Dude, when a friend raves about the hottest new restaurant or bar in Los Angeles (New York, Chicago, Timbuktu), I cringe a little. Call me a skeptic, but I listen, then I wait before I buy into the hype. I’d rather reserve judgement for myself.
Sadly, (sniff, sniff) I learned to do this at an early age, when a little incident crushed my heart on a visit to Santa, his elves and the “North Pole” at our neighborhood mall one Christmas, long ago. THAT visit went over REALLY well!
I was just a wee bit precocious, and I remember asking my mommy how on earth Santa and the North Pole were going to possibly find their way to our mall, and – by the way – how did Santa AND his elves find the time during toy-making season to stop by our mall anyway? My mommy assured me that with Santa, anything was possible. I was cautiously optimistic, but that didn’t last. One look at that fake, cotton ball snow, and my hopes and dreams were dashed forever. I knew then my mom was delusional. She really believed this stuff! I also knew then, I could never trust someone else’s experiences to come close to the expectations created when I believed what they said. I was shocked that my own mom was so fooled, but true to form – even then – I chose to remain silent, “allowing” her to continue living the dream. HA!
So now, I still protect my delusional, yet well-meaning and lovely friends, who when visiting some hot spot, find themselves buying into all the hype and becoming willing advocates of the weird, crazy, kooky, “out there”, or just plain DUMB things Hollywood dishes out.
If you are new here, welcome! Glad to have you! But hold onto your chairs, ladies and gentlemen, I am about to rant! And we know what happens then, don’t we?!
So, just one week after my girlfriend Sheila (no worries Sheila, you weren’t the only one to rave, I just knew you could handle the abuse! ) told me she’d been to an event at this new hotel, SLS, in Beverly Hills – and after I listened to her rave about it “probably being the most gorgeous hotel in Los Angeles” and after hearing about the unique “gallery” they have, where patrons can actually BUY some of the exorbitantly priced items to have for their very own – After all of that, M.C. Nugget (that’s the alias for my boyfriend for you newbies out there – and no, he isn’t really a famous rapper, he just likes to think he is) and I had this “networking” event to attend at the very same SLS. Let me say this though: I call it a “networking” event, because I actually DO network everywhere I go. Here we were, surrounded by scantily clad women, and men in their dapper threads, and I was busy talking “techno-babe” to a beauty at the event. Turns out that beauty is also a web designer/geek, so we chatted about synergistic possibilities for our respective businesses, sipped on our cocktails, exchanged email addresses and each went on our merry way. Can you say “WRITE OFF?” Gotta love it. Fun fun!
But I have to say, I did not understand much about the whole chic uber cool reputation of the SLS. Okay, so the owner of the hotel owns a Bugatti, and parked it in front of the hotel. And, okay, there were about six other cars parked out front that were priced over $250,000 (the Bugatti is more like a million buckaroos or something crazy like that, baby dolls) – but then, walking into that hotel, and exploring its inner passageways, and common areas was like being transported to a real-life version of “Through the Looking Glass,” but add a little absinthe and crack to it. There were these framed “portraits” on the walls, which looked like they could be paintings. They were strategically placed around the hotel, and depicted famous celebrities or dignitaries — at first — but then morphed slowly into various primates. I’m absolutely positive there was some political or social significance to famous people turning into orangutans, but it was lost on those of us who were there to simply enjoy a night out on the town.
True to form, however, Nuggie and I had a fantastic time at the place, and at all of the events, which coincidentally were not at the SLS (except for the Saturday by the pool, which was my favorite). Upon returning to the hotel on Friday night after the first event, we went into the bar at “Bazaar,” apparently the newest hot spot in LA. We sat down and our server proceeded to inform us of their coolness. She stated oh so demurely, that reservations for the restaurant were on a minimum of two months waiting list just before scampering off to gather our cocktails. When she returned, of course I had to ask, “So tell me, what is so special about this restaurant? Is it the Chef? Is he or she famous for some sort of cuisine?”
Okay people – hold onto your drinks – or your diet cokes or mouse pads. This is where I am going to BLOW YOUR MINDS with the newest technology in culinary arts. The chef, Jose Andres’ specialty is — get this — Molecular Gastronomy. What IS Molecular Gastronomy, you might ask? Well, I’m going to enlighten you as our delightful server did for us. It is where they sort of mash up the food – they crush it – so that it maintains its full-bodied flavor, but is liquefied.
Okay. Stop the presses. I just about fell out of my chair when she told me that. I SO wanted to rant and yell out in laughter, “GET OUT! I cannot believe there is a two month waiting list to dine at a restaurant where the menu is virtually LIQUID! I mean, I’ve heard of all the fad diets in Beverly Hills, but what did I miss here? Had the liquid diet become so popular that people would pay untold dollars to have it served via four star service?”
Instead M.C. or I – I can’t remember which – managed to mutter our best, “And people — p-p-pay for this?”
“Oh yes! ” Sally Sanguine surmised, “And it sort of explodes in your mouth!”
It gets better. We were kind of dumbfounded. No kidding. Speechless — almost. MC said something like, “Well. Not — literally — Right?”
“No,” she went on, “It’s just that the flavor is like an explosion. It’s so delicious – almost better than the solid food! He does this thing with an olive – and we put it in our martinis (of course, I had to steal a glance at my martini). We call it the Liquid Olive. It is SOOOO delicious!”
When she trotted away, MC and I burst into laughter. We could NOT believe what hoops people would jump through to participate in what they perceived as valuable! Well, okay – I admit, there was that time in Vegas – but I digress.
It was so funny to think about people panting after these hard-to-get reservations, finally securing a table for four, getting all decked out, ordering car service to deliver them in style to the door of the restaurant, and to sit down to a liquid meal, created with this new “thing,” Molecular Gastronomy.
That just SOUNDS bad. It sounds like it’s gonna’ give me a BUBBLE! Like it’s time to pull out the Metamucil!
Okay – so now I’m going to bed. I’ve had my real popcorn and my real rice pudding, and my real chocolate (So? It was desert!), and now it’s time for sleep.
Next week I am off to New York City and Boston! I am going to M.C. Nugget’s home town and I am going to meet — drum roll — his FAMILY. Fun stuff, baby! I promise to fill you in on all the details. I’m sure all the other Nuggets are very cool people!
Before you go off to enjoy your fantastically sunny and glorious weekend my beautiful men and women, please try to remember to put the families of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson in your thoughts and prayers. I am sure these people are hurting – and the media circus around it is shameful. We can make things better by staying grounded and remembering what’s important – to show respect for those who’ve lost loved ones.
Love you people! Mmmmmmmphhhhhuuuuhhhhhh!
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