Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Brief Guide to LA #2

The front of Blair's Restaurant in Silver Lake.
Bottega Louie's in downtown. It's the only business that managed open in a giant, new building of condos. The Delancey on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.
The Dresden...in 1994. Notice the lady's hat in the front and the dude rocking the white T-shirt and black vest look.
A street view of Little Tokyo. The Far Bar is in the back of Chop Suey Restaurant.
The Good Luck Bar in Los Feliz.Laurel Tavern in Studio City.
Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena.
Malibu Wines...in Malibu.
Since I've written the first part of my Brief and Limited Guide to LA, I've discovered some new faves.
  • Blair's: Holy braised short ribs and tea lights! Along with fatty, red meat and candlelight, it's small, dark and has some exposed brick, so it can be qualified as "very New York-y"
  • The Delancey: The owner named this bar and pizzeria after the street in New York. If it actually looked like Delancey Street or the actual pizza join on the corner of Delancey and Essex, you wouldn't go there to consume food or use the restroom. There's candlelight, leather and faux brick outside, so yes, the Delancey is "very New York-y."
  • The Dresden: I've mentioned the Dresden before. Well, seven months of living here, I finally went. We rolled in right in time for last call. The waitress, who looked like she's had a few hard days under her belt, made sure to remind us as much as possible that it's last call, drink our drinks and get out. We caught the last few minutes of Marty and Elaine. They should really update that publicity photo.
  • The Far Bar: Little Tokyo is a little sliver of downtown LA that your west side friends will never go. The Far Bar is a little sliver of a bar in a little sliver of an alleyway in Little Tokyo that serves Sapporo on tap and amazing wasabi fries. Our bartender looked like a gay, samurai ,boy scout...or is a gay, samurai, boy scout.
  • Good Luck Bar: LA loves it Asian inspired bars. Everything is red and you feel like you're drinking inside a paper lantern.
  • Lucky Baldwins: Amongst the Pottery Barns, wine bars and early bird specials that make up Pasadena, there is a little British pub with a menu of fried foods, an overwhelming list of Belgian and UK beers, lots of soccer and beer signage, and around the clock NFL coverage.

Did September just happen?

Here's a running list of what I've been up to since last I posted:
  • Attempting to knock off a few dozen items on my to- do list prior to my trip to NYC, like "Finish revising screenplay" and "Find way to rearrange my rib cage so the dress I'm wearing to a wedding can zip.
  • Visiting and drinking in NYC.
  • Not sleeping in NYC.
  • Rediscovering walking in NYC.
  • Getting a cold in NYC.
  • Being stared at as the "Swine Flu Girl" by other passengers on my flight back to LA.
  • Fumbling through an audition, stoned on Tylenol Cold.
  • Going through an entire box of tissues and three layers of nostril skin in 48 hours .
  • Searching Glendale (a very Armenian neighborhood) for matzo ball soup (a very Jewish soup). I was unsuccessful.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fisher King Anxiety

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a cafe when a stern-looking gentleman in a long leather coat, holding a brown paper bag stormed through the front door. I thought at that moment, "Well, this is how I will die. There's a gun in that bag and an unsound brain under that faux hawk. He's going to shoot up the place. I'll be dead. Alex will go crazy and homeless. Jeff Bridges will feel obligated to befriend Alex because his crazy radio ranting actually caused the leather coat guy to barge into the cafe and kill me." It turns out this gentleman was hell bent on getting to the open mic sign up list at the counter and there was a Gatorade in that brown paper bag. I think he was also on meth. Now whenever I'm in relaxing in public I wonder if my drink or meal will come with a side dish of bullet. I diagnosed myself with "FKA," Fisher King Anxiety. I haven't seen The Fisher King in years, but now I can't stop thinking about the circumstances of Robin Williams' wife's death. Does that really happen...in real life? Do people really walk into generically upscale bar/restaurants filled with early 90's yuppies and shoot the place up? When you drive, get on a plane or train, or walk by yourself at night, you accept there are factors out of your control and death could be around the bend. I can't imagine another time you have your guard more down in public than stuffing your face with mozzie logs, drinking a Bud Light, or sucking on a green iced tea waiting for your turn at an open mic in a cafe. Don't get me wrong, I'm still not in the mood to make dinner at home tonight and would risk a bullet for some waitress service. Does the American Psychiatric Association have a blog?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Open Letter to An Asshole #4: The Laurel Tavern Asshole

Dear Asshole at Laurel Tavern: Perhaps you don't remember me. I'm sure your Vodka and Red Bulls got the best of you on Friday night. I'm the girl that walked by you on her way to the restroom and overheard your "Borat vs. Bruno" discussion with your friend. As I walked by you asked your friend, "What was funnier, Borat or Bruno?" In an attempt to be social and celebrate the communal spirit of Laurel Tavern, I answered "Bruno." I guess that was the wrong answer, because your reply to me was " I wasn't talking to you." Don't think I didn't notice the stink eye you gave me as I walked by you again from the restroom and politely said "Excuse me" in spite of your earlier rude behavior towards me. I'm sorry if you didn't think I was hot enough for you to just smile at my answer and move on. We all can't meet the high standards you have for your own appearance. I aspire to your pot belly, not funny Urban Outfitters t-shirt, and boy band blow back hair. If you need to spend your free time white knuckling a sense of superiority at every turn, it might easier to remain in your mother's basement in Reseda and jizz over some cradle-robbing porn. Warmest Regards, Laura
Dear Door Guy at Laurel Tavern: I really do like Laurel Tavern..a lot. It's great. I'm sure it's been overwhelming since your bar appeared in the Best New Bars feature in Los Angeles magazine. I find it a little weird to make people wait outside to get into a bar to drink beer and eat a burger. I respect crowd control and appreciated it once I got in and could get a seat at the bar, but I didn't love feeling like I was waiting to get into an awful club on the Strip beforehand. While you're making people wait outside, maybe you can be on douche look out. No one really needs the above guy anywhere near them. Thank you for your consideration. The chorizo fondue is crazy amazing, by the way! Warmest Regards, Laura

To-Do List Item #1: Find my leisure lifestyle

Happy Labor Day weekend! In NY, Labor Day weekend meant an official end of summer and it would bring back that "pit of your stomach" dread I would feel before the school year begins. We would try to fit as much summer-y shit as possible in three days: the beach, BBQs, finding a piece of grass. After Labor Day weekend, it was time to get back to work. When September comes around you no longer could blame the summer for a stalled career. In LA, summer really doesn't have a definite end. It's always at least 70 degrees for most of the year and the ocean is freezing cold all the time, so you can always wear flip flops but really never care about swimming. There's no discernible "play time" and "work time" during the calendar year. In my April 28 post I announced that I will now aspire to have a "lifestyle": garden planting, wine club joining, buying a glue stick and scrapbooking something. I was in LA for just three months and didn't have much going on. I didn't have a job, a heavy audition schedule, or a lot of friends. Now four months later...well, I have more friends As time passes, my knitting and "having political opinions about food" goals are getting pushed aside for a growing to-do list of career-tivities. I'm trying to find that balance of "living in LA" and "getting something done so I have a reason to live in LA." The "living in LA" part is really what this blog is about. Aside from a few parties, I'm spending a chunk of my time this weekend doing more laboring more than playing. Maybe I'm preparing for the imaginary school year in my head. Now where's my kitten Trapper Keeper?