Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Parlour Games

They say that in Los Angeles the economy is so bad that more than 30% of existing restaurants will close by month’s end due to the economy. Very sad that, but here’s another that I wish would close because they’re part of the problem.
There is a Pizza Parlour in Hollywood. Very chic. They bottle their own water even. It is one of the loudest restaurants in CA, so you had better like your sever because that is the only human being you will be having any decent conversation with…but I digress.

A famous chef who is a household name in some circles. A fact that is becoming even less important in these perilous times. But here is my most favorite part:

You have to make a reservation. Yes, I hear all of you who do not live in L.A. laughing that you would ever have to make a reservation at a pizza joint but wait, it gets better.

You call the main number & are directed by a voice message to call the Reservation OFFICE. Fine. You call. Oh, but they do not open til 10:00 a.m. You call at 10:01 a.m. You get a recorded message delivered flawlessly by a citizen of the BRITISH Realm. Or since it’s L.A. more likely an out-of-work actress who is hoping for a SHOWTIME audition for THE TUDORS. Very PRINCESS MARGARET!!! She deigns to congratulate you on your having made it into the Reservation QUEUE!!!!! (QUEUE! Pronounced KEW I swear to GOD!) To the Americans reading this that means LINE as in “get in line!” Then she announces that you are “CALLER #9” or, God help you, a higher number. Then the real fun begins. They actually count you down!

Yes they “do thank you for your patience” but then they say “You’re are caller 9!” Then “8” then “7” then “6” As the tension builds you feel so much like a game show contestant that you half expect HOWIE MANDEL or REGIS PHILBIN to be the next voice you hear…but alas, that is not the case (Christ I sound like HER!) No. LADY CHATTERLY gets back on to say “You’re Caller #2” “I’m NEXT!” you think! But you are deluded. After a few moments its announced that “You’re caller #1!” And sooner than you can say “I’ll take POTENT POTABLES for $500 please Alec!” You are connected to a human being!

Your heart is beating loudly when you timidly speak:” Hi! I’ was hoping to make a reservation for next Friday!” ?? “For lunch or dinner?” asks the decidedly non-English voice. “Dinner! you declare. “For how many?” the Beverly-Hills-but-South-of-Olympic voice inquires. “Four” you say brightly. And pathetically you are HOPEFUL. It’s just PIZZA. Its just 4 of you. It’s a full week’s notice! “Of course!” teases Brooke (all problematic girls are named BROOKE so let’s just go with that!) “I can seat you at 10:45!”

No. Do not re-read that. You read correctly the first time. I cannot get a reservation for 4 at the local pizza parlour on a Friday night until nearly MIDNIGHT!!!

I call back. I can appreciate this game. I change the day & the date to lesser ones. I lower the number of my guests. My all time best performance is 4 PEOPLE at 9:30 on a THURSDAY 1 week from now!!!

But now I don’t want to go. I don’t want to work this hard to eat pizza in a restaurant in an almost “dodgy” part of town. And even though the chef is quasi-famous he is most assuredly NOT BRITISH! AAnd I have it on very good authority form my many affected friends who do not say DIE! as quickly as I do, that no matter what hoops you jump through, lies you tell, games you play, the place is always one quarter empty. They leave tables open in case GEORGE CLOONEY & BRAD PITT show up looking for “a SLICE!” Oh & no celebrities are ever even spotted there which in L.A. is the mark of a bad restaurant, trust me.

But is MUST be the BEST PIZZA in LOS ANGELES you’re thinking right now, I bet. Ummm no! The BEST PIZZA in LOS ANGELES can be found at a place called ANGELINO CAFE on 3rd Street where there ARE CELEBRITIES are where there is NO reservation drama, and where they are always glad to see you, even if there is no QUEUE!

Cafe Angelino

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