Thursday, May 08, 2014

Book of Mormon excursion

Once you get to our age, everything and everyone seems to be younger than you. Richard had a birthday on Tuesday and we decided to attempt to find things to do that are older than we are - where we post-date our surroundings.

We started out with dinner at the Musso and Frank Grill, established 1919 - "some place to eat". We both love going back in time for an evening. Even though the waiters are ancient and the management hasn't changed a thing on the interior, the clientele is pretty hip. There was a table full of "Book of Mormon" cast members eating next to us along with an Elvis impersonator - only in Hollywood. Richard enjoyed his sweetbreads, something you don't see too often on menus. We laughed at the '30's menu posted in the back lobby on which a caviar sandwich cost $.75; and in those carefree days before we knew about cholesterol, you could enjoy a glass of pure cream (?) for $.25.
"Glass pure cream"
Full Menu
After dinner, we checked into the Villa Delle Stelle, owned by Dudley Moore's widosw; a collection of bungalows built in the 20's for actors (primarily Buster Keaton) from Columbia Studios. You can walk to Hollywood Blvd. easily from here and the bungalows are a different experience from the hotels in the area. Construction is on-going on a huge property one block over and the neighborhood is somewhat chaotic as a result. It's pretty seedy around there, but with a big new "W" hotel and upgraded construction afoot, the tone will change. 

Great kitchen painting
Front doors
We saw the Book of Mormon at the Pantages Theatre which opened in 1930. Even though the theatre is antique, the audience was pretty much a generation X group. The show is great - ultra high energy and very funny and irreverent. I was surprised by the amount of dress-up we saw; lots of young men in suits and the pretty girls in those high, high heels. As the whole theatre was busy taking selfies, we joined in. I guess they're supposed to be terrible; if that's the objective we succeeded.  

Selfie featuring all our neck wrinkles

Getting ready for the Book of Mormon
After the show, we visited the legendary Frolic Room next door. Connected to the theatre by a secret staircase, it was a speak-easy circa 1930, where cast members could enjoy an illegal alcoholic beverage during prohibition. The bouncer at the door seemed glad to see us and gave a big welcome. Bar of all bars, the juke box was blaring inside and the stools were filled with characters of all kinds and descriptions. We made a short walk through it and decided against staying. When we left I don't think the bouncer was surprised. "Frolicking" is pretty much off our radar screen now. 
The good old Frolic Room

The next morning, we drove over to Du-par's on Ventura Blvd., established in 1938 and enjoyed Richard's favorite buttermilk pancakes, short stack, served with equal sized pitchers of melted butter and syrup. The pancakes are still as good as ever and the interior of the restaurant is pretty well unchanged, but the current executive chef is from Wolfgang Puck's Granita as are the restaurant's consultants. I hope they keep the core items untouched if they plan any major changes. 
A man and his pancakes
You can't finish even a short stack
Our excursion ended up with a deviation from the theme of "older than us" with a visit to the youngest member of our family, baby cousin Liam, established in January 2014. I wonder what he'll do when he's say, 70 years old, in 2084?
Calm and collected at 3 months, Liam is a dream baby. 


  1. That sounds so perfect! I'll bet Richard loved It. Tell him Happy Birthday.

    Are we ever going to do an L.A. trip together?

  2. Welcome back! Happy Birthday.