Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Last Sunday, I lost a dear friend who was my foodie buddy, a partner-in-crime, and my chaperone through the world of southern cooking. In between juicy gossip, most of our conversations centered around food (as it should be). We talked endlessly about menus, bbq, cake vs. pie (we both vote pie) and spent one glorious day at the Hollywood Farmer's Market when we went to a book signing by celebrity chef/book flogger Anthony Bourdain.
In tribute to his life and the love of food we shared, the day he passed I went out into a beautiful day to eat good food, lose myself in a crowd, and cherish our friendship.
First stop: Pedals Cafe, which is at the bottom floor of the elegant Shutters Hotel, where you sit close enough to the Santa Monica boardwalk to risk getting run over by randomly unsteady tourists on rollerblades. When my soul needs rejuvenation, I naturally gravitate towards the ocean to heal...it opened up to be a gorgeous day, with broad sunshine and a light breeze accompanying my lovely brunch. The service is always crisp and professional, and they sensed my melancholy mood and took care of me, without being overly gooey and fake. I had corned beef hash made from scratch with poached eggs, and the most lovely fruit bowl ever. (It had better be lovely for $15, but I digress.) Lastly they offered the most elegant doggie bag I'd ever received, seriously.
Next stop: a trip to the Getty museum, a place of beauty,peace and tranquility, with stunningly thoughtful architecture offering breathtakingly unique views of Los Angeles. One of the exhibits was a French silversmith who specialized in intricate scuptures that sat atop food service pieces. For example, atop a silver soup tureen, there were delicate molds of an ortalan (small bird eaten whole!), a cauiliflower, a truffle, cabbages and pears all carefully constructed to lie next to each other to simulate a table centerpiece. Clare, with his eye for artful decoration, would have loved that.
Last stop: my neighborhood Lilly's Cafe, where the warm and friendly staff took care of me and I got my favorite steak frites, dunking my frites into mayonnaise, Euro-style, to the horror of other patrons. I love that Lilly's gives you the same great tableside service when you eat at the bar. It's so very French. A shout out to the very kind people I met that night, and especially to the hostess B who offered a shoulder among other things, to lean on.
I'll miss you dearly Clarence.