When Josie told me that she had met a woman, a friend of a friend, that wanted us to attend Career Day at her school, 122nd St. Elementary School, my first reaction was a laugh. Of course, I was thrilled. My mom has always been a school teacher in public schools and it is my element but I wasn’t sure if we had a career. We live, eat, and breathe Uncouth Gourmands. We have spent countless hours on business plans, press kits, notebooks, promotion ideas, and taking this blog into a million different arenas but we have yet to make a profit. One thing we do know is how and why to follow your dream and that being an Entrepreneur is the hardest and most rewarding job in the world. We were nervous to say the least. Josie kept saying she felt like she was going on a first date and really wanted the kids to like her. We were a little out of our element waking up at 6am and heading to Starbucks before going to school. We were greeted with nametags (I was Carolyn for the day) and a breakfast spread. We were then escorted to the quad for a slightly drizzly and amazingly uplifting assembly. It was filled with a song from the student council members and poems performed by kindergartens in career costumes written by the second graders. The principal, Robin Benton, welcomed all of us, career day volunteers, and said we are now all part of the 122nd St. Elementary School family-I must say we are thrilled to be members.
We had the pleasure of listening to the announcer introduce all of the volunteers’ careers and we were completely with the kids in giving the chocolatier, Valerie of Valerie’s Confections, the loudest applause. After the assembly dispersed we spotted a young man in 4th grade holding up a sign with our names on it and we knew that he was our guide from the day. He took our nervousness to the first class of the day after his friend said, “Oh, you got them”. We clipped our poster up and began defining Uncouth Gourmands, explaining what an entrepreneur is and does, passing around our business plan, press kits, and our newly printed business cards. We asked for questions intermediately and someone said, “Are you guys like Andrew Zimmern?” Another 4th grader said, “I like throwing coins in the fountain when I have dinner with my sister”. We left the classroom in a hurry thinking we had to run to the next one. We were wrong and uncouth as always. We hung out with our wonder guide and he really helped our confidence by saying we did a good job. The second class we went to we followed a Deputy Sheriff which was tough, as he had a whole belt of interesting stuff. This class was really interested in gross things we have eaten. I won and shocked the kids with my tale of raw chicken and sea urchin inside jello in Tokyo. One of the students asked, “Have you guys ever tried Mexican food?” We laughed and later got our biggest applauses when we mentioned pupusas.
After our second class we had a nice lunch that the school provided. We dined with the fine AT&T folks who were a big hit with their truck and crane. We received a lovely gift bag, met great kids, and fell in love with 122nd St. Elementary School.
Of course, one lunch is never enough for the UGs and we decided to hit up Susan Feniger’s Street afterwards. I have been wanting to go long before the opening. I was an intern across the street (pun intended) at Bride’s Night Out, the premier bachelorette party planning company, and unfortunately I left when I began my MBA program and before I ever saw Street open their doors. We had no reservations but were seated right away. I was in love with the decor and ambiance and Josie was able to use her favorite line for me, “You just like it because it is orange.” She loved the glasses, the lighting and walls, and the way that the wine was served in mini glass jugs. The menu looked delicious and the lunch half salad and dumpling plate was very affordable. The prices weren’t quite as good as I read on Eating LA’s April Fool’s Day post but good nevertheless. Josie chose the Cobb Salad and Kaya Toast and I had the Beet and Apple Salad and the Pork Dumplings.
The verdict on the food was pretty darn decent. Like I said the ambiance and menu creativity were top of the line. However, for me the food was all a little off the mark. The pork dumplings I had were too salty and oily and while the beets in the salad were excellent the dressing was rather gritty and overly peppered. Josie said that her Kaya toast had way too much butter and that is a sentence that the UGs never say. After all, that is the UG selling point for France-go for the butter and stay for the cute boys with the sexy accents. At $14.50 a person for a lunch combo at an uber hip restaurant we will definitely go back to sample more of the menu.
After fighting traffic, I had a lovely and much needed nap and Josie went to yoga. How do teachers do it? We headed out that Friday night around 11 and decided to go to the UYE (unofficial Yelp event) at Mountain Bar in Chinatown. After finally finding parking and Mountain Bar we were overwhelmed by the huge line, crowds of teenagers outside, and some sketchy “gentleman” -we left before ever walking in. We ended up at Cha Cha Lounge in Silverlake and then drove (the UGs are lazy girls) right across the street to Red Lion Tavern. We met a Jewish philosopher who referred to me as “Ashkenazi” and told Josie that she had a Theta Bun hairdo and his Sean Penn lookalike friend. We left when they began doing some kind of blessing or ritual around us. I am not sure what it was but it reminded me of the move Wayne and Garth do before a fantasy or flashback in Wayne’s World.