As time passes it has become more and more apparent that there are many of you that are truly invested in our lives. So as time elapses, I feel less hesitation in divulging more and more about our personal lives, especially after being the recipient of so much kindness from so many of you. As I look back on the fun-filled weekend that Carina and I had, a strange thought occurred to me –What if Carina and I had never met? It was a sad ponder…We have a co-dependent relationship which (on a daily basis) keeps us considerably amused, educated, and entertained. Below are last weekend’s UG misadventures.
Gale’s: Thursday was a “rough” day for the UG gals, and by “rough” I mean ridiculously relaxing. Carina had been busily working at school and I had been needing the time off, so some TLC was exactly what the UG girls were in need of. At any rate, we kicked off the afternoon by visiting a previously missed lunchtime spot, Gale’s, from there we perused around Old Town Pasadena, tried two new (sadly very dry) Dot’s cupcakes flavors and a 21-Choices frozen yogurt. A mouth full? Not for these girls. When does your metabolism start slowing down again? Gale’s is a local favorite and the UG girls couldn’t agree more. What other people might have found “defective” at Gale’s, we found to be most charming. Sure when it’s busy your drinks and bread take 20 minutes to come, but we were in no hurry and we figured that given that large of a lunch crowd, there had to be something interesting going on with the food. We were right, indeed! I had the French Dip and Carina the Caprese sandwich. Bottom-line: A great place to take an adventurous grandmother because despite the gaudy decor (see pics below), the food was really good, but by no means cutting edge. The locals are friendly and inclined enough to reach out to their table neighbors and offer good conversation. Good stuff is going on at Gale’s.
***Above and below are mural pics of the Ladies Room at Gale’s. It just so happens that my grandmother loves dogs and roses, too 😉
From there Carina headed to school and I had dinner with a friend on the westside. It was my first time at Ford’s Filling Station and I seriously could not have been happier. Of course, we ordered too much food and I most definitely enjoyed every last crumb. I would recommend the mac and cheese, the cured meat plate, and the rapini. The dishes are artfully-crafted California-Mediterranean works. The food is simple and well executed. FFS earns two thumbs up from this gourmand, but don’t worry eager readers, you will get a full review soon after I take the wife. Speaking of the wife, Carina and I met up later that night and visited Carmine’s in South Pasadena to try their draught beer. A friend from the Apple Store works there and recommended we try the place. The UG girls had a round of drinks and despite being stuffed like sausages, we also tried the battered onion rings from the bar happy hour menu. The place was filled with happy El Sereno locals, all of whom were very nice and welcoming to us despite their biker exteriors.
I think Friday will always be a Jonathan Club-Chuck kind of day. Chuck, our mentor and newly named business partner, took the UG ladies and our lawyer, Ranjit, to the JC downtown to discuss our LLC and a new business venture. Upon arrival we were greeted with Chuck’s always welcoming bottles of booze. We should know better than to drink mid-day, but Chuck always brings the good stuff and being the poor UGs that we are, we always welcome the opportunity to try new fancy wine. If it wasn’t for Chuck who would feed us on Fridays? Thanks, Chuck! This visit to the JC brought us a new friend, Khrysta. Khrysta, a vivacious restaurant PR consultant and a good friend of Chuck, joined us for lunch. From lunch we headed off with Ranjit and Khrysta to Provecho, a new Mexican restaurant/bar/lounge in downtown. There is hardly any signage but upon entering the decor is very impressive. There is a full ceviche bar, chandeliers, and a fully equipped bar with a ton of rare tequilas. We didn’t try the food but the cocktails were awesome! Carina had the watermelon mojito and I had the house margarita. We will definitely be back to try the food soon.
After meeting the head chef, the manager, and a freakishly tall Amazon woman who looks more like a supermodel than a pastry chef we all toured the lavish facilities. We ended up spending a few hours at Provecho getting far too drunk to drive home and decided that from there we’d go for round three and hit up Little Toyko for a hearty bowl of sukiyaki. Ranjit, who is a brilliant investment banker, lawyer, and writer got far too tipsy to…well, walk…proved to be the funniest character of the hour. He requested his sukiyaki with a raw egg and when it came he completely forgot and cracked it thinking it was hard boiled. It is nice to know that the UG lawyer is as uncouth as his clients.
After a long day of our lawyer kissing Carina on the cheek, drinking midday and wandering through downtown, we figured it best to go home and rest for a bit. Suddenly, after months of pining for a particular love interest, I got a call from him inviting me over for a fig tart. Was this really happening? Was the bad Josie love luck changing? I jumped at the opportunity thinking I knew that fig tart had to be a euphemism for something. Despite being in yoga clothes I headed to see “him,” who for the purpose of anonymity we will call “Mr. Fig,” in downtown. I called Carina when I was en route to the mystery boy’s house to tell her the “good” news and that expectations were high. She told me that a male classmate just asked her to come over and take a shower. What, a man was nude in her house?!?! I was one upped. No man wanted to be naked in my house. Unbelievable!
Sadly, my visit to “Mr. Fig’s” house was just that, a fig tart and a very PG make-out session. I’ve tried to analyze my own cravings for him but when he’s around my heart seems everywhere at once and my own desire for him blinds me. When it comes to my “Mr. Fig,” I seem to have shit for brains. Sometimes I really feel like Carrie Bradshaw, who despite being having a fully functioning brain, seems to be totally blinded by Mr. Big. Carina and I both know that my “Mr. Fig” and Carrie’s “Mr.Big” have too many tragic things in common. “Mr. Fig” seems completely uninterested and I need to give up. I don’t know why but everything has to be a f-in challenge for me and “Mr. Fig” is a prime example of my f-ing condition. That’s the last time that ever happens! In fact, I’m erasing his number from my phone as we speak.
