“Hidden Cash” in Los Angeles for the Weekend!

“Hidden Cash” came to Los Angeles on Friday and has been responsible for the largest scavenger hunt the city has ever seen. Free MONEY! Lots of Media Hype and Coverage! And pictures of happy people holding $$$$$! Holy Sh*t! This guy is for real.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

"Hidden Cash" - Envelope with hand written note filled with money

“Hidden Cash” – Envelope with hand written note filled with money

The MEDIA loves it! Crazy people hunting for money! They are live “retweeting” the clues at every opportunity and of course broadcasting live before, during and after each money drop. All the news coverage has just added fuel to the fire, as well as spawning copycats all over the country, and even throughout the world! Just go ahead google Hidden Cash.

Hidden Cash - Envelope with money in Pasadena

“Hidden Cash” – Envelope with money hidden in plain sight at Firehouse Studio in Pasadena

So, he was in Los Feliz (at the Mulholland Fountain), Burbank (at the Media Center), Pasadena (near Old Town), Echo Park/Salazar Park (East L.A.). The frenzy that occurred at the fountain in Los Feliz caused more than minor damage to the park, and the mob in Burbank caused a traffic jam and created safety problems, with people running in the street.  The mayhem, damage to property, and safety concerns have the police and sheriff departments monitoring the updates (and contacting him directly) via Twitter.

Hidden Cash - Burbank Media Center Frenzy!

“Hidden Cash” – Burbank Media Center Frenzy! (ripped from Twitter)

Today, Saturday, he was in Hermosa Beach. Usually he just hides an envelope with a hand written note on it, but at the beach he buried 36 plastic “Angry Birds” in the sand. But last night he tweeted that he would be at the beach today and people were digging in Santa Monica all night long….

Hidden Cash - Hermosa Beach Angry Birds stuffed with $$$$$

“Hidden Cash” – Hermosa Beach 36 Angry Birds stuffed with $$$$$!

Hidden Cash - Hermosa Beach Frenzy! (ripped from Naomi-wan-kenobi's Twitter)

“Hidden Cash” – Hermosa Beach Frenzy! (ripped from Naomi-wan-kenobi’s Twitter)

All this madness, and I think the the biggest prize has been $200, which really isn’t that much. Maybe it’s the “something for nothing” nature of the giveaway or the need to “hop on the bandwagon” to be part of this weird new cultural phenomenon.

Donald Sterling, politicians, and advertisers should take note of the goodwill giving cash away to the unwashed masses generates in modern times. The Caesars of Rome used it to keep their citizens happy and distracted, Robin