The UGs have gone from a mellow holiday weekend in Santa Cruz, aka Santa Snooze, to returning to Los Angeles and being as busy as ever. Wednesday was one of the busiest days and we were oh so Toluca Lake as we went straight from a meeting at ABC to Mo’s Burgers for a late lunch. We’re still not “Hollywood” but we are working on it. After our late lunch I rushed to class and then as soon as it let out I headed to Downtown to celebrate one of the many Birthdays this month. What’s with all of you September babies? Your parents had to keep warm and close in the winter months and now you are overbooking the UGs calendar with birthday celebrations. This day belonged to the lovely Veronica who we had the pleasure of shopping with last week in search of her birthday dress. Thanks to the suggestion of Sino Soul she decided to hold her 09-09-09 birthday bash at O Bar, a very cool downtown space, that is underutilized. It was great seeing Veronica, aka Legs, in the white dress I picked for her the day that Josie tried on that infamous wedding dress. Sadly, it’s looking like that will remain the only day that Josie’s body will ever sport such a costume. After all, the Quija board said that she wouldn’t marry until 35 and in chef Ludo’s words, “Josie, please! No more dating. It’s really not your thing.” Truer words have never been echoed. Sorry Josie, only 10 more years to go…However, she (and I) are in no hurry to wed. After all, we have an empire to build. Are you with us, uncouthies?
However, there was one person who was very missed; it was Veronica neighbor/uncouthie and the UG proclaimed “Mayor of Downtown”, Arun. All ended well because this caused us to talk to more people. In fact, one lady who we’ve met at several events and are Facebook friends but with whom we never talk to (or maybe we were just to drunk to remember), Margaret. Margaret was the lady of the hour and we suddenly learned that she was a dating icon. She told us about her Match.com rejection email templates and how she scares men with her stripper pole. Josie and I listened intently like disciples listening to “the prophet.” We named her our Dating Sensei and she will now be the first person we talk to at any party. Love that girl!
Our next action packed full day was on Friday where I got reacquainted with an old favorite sport, throwing down tiles-of the Scrabble variety-with a group of friends at the homey Cafe Zephyr. Later Josie and I headed to Beverly Hills to meet our agent. We jokingly asked for Emmy tickets but they know us too well there and offered us something even better, fruit tarts and cupcakes. Upon a recommendation from a Jdater via text we decided to check out Tom Coliccho’s Craftbar. We had been wanting to go for a while and figured we were on the Westside and it was around Happy Hour time. I have one funny story about Tom, about a year ago I was in a Borders browsing and I saw a book called, Get in the Game, I thought it was strange that Tom Coliccho would have a book with that title. Upon careful examination I noticed that the man on the cover of the book was Cal Ripken Jr. and not Tom. Always a foodie never a sports enthusiast-after all, I just referred to Scrabble as a sport.
If it seems like I am ignoring the food it is because I am. Don’t worry I am getting there. Josie was a little cranky all day but upon entering Craftbar she was not. I immediately noticed a signature fragrance when walking in that I appreciated. Josie, the flower girl, immediately noticed the crooked orchids and couldn’t stop questioning or staring. She kept repeating, “Why the hell are their flowers crooked?” The restaurant, the bar, and the cabana area were virtually all empty and we, Eastsiders, were complaining how cold the Westside was. Josie was starving and I was not. She ordered a $5 beer, a braised pork sandwich and we split a flatbread with salami. I had a $7 cocktail and the calamari salad. I wasn’t hungry and found the dish to be fine, nothing great. The tomatoes in my salad were amazing and if I never had them before I would’ve been blown away but this is the way Bazaar makes them. They are blanched, peeled, and impregnated with a strong balsamic. If I love only one thing, I love vinegar. But again as much as I love these fruits of the man-made variety, they didn’t have the knock my socks off effect.
Josie, on the other hand, was not a happy camper. She hated her sandwich, yes, I am saying hated. It didn’t satiate her (keep in mind we are having a comic book written about us called, The Insatiatbles) and she just found it to suck. She thought the flatbread was okay and found the waitstaff to be flat and almost robotic. We always say context plays a big role and this was just not working for her. She wasn’t impressed by the decor, service, or the food and let me use a sports analogy, “Three strikes and they are out!” The bill came to $45 dollars and we got out of there as quickly as possible. In the car, Josie was questioning me on my thoughts. The truth is I thought it was okay but I couldn’t really justify anything and I definitely didn’t love the place. Nothing was incredible. I liked that the Happy Hour menu lasted for many hours, that it was reasonably priced in this economy, and that it gives every Top Chef enthusiast a chance to try Tom’s food. I could justify dropping a little money there but Josie could not. Fair enough. I suppose she’s blown her chance at being a judge on Top Chef!
