Monday, December 21, 2009


Geezbob, Rui and I went to Lawry's Sunday night to have our traditional Christmas dinner. The earliest reservation we could get was 9 p.m. But since Lawry's has a policy of only taking reservations for half of their tables and holding the other half for walk-ins we decided to meet there at 6 p.m. in hopes of eating much earlier.

That's when we found out Lawry's doesn't hold half the tables for walk-ins anymore. According to the hostess, since their business is down due to the Recession they've been making all of their tables available for reservations. (I wonder if they made this change when they became part of the Open Table reservation system.)

So we waited for an hour and when it was clear we were nowhere near being seated we decided to take action. We crossed La Cienega Boulevard and had dinner at Fogo De Chao, a Brazilian-style Churrascaria directly across the street.

This all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse has a large salad bar and waiters bring different cuts of meat to your table.

I'd been to a Churrascaria in Rio de Janeiro and was anxious to repeat the experience in America. I really enjoyed the one in Ipanema but was a little intimidated by the experience. In Brazil there was a language barrier and I couldn't be sure exactly what kind of meat I was being offered. I liked them all and was worried that one of my "favorites" might turn out to be a critter I'd prefer not to eat.

Well, it turns out the Beverly Hills Churrascaria was so loud, the waiters were so harried and spoke with such an accent I couldn't really tell which meat was what there either.

But it was all good even if it was ridiculously over-priced.
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The waiters run around with meat on giant skewers. As long as your red/green card is green they stop at your table and offer to slice some off for you.

It's cute for the first few minutes. After a while it gets annoying. Especially since the table are so close together the waiters (and their giant knives) have to shimmy pretty close to you to get by.
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Latino theater troupe Culture Clash has a new show at the Mark Taper Forum -- "Palestine, New Mexico." I saw it on Saturday night and though I've enjoyed several of their other shows, this one didn't click for me.

Traveling between Afghanistan and a New Mexico Indian Reservation, this show explores "clans" and the role they play in war and peace.

Interesting stuff, but the inclusion of stupid, slapstick comedy ruined the evening for me. It wasn't funny and it spoiled the look at serious issues.
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Friday night I went to the Renberg Theatre to see Leslie Jordan's latest one-man show, "Full of Gin and Regret."

There's no better story-teller out there than Jordan. From his adventures in Hollywood to his childhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jordan had them rolling in the aisles. He can hit a punchline but I think it's his voice and delivery that makes him so entertaining.
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I spent most of last Tuesday in Pomona just outside of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. The weather was gorgeous and the snow atop the San Gabriel Mountains was beautiful.

I haven't been to the L.A. County Fair since I was a kid. Each year in September I see the advertising for the Fair and I think, "I should go," but I never get around to it.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Whole Lot, Fool

As we get ready to close another decade, can I go on record regarding how much I miss the 70s?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Where's the Razzle Dazzle?

Stopped by the L.A. Auto Show at the Convention Center last night. What a disappointment!

Compared to three years ago (the last Auto Show I went to) this year's edition was a complete snoozefest. Lackluster displays and hardly any "wow" at all.

I know we're in a recession and everything but if even the people trying to sell cars are going to phone it in then how can there be any hope for a recovery?

Here's how pathetic it was: Ford's big attention getting device was a magician doing card tricks. The 1950s is calling -- it wants its hype back.
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The General Motors section of the exhibit was particularly plain. But I guess that's not surprising given the circumstances.
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hello Gorgeous

There's no spot more beautiful than Southern California the day AFTER it rains. Blue skies, blue ocean, green hills -- it just doesn't get any better than that.

I spent this afternoon on the Palos Verdes Peninsula at the southern end of the Santa Monica Bay. This photo is from Palos Verdes Estates looking towards Malaga Cove and the Pacific Ocean. You can even see Catalina Island in the distance.
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Had dinner Sunday night at Victor's Coffee Shop in Hollywood.

I don't know if it's true or not but this place has the reputation of being owned by the mob.

If it is then it shows even the mob isn't immune from the economic downtown. 7:30 p.m. and you could shoot a cannon through the place (though the family prefers you not).
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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Shocking Discovery!

How in the world did it get to be December already?

Hotels across America are putting up Christmas trees in their lobbies (this pretty one is in the lobby of the Doubletree Hotel in Torrance).

Where did this year go? Heck, where has this decade gone? I'm still freaked out about Y2K.
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