available right now. And for some strange reason, they've called it Right Now.
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The app allows you to see open tables around town, and to find out how long the wait is at restaurants with no open tables, even at places that don't take reservations. Urbanspoon is billing it as a convenience for diners who aren't planners, but also a great tool for restaurants to let prospective diners know they have tables available. In a nice marketing coup for the occasion, the James Beard Foundation has switched all its reservations over to the Urbanspoon system, including those for the yearly gala (good luck getting a Right Now table at that).
Urban Spoon's reservation system currently has a couple hundred L.A. restaurants participating, but only two Mo-Chica and Blue Plate Oysterette are currently participating in the Right Now program. You can download Urbanspoon at the iTunes store.