We went our separate ways a little while after that. Josie ate at her house, I got frozen yogurt and later she picked me up to begin our Friday night out. We stopped off at a going away party for our friend Lauren at Barney’s in Pasadena and then made it out to Blue Goose to see Enthusiast20/Ricky on his birthday day.
We first met Rick at a Yelp Elite event and have since seen him at a few of Sino Soul‘s events. He always makes us smile when he calls Josie Eva Mendez. As clearly, she looks like no such thing. This time though he cracked us up when we were dancing with him and he said, “They’re mine” when his friends tried to dance with us. We’ll take it, for sure. We had no idea that Rick was such a party animal, but apparently after Blue Goose he was driving straight to Vegas.
We somehow managed to make it Library Bar just in time for last call and met up with Barrett‘s brother. We then did an after party at Barrett’s house. This has been the location of many of Shabbat dinners but this time they didn’t do dinner at their house but they certainly did a lot of l’chaims. We left because our host and his girlfriend were occupying the bathroom and after so many l’chaims, I had to pee. Everyone seemed to have luck that night except me. It’s okay, I have had a great deal of luck recently and I was glad my other UG 1/2 had her turn. The next day I tried for the second week in a row to go to services at Chabad of Downtown Los Angeles. This time I wasn’t quite as lucky in punctuality. I missed services but arrived just in time for lunch and l’chaims (it is such a classier way to say drinks/shots). I said hello to all of the new friends I have made, was poured many l’chaims and grabbed the bowl of pickles and put them right in front of me. Uncouth. Jews are famous for their long goodbyes and time always flies. I had a Jdate at 7 that night at Liquid Kitty, which just sounded vulgar. It wasn’t open yet so the date moved to Don Antonio’s for margaritas. Keep in mind I had been drinking since around noon and the only thing in my tummy was a lot of kosher pickles and some TBG (tomato basil garlic) pizza. I have been a much more put together date in the past. I don’t think I was my charming self. Oh well. I called my new British friend that I met at Barbarella to see if he wanted to hang out since I knew he lived in Santa Monica but he was heading Downtown to the Edison. Well actually he thought he was going to Silverlake; it was like the first time I met him and he thought he was in Hollywood and I had to break it to him that he was in Silverlake. I was getting tired of the Westside even though I really wanted to go to Diana Takes a Bite‘s birthday party and decided it would be best to go home and have Josie pick me up so we could go back to our favorite place-Downtown. The line at the Edison was insane but I did say hello or ello to the Brit. I was actually feeling exhausted and slightly queasy and Josie was hungry so we went to one of our favorite establishments downtown for food and/or premium cocktails, Church & State.
Church & State was packed and we took our seats at the bar. I needed food and for once I let Josie completely order. We got the mac and cheese and the salad. We both have interesting memories here. For me, it was when I was rude and stupid to a famed food blogger. For Josie, it was when she went on a date with the former bartender. Regardless it felt good to be back. We got to see our favorite and the best dressed sommelier in Los Angeles. We also were reacquainted with the charming bar back and we got to meet the new tall and handsome bartender from Amsterdam. We also had a famous guest sitting at the bar next to us, it was Elvis’ widow, Priscilla Presley. When you have incredible food at affordable prices, great service, and a nice atmosphere there is no point in going to somewhere like Craftbar. They now even carry Bitburger on draught, but on this night I was chugging water.
Josie and the staff all wanted to go to Tony’s Bar. I agreed but wasn’t really feeling it, it was my day to be a little cranky. Regardless of my not so good-drank too much early in the day- mood, I was still quite impressed by a great restaurant and a good bar. Tony’s bar is not really my style although Josie, the C&S staff, and Los Angeles Magazine disagree and all love it there. However, Saturday night was the most packed I had seen it, there was an awesome DJ, and even my exhaustion and crankiness couldn’t put a damper on the night. Give the UGs a restaurant where the waitstaff will party with them after hours and I will show you two bustling and buzzing little bees.