from my blog

Day 79: Tasting Kitchen with (ok near,) Larry David


Mark and I thought we would  go to Gjelina on Abbott Kinney tonight, but that was a no-go.  The wait was over an hour and a half.  Not sure I am up for waiting an hour and a half for indifferent service and well...but those bacon-wrapped dates--maybe!  Anyway, we walked down the street to the Tasting Kitchen.  I haven't been to this space since it was the mediocre AK.  But in this new incarnation, chef Casey Lane really gets it right. Lane and his crew from Oregon were brought in to implement a temporary restaurant concept: a "tasting kitchen" based on a small, daily-changing, farm-to-table menu incorporating seasonal, local produce.  But it looks like they have a hit on their hands, and this place is here to stay.  As Jonathan Gold says in his glowing review, the dining room in the Tasting Kitchen is a study in social interaction that just so happens to involve food.  That was especially true for us tonight.  The hostess told us there were two seats left at the communal table, and once we sat down we were right across the table from Mark's agent (and friend,) Cliff, and his wife Carrie.  We had a lovely, social evening at the communal table, sharing a huge cheese and charcuterie platter, bread, amazing aged balsamic vinegar.  I ordered the branzino and for dessert, a crusty, warm apple pie.  Carrie and I had a little thrill to see that Larry David was wandering around the bar area looking lost, until he found his little party (two women.)  I had a "moment" with him at the bathroom.  I was waiting for the one-seater women's room.  He went into the one seater men's room.  When he came out a guy asked him if it was safe to enter, and he looked at all of us standing there, and in pure "Curb" form he waved his hands with those long, bony fingers, and proclaimed, "I swear to you, in all of Los Angeles, that is the safest men's room to enter!"  I wanted to ask him if he had a square to spare but I resisted temptation.


NEW AND IMPROVED BRAIN? Chances are your toiletry bag includes myriad products for your visage, your mouth, your hair. Sugar scrub for your thighs, vitamins and supplements, toothpaste, tooth whitener, sunscreen. But are you forgetting something? Look Ma—no brains! As I packed my toiletry bag for Joshua Tree last weekend (Altoids and doo-rag, check) I smiled, thinking about George Carlin’s rant about “stuff.” When considering what “stuff” to pack for a trip he says, “you’ve got your odor eaters with 45 day guarantee, your cinnamon-flavored dental floss, your Afrin twelve-hour decongestant nasal spray. You know you’re OK because you have your Afrin twelve-hour decongestant nasal spray, and you can relax in Maui on that basis.” Are we used to using products we need, products we want, or products they are telling us we need, (and when I say they, I’m talking about the Man—more specifically the Mad Men). Lots of products come into our daily rotation for various reasons. There are the obvious reasons like hygiene – no one needs death breath, pit stains or pungent foot odor. There are the necessities—tampons, Band Aids, soap, etc. Then there are the messages we all get from the media, from the time we are born. Suddenly you need new products to avoid the embarrassment of female unfreshness, and ring around the collar, whatever that is. When I was a little kid the shampoo commercials let me know, not only was I to shampoo every day, but I was to rinse and repeat, (yes, shampoo twice)! Now, we are told by our stylists and dermatologists you should only wash your hair twice a week, because natural oils are good, and overwashing is, in fact, bad. Enter a new age of man buns and white people with dreadlocks—thanks dermatologists. Well, the other day I wandered into my closet to get something, and when I got there, staring at the collection of beaten-up running shoes and Pac-man oven mitts I plan to re-gift, I forgot what it was I came in there to get. I stood there for a few minutes—nothing. Later that day, I was introduced to three people at a meeting and five minutes later I had forgotten all three of their names. And you know, rather than addressing ring around the collar and restless leg syndrome, why aren’t there more products to help us with our brain function? The researchers and developers behind BrainGear thought the same thing. Developed by neurologists and professors at Stanford University, BrainGear was crafted with 13 pure brain-boosting ingredients and put on the market to appeal to professionals, athletes, innovators and the health-conscious (OK basically all of us). BrainGear is kind of awesome—it supports cognitive health and optimal brain function, turning up alertness, concentration and mental focus. You drink it cold, twice a day. This is a product that not only promises, but actually delivers the clarity and concentration you can feel and the long-term brain health benefits you can feel good about. What I’m saying is, instead of a mindless routine, how about a mindful one? Add drinking BrainGear to your daily habits. Empower yourself. Use all the tools available to you to not only get ahead, but just feel sharp and on top of your game, no matter whether it’s work or play. Brain Gear—it’s the best thing since sliced bread. (What was the best thing before sliced bread?… discussion for another day.)