Now for a bitter post...
Never have I been turned away from a restaurant before unless I have been inappropriately dressed. And yet, at La Zucca Magica, where it was only half full, the host claimed a policy of "Reservations Only" and turned me away. Now, may haps they had reservations for the evening and the restaurant would be full in half an hour. But somehow, given the underwhelming amount of people in Nice this week (we're at the tail end of the high season, and the beaches are not nearly as crowded as I would have expected - they're just as crowded as they were in June 2008 when I visited, and June is early to mid season), I doubt that.
Dare I say they are either arrogant or inflexible?
Either way, a restaurant like that does not deserve my custom, no matter how good. I can understand a reservations only policy if you're absolutely booked every day of the season. But otherwise I think flexibility is the order of the day, unless you're not interested in making money. In a business with a 60% failure rate (Kitchen Confidential) I would expect that making money is a priority. Perhaps not for La Zucca Magica.
I ended up going to Chez Pipo and gorging on their amazing, crisp strips of socca (more on that in another post, including some pictures). Suffice to say that my trip to Nice has been worth it thus far purely for the amazing weather and the local cuisine, mainly the socca.