Sunday, February 15, 2009

As my friend Lisa says . . .

You know you are in an expensive hotel when they charge for wireless. 

Isabel and I were on a brief shopping-and-eating trip to Los Angeles with the aforementioned Lisa and her daughter, Juliet. I couldn't bring myself to pay the Loews Santa Monica another dime, so I didn't have internet for a few days.

Highlights from trip: 

1. Lunch at Spago, where we saw Wolfgang Puck in the worn, middle-aged flesh. The calzone with four cheeses was the best single dish I tasted the whole weekend and has inspired me to buy the Spago cookbook.

2. Pinkberry frozen yogurt. More than enough rhapsodies have been composed about this sublime, tangy frozen yogurt, all of them true.

3. Looking in a mirror at the Beverly Center I realized I was dressed exactly like an orthodox Jewish woman, except with an uncommonly lustrous and natural-looking wig.

Actually, #3 was a low point. I do find the modest attire of orthodox women -- the long skirts, flat shoes and dark cardigans -- appealing and elegant, as I do the clothing of the Amish. But I don't remember when, exactly, I chose that as my own particular fashion statement. 

Because I didn't.

Today: Rethinking my look, and picking up where I left off with Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian


  1. But that always seems counterintuitive to me- like why nickel and dime me when you're charging so much? And, as we all know, it costs them NOTHING to let me in on their wireless. meanwhile tiny little cheap motels offer it free. another reason to stay in tiny cheap motels!

  2. Infuriating about the Wireless. I guess it's a hotel working on the old business model where they rook you for every phone call you make. Nowadays, there's no reason for hotel rooms to even have phones. I guess they're not bold enough to charge for turning on the TV, but wireless is still fair game.

  3. Calzone with four cheeses sounds good. But this whole "four cheese" thing -- is that a relatively recent and bogus development in the naming of dishes. You get it with pizza a lot -- four-cheese pizza. I guess that means that instead of just mozzarella, there's a little mild cheddar and monterey jack and probably medium cheddar. But does it taste different? Does it taste better? Why four cheeses? Why not three, or five? Did Wolfgang experiment with a three-cheese calzone and find it not quite right?
    Answers, please.

  4. Smoyer: I don't know what the third and fourth cheeses were, but the first was mozzarella and the second was goat, yielding a stretchy, chewy cheese filling that actually had some flavor. I ate some delicious things on this trip, but the calzone was by far the best.