We, Carina and I, both ended up at Barrett’s at 1A, which is normally the time they begin the eating process of Shabbat dinner. Barrett’s girlfriend is great and always gives a theme or a twist to her dinners. They have ranged from kosher kabobs to kosher Chinese and on this particular night it was kosher Indian food. My disappointment at “Mr.Big’s” was settled by kosher sangria, two plates of curry over rice, and a very nice guy named Nathan who gave me a sympathy kiss on the cheek. As soon as Carina arrived at our chosen (get it, chosen people? That’s all I hear about anymore and frankly I want someone to choose me) Friday destination loft she said, “Raise your hand if you ever had a boyfriend named Nate/Nathan” both of our hands went in the air and Barrett also raised his hand as to be part of the cool crowd. That particular Nate/Nathan heartbreak is something only the UG girls can share. To “my” Nathan, if by the off shot you’re reading this, I’m sorry and I miss you. If you are “Carina’s” Nate we miss our drinking buddy and the man that always let us finish his plates of food.
However, the UG girls are better than fine and are on to new things. Saturday we had a great girls night out. I was thrilled when Carina told me that she got us in to the Thrillist New Castle party. Free beer, free cupcakes, and free valet…oh yeah! As we were taking our sweet time getting ready we checked our new best friend, Twitter, and saw that Caroline on Crack said that the lines were bad. We opted for a pre-party drink at one of our local favorite spots, The York in Highland Park. I was hungry despite a long day of working/eating at a catering company and grabbed some tacos at the next door taco place. It was delish but when we finally arrived at the Hollywood and Vine party destination I realized that we had two big problems. First, the party was being closed down by a fire marshal and they were over capacity. Secondly, my wallet was completely lost. After everyone was kicked out we ran into our good friend Dan, the founder of Drink:Eat:Play and John (or as Carina incorrectly refers to him, David) of SocialDomainLA. We met John/David at a dinner with FoodGPS but we never knew that he was good friends with the Dan. The guys accused me of faking the lost wallet…I may be broke but I am not that smart. Carina and I used the bathroom at Eva Langoria’s place Beso, it was a very stylish decor but their bathroom was pretty much a sauna. The bathroom attendant told us she has been losing a ton of weight in the climate.
After our stint at Beso we went to Ivan Kane’s Cafe Wa S with Dan, John, and Kara of SlifePR. I don’t know how the UGs got among this who’s who in Los Angeles food and drink events, but we were damn happy to be there. We had great cocktails. I was almost banned after stealing countless olives and oranges from the bartender’s stash but have no fear I told them my name was “Carina Ost”. After we got our car from the free valet, I discovered that my wallet was nowhere. It was after 1:30 in the morning and the only possible place of my wallet’s whereabouts was the little taco joint, El Chapin Restaurant. I knew they closed at 2A and Carina got me there at 1:56A. Thank our lucky UG stars my wallet was there and found by a very sweet little boy. It was untouched and they refused any kind of reward I offered. It made me so grateful! They make awesome tacos, breakfast, and they are more honest than any other place I know.
The next morning was Sunday and we had a very special brunch date with a VIP TV Executive. I really tried to be on time but, unfortunately, 2 closed lanes of the 101 and a standstill 110 freeway made these UGs a half an hour late. We did the walk of shame to the best table in our brunch spot Taste. Carina and I both did the very reasonable prix fix brunch menu for $14. She had the tortilla soup and the mint chicken salad with fries. The fries were interesting because the were like potato shavings, I should know, I stole most of hers. I had the mixed greens and after asking to be surprised with the entree I got huevos rancheros. The food was good, the mimosas were never ending, and the manager even came to our table. It was a good food experience and a well-priced brunch in West Hollywood.
A couple of bottomless mimosas in for the UG girls, our friend/VIP TV executive told us that he was really into pies and cookies. Look at that, he knows we are heavy into food and chose that as a topic of conversation. When will the UGs get so thoughtful? Anyway, Carina jumps in and says, “I have the best cookie you have ever had….”. I look at her and she tries to correct the sentence saying that it is in Pasadena….too bad she lives there…and isn’t helping anything. Upon hearing this I laugh uncontrollably and somehow manage to spit creme anglaise all over this nice man. Uncouth!
John/David from the other night called (surprise suprise) Carina and invited us to a house warming party after brunch. It wasn’t his house and we knew no one there besides the man with two first names but obviously we went anyway. We walked into this place and were greeted by countless claps and warm welcomes. I got a cup that said Creepy Guy and felt right at home. We also found two girls that just met one another but looked completely related.
After mimosas and wine what else would a UG want? A $5 vodka tonic. I was supposed to see the new Chanel movie with a male friend and wanted more time with Carina so I invited her to dinner with us. Unlike me, she doesn’t like being the third wheel, so she invited her date from the previous day. My friend and I left early to catch the movie but that didn’t stop me from eating ridiculous quantities. We got the cheap cocktail and a full table of KBBQ at Shin in Hollywood. I left for the movie and somehow Carina was asked out on a third date…three days in a row. I call the injustice card, wasn’t September supposed to be my month?
After the movie, my friend drove me to Carina’s where my car was parked. We chatted a bit and she let me borrow the first season of Californication, as she was watching the 3rd season premiere. I must say, the show is pretty f-ing good. I was considerably amused (and tortured) by the amount of direct and indirect sexual scenes. It’s hard to see people, even if on TV, having sex. Oh Californication, I’ve never experienced such agony! Your scenes stab and brutalize my loveless life.
Awkward turtle silence – P.S. That’s the sound of my phone not ringing right now. *Sigh!*