Monthly Archives: May 2011

AN AIRPLANE FOOD RANT…

Having crisscrossed the country over the last three weeks, with a travel schedule apparently formed by what would be decidedly least convenient (to wit, going to New Orleans from LA via Atlanta and back to LA via Atlanta after an unscheduled night at an airport Ramada Inn (pictured above in all its glory!) where The Monster was certain he was eaten by bedbugs and mites and numerous other hungry critters to spend a day at home before traveling from LA to Florida for three days to return to LA for twelve hours to then turn around and fly to Boston for two days) The Monster has had his share of heat-lamp slogged airport food and boxes of inedibles with inane names like “Flight Delights” and “Protein Meal.” 

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REVIEW: NARESH’S

Ever start dating someone and be in that glowing honeymoon phase where everything is going right only to find out a few weeks in they’re a stripper?  The Monster has.  Conversation went something like this.  Her: There’s something I should tell you. Monster: Ok.  Her: It’s a little…embarrassing.  Monster: Ok.  Her: And I’m only telling you because I really like you.  Monster: Ok.  Her: And I only do it for money to go to school.  Monster: Ok.  Her:  I strip.  Monster: Ok!

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REVIEW: THE MISFIT

If Naresh was the stripper The Monster dated, The Misift is the actress.  Looks pretty yet not much else going on.  Taking over the space from Anisette near the Third Street Promenade, everything from the service to the food felt like well, “a miss fit”.  No one to greet us, too many servers but not enough service, food haphazardly brought to the table, bland food or overcooked food or overseasoned food, and then more problems with the service.  How are water glasses taken away when we ask for more water?  Why is every server also the hostess and every hostess also bussing tables?  Why did The Monster like the roll better than the lobster in his lobster roll? 

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REVIEW: STELLA ROSA

So, we’ve dated strippers and actresses.  How about a model?  Yes, The Monster did date one as well.  Granted, she was a print model.  And it was regional.  And it was for a bad department store.  But still, she was a model.  She looked pretty, she was engaging, she was nice to be around.  The Monster might not have seen a forever with her but was plenty happy to have her in his company.  Such it is with Stella Rosa, a new pizza place on Main Street.  Taking over the space that was Goudas & Vines, and attached to what was La Grande Orange and now is M Street Cafe, this is the kind of spot one is thankful to live within walking distance of.

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REVIEW: OSCAR’S CERVETECA

Strippers and actresses and models.  What’s left?  How about the one you end up marrying?  The person you meet and know this promises a lifetime of happiness.  That’s Oscar’s Cerveteca.  The Monster loves everything about this place.  Let’s start with it is equidistant from his house and work.  Perfect spot to while away a night.  Add in it has a great patio to watch the world cruise by.  And the menu is a nice collection of small plates that tend toward South American comfort food.  Continue reading

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THE RULES OF THE GAME…

So how and why does one go about eating at every restaurant in the Zagat Guide?  Start with a dose of crazy, add a pinch of insanity and top off with a bit of inanity.

At the beginning the reasons for doing this were anything but noble.  Why The Monster did it?  Yes, to explore, to break out, to see a city, to acquire knowledge, to be useful, to be a resource, to eat well.  But also because The Monster didn’t know what else to do.  The Monster was completely and utterly lost and staring straight into a future that was doomed to be a disappointment.  Maybe The Monster had peaked, and this was the inevitable descent into a life of late night reruns and mismatched socks.  Maybe the feather duster and Chevy S-10 pick-up truck were a harbinger, The Monster’s place at the table wasn’t at the head, or even with the adults, but playing king forever at the kiddie table… Continue reading

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THE BIRTH OF THE MONSTER…

 

The choices appeared to be simple, die or die in the arms of an insanely beautiful woman.  That one or the other was going to happen was without question.  That I was twenty-one and standing in line at a Rite Aid holding flu medicine only seemed a cruel and unworthy end to a life that once held so much promise.

Luckily, as I’d come to know all too well, Rite Aid’s invariably have way too few people manning the check out lines and way too many employees roaming the aisles aimlessly, whereas a Smart and Final or Sav-On are both uniformly efficient in their customer service.  But Rite-Aid was closer to my apartment and convenience trumps service any day.  The first rule of sales we learned in our four am orientation classes was “location, location, location.”  Rite-Aid was close, I felt like death, Rite-Aid won.  This is true of most things, closer is better.  Closer to your home, closer to your workplace, closer to eye-level, the more apt you are to patronize or buy.  You eat out at a chain restaurant because it’s close by.  You shop at the mall because it’s close by.  You buy a certain cereal because it’s on the shelf closest to you and you don’t have to bend down.  That’s why we’re overrun with mediocrity, at least it’s not too far away. Continue reading

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