Some nights are so awesomely random (I only use that word because my ex despised people saying, “That’s so random”) that they can not even be imagined. My Friday night was very much like that. Josie and I had been invited to an Industry Night at Madame Chocolat. It
doesn’t take expensive <ahref=”http://www.vistaprint.com/custom-banners.aspx“>banners</a> to tell us this was going to be a great night. I left the office early and Josie, well, took one for the team. She posted this on my FB wall, “Aw, I’m cursing your name as I’m sitting in traffic bc I left an hour after you did from the office. Your work ethic is inspiring. You would’ve made a good settler or pilgrim. 😉 See you in a bit, partner.” By the time I talked to her again, the traffic had beat her down and I decided to head to the event in Beverly Hills solo. We just wrote a post about the fun night we had in Beverly Hills and I was excited to return without all of the hype of Oscar Week. I have to say that I am SO impressed by the parking in Bev Hills at night. Why can’t WeHo be like this ample free parking and at most you are dropping $3, not bad for one of the most expensive zip codes. I parked and walked to the chocolate store and I saw Mastro’s was surrounded by paparazzi. I walked by, rolled my eyes, and then I spotted a man in a bright yellow blazer. I quickly turned around and it was the one and only Richard Simmons. The man that I have seen my late night favorite, David Letterman, spray with a fire extinguisher while he was in a chicken suit. It was also the man that my favorite shock jock, Howard Stern, offended until he walked out of the show crying. This man has seen a lot of abuse and yet he is the happiest and sweetest man I have ever encountered.
He asked if I wanted a picture. I said, “Yes please, Richard.” I took out my camera and he handed it to the paparazzi stating that, “Her mom just got out of prison and she needs this photo.” I laughed, we posed, and then he kissed me. I was thrilled. I walked in to the chocolate factory and store with that special glow. I saw EstarLA, ShopEatSleep, and Pleasure Palate and showed them all my camera before getting down to business. Of course, by business, I mean chocolate eating and wine drinking. Within seconds I had wine and bonbons.
I didn’t stick that strictly to the pairings because I was late and decided to eat and drink whatever was in front of me. I am a fruity girl so it was no surprise that the raspberry, passion fruit, and lime with white chocolate were my favorites. What I was surprised by was the chocolatier, Hasty Torres, who was tiny, gorgeous, and super accommodating. She made sure my chocolate and wine consuming was all caught up and Roaming Belly, another late arrival, and I got a private tour and sampling.
The store portion was charming and everything a little french girl can dream of in her Willy Wonka-esque fantasies. There were chocolate covered cheerios, marshmallows, display cases of goodness, and fresh chocolate chip cookies.
We were gathered in the back in the factory portion of the store. We saw the machines that chocolate coat everything from Nutter Butter’s to Oreos. The molds were all out and we wwere even being kept company by edible bunnies.
Over the course of the night with the wine and the chocolate, I saw a perfect Uncouth Gourmand Moment. A man spilled his wine all over a tray of chocolate. To be honest, I was jealous it wasn’t me. Not only because that action stands for everything I believe in but also because he got them all wrapped up and got to take them to go.
The night was so much fun but I have to say that I was most charmed by the fact that this chocolate shop, in the middle of the most hoity-toity block, was truly a family affair. Hasty’s mom decorated the store, her dad does the numbers, her brother does the web, and her hubby, well, he is Mr. Chocolate. She is married to the famous chocolatier Jacques Torres. It was a story of love and chocolate and it is the stuff romantic movies are made of. I talked to Hasty about the chocolate trends and she explained to me that while she may experiment at home and she likes Vosges and the other trendy chocolatiers, she intends to keep it classic in her store. I respect that and it was inspiring to see chocolate in it’s tried and true classic form. Hasty will be doing a chocolate workshop this Sunday that is open to the public. You may purchase tickets to the event here, if you are unable to attend stop by the shop and try some delicious chocolat.
I had already been kissed by Richard Simmons, eaten amazing chocolate, what was next for my Friday night? I was so touched by the Madame Chocolat family story that I hung out with my Downtown Jew Crew. It was now around 11 o’clock and that is just about the time my friends begin eating Shabbat Dinner. For this Shabbos they had an Irish theme. For the fish course there was Murphy’s steamed fish and for the meat course it was Kosher corned beef with braised cabbage, celery, and carrots in Guinness.
It was a fantastic Friday night that may seem like an odd mix but it all went beautifully together. What will this Friday bring? Oh yes, Gays & Dolls. The life of a UG is many things but boring it is not.