back in LA

In ALL, TRAVEL by Stephanie Klein19 Comments

This weekend, I was out in LA with the suitor and friends to celebrate my friend Smelly’s 30th birthday.  She was there for work, so we figured we’d keep her company.  When I arrived, and after standing in line for 45 minutes for a "small SUV" (it seats close to 12 people, and was all they had) with the "never lost" system, I was starving.  Everything in LA closes early.  New Yorkers aren’t used to a city shutting down, ever.  "I don’t give a shit where we eat; just give me something that’s open.  And it has to have fish."  So I guess I do care; it’s because I’m on a diet again.  And I’m not the type who’s always on a diet.  But leave it to me to start one right before the loveliness and carb orgy that is Thanksgiving. Is Thanksgiving even Thanksgiving without stuffing or sweet potatoes?  I had been planning a private tradition of Thanksgiving alone with The Suitor (on Wednesday or Friday, just for us), but now that all I can eat is Turkey, it’s just not the same. 

The suitor and I stumbled into an unassuming sushi restaurant.  "Order fast.  The kitchen is closing."  Miso cod.  Eel. Spicy tuna.  Salmon sashimi.  Rock shrimp tempura.  I was a good girl and ate only the undressed lettuce from the rock shrimp tempura dish.  I ate a hill of daikon radish.  It would have tasted better with some soy, but I’m not allowed.  No salt.  Little did we know we were eating at Matsuhisa, zagat-voted #1 sushi in all of LA.  I want to go back again for the golden miso-glazed jewels of cod flesh.  Pillows of fish atop a pool of glistening, sticky sauce.  Damn good.  A definite recommend for those who won’t do fish beyond fried flounder. 

The other night we attended the star-studded Video Game Awards, which did nothing for me.  Saturday we bowled at Lucky Strike, then hit Dolce for a prix fix dinner followed by almost drinks at Tropicana in the Roosevelt Hotel. Almost because we decided to leave after making it inside.  It was as boring as this "this is why I haven’t posted" post. 


  1. Hey girl, you're never boring. I'm just glad to get an update – missed you with my coffee this morning. Keep up the good work.

  2. Nothing written by you is boring. It has less to do with content than style. You are all style, chica!

  3. So that's where you were. Sounds kinda boring. Been to LA and once was ok for me. So, is "the suitor" still Phil? Or is it a different suitor? I noticed he's been using "Phil" when he comments and not "the suitor" anymore, so why not call him Phil?

  4. I too have decided to start a diet during this holiday season, so I can definately empathize. Just out of curiosity what diet are you doing the Zone which I enjoy because I dont end up feeling too deprived. I love love love your writing…

  5. that's so funny – i was at the roosevelt hotel on saturday night because i had friends in town from new york. i think it's the first time i've gone out to an actual bar in the past three years. i'm so old – all i do is go to dinner parties now… anyway, i immediately saw the saw people i used to see three years ago which made me wonder – have they been going out every night since then?! and i agree, it was beyond lame.

  6. I love irony. As I am currently "stuck" behind the orange curtain, you're boring weekend (i.e. Matsuhitsa, Lucky Strike, Roosevelt)is my exciting weekend. AGHHH! So your post was not boring to me…the last paragraph, the last sentence, got me! I'm still smiling. It's getting "SoCal" late, so I have to go get something to eat before the sidewalks literally roll up. And I do mean literally.

  7. Guess pnutz hasn't read your nickname post. You sure picked a strange time for a diet. Dieting on T-giving is almost as bad as a guy counting carbs on a date. You *did* write that, didn't you?

  8. Was worth posting if only for the "pillows of fish".. That, I like. They are little pillows of fish on a bed of rice. Was reading some of your old entries when you hadn't posted and am reminded how much I love your word combinations. Welcome home.

  9. I had the same reaction when I visited my girlfriend in San Fran; she lives in the Marina, which is a jammin' part of town with lots of people and lots of stuff happening, always. The biggest issue for me was that the City — more like an expansive town, really — shut down around 11 or 12 (1 on the weekend). I figure LA's a bigger, faster version of San Fran (which isn't a plus, incidentally) but I was amazed that everything — and everyone — seemed to disappear by midnight.

    DC's another late-night disappearing act, but that's more because most people commute from Virginia and Maryland into the city and then get the hell out (slowly, via the Key Bridge) at 5:30. Bars in Manhattan close at 4 — some later — and if I need Thai food at 5AM on a Sunday, there are places that will happily deliver (even if they don't speak much English).

    Meanwhile, if I wake up early — say, 5:30 — and go to the gym, I'm continually amazed that I'm far from alone on the street, no matter what neighborhood. No matter how much I travel or how much I see, I doubt I'll ever find a place that is always "on" at full tilt. The only cities that even come close are Miami and Vegas, but neither are places you'd wanna be at 11AM unless you're nude and in a large body of water — or a penthouse suite at the Bellagio.


  10. Maybe it's age, maturity, self esteem or whatever but I can NEVER understand people who would stand in line to get into a place like Tropicana at The Hotel Roosevelt. I'm glad Stephanie and I agree on our disdain for that scene. Arriving at midnight to a velvet rope manned by someone you wouldn't give the power to park your car, you see him feign competence(read- looking at a sheet of paper in his hand) while double cheek kissing others who buy into the idiocy of the situation. On some silly and arbitrary "list", the stantions part and we're wisked off to a poolside table by another unnecessarily pretentious goofball who probably still lives with his parents. After ten minutes of looking around at a half empty deck we slap ourselves wondering why we were there in the first place- negative atmosphere, pretentious people…no thanks. Back to the hotel bar where we close the place sharing stories. Friends make the night.

  11. I think everyone goes through the same thing when they're young. You wait in line for a hot spot, you get inside. You spot no celebrities since they have separate rooms. The place is horribly expensive, and it is filled with people identical to you, just regular folk trying to get in. The you leave to go to some local place with plenty of atmoshpere where you can hang with your friends and have a good time.

    I think that the most memorable times have been when I've stumbled into a place, sometimes no more than a hole in the wall, for no discernible reason. As a native NYer, I'd rather be in a dingy dive talking with people that couldn't possible live more unlike me.

  12. I always thought Sushi was disgusting and your post, with your descriptions, makes it sound even more inedible.

    And maybe L.A. wasn't your scene because your entire posse wasn't with you? I think L.A. is great, but maybe that's because when I visit my friends, we get five star treatment…often in the company of the stars.

    Sorry you didn't like it.

  13. I went on the S. Beach diet again 3 weeks ago. The psycho masochist in me decided to extend the strict phase 1 part of the diet (which should only last for 2 weeks) to two months. What was I thinking? Hello? Stuffing!!! The most delicious thing in the universe you pretty much only eat once a year! I may have to make an exception. Good luck with the diet!

  14. Yeap… nothing like good sushi… missed your posts this weekend.
    No carb no salt diet?? mm… i'm always on a diet… kind of a life style thing, but i like salt.

  15. Hey,

    I live in a small town in Germany and was surprissed that LA roll up the sidewalks at 12 o´clock. We have the same "problem", but we have only 200.000 habitants.

  16. One thing that Germany doesn't have is Thanksgiving but Germans usually start to moan about extra pounds and "love handles" as soon as Christmas is over. *waves hands to the US*

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