A long LA day began yesterday with a quick lunch at the Mandarin Deli and a 5K trek through the aisles of the Western Food Expo at the LA Convention Center for a mind boggling view of the Restaurant Industry (emphasis on latter). For $30 and a little creative writing at the Credentials Category, this view can be yours as well today and tomorrow. Fascinating, funny and scary. If you go, it may be a long time before you order desert at a chain restaurant or deli or sushi at a grocery store again. The mystery of how perfectly trimmed vegetables may have no taste at all can also be unlocked for you. It's becomming more of a pre-fab world than we had understood.
On (after changing in the car, our own rendition of Cirque du Soleil without music) we went to Hollywood for dinner at the House Restaurant on Melrose. I chose it based on suggestions from this Board - 15 minutes from the Pantages, 6:00 pm reservation, and proper enough to suit our guests. We were on time (and so was a small crowd of like minded Pantages goers). Thought that might be trouble - since in tiny seconds it switched from placid pretty place to joint was jumpin mode.
Delighted to report they had this drill down pat. By 7:30, a lovely round of salad, macaroni and cheese, lamb & squash (rare was rare, medium was medium, bless them) and bream & figs (damn, I should have ordered that - looked really pretty), a Bonny Doon Vin Gris and 3 quite charming deserts that were not shipped in from the underworld, had all met their gentle demise. One guest was especially happy that she could order 2 small dishes without having to encounter the heavy gastronomy of it's an appetizer so it must be dense. Dana, one of the owners, introduced himself and thanked us for visiting - always a gracious gesture. Reminded me of a quiet humility that I encountered in a similar gesture from Alain Passard a long star ago in a galaxy far far away.
Enjoyed the House Restaurant enormously. Highly recommend it. And the Lion King is thrilling and delightful. The first 15 minutes do take your jaded breath away. Happy too to see how spiffed up the Pantages has become.
Sorry for the long post - but wanted to share these kind words with those who had inspired many of these happy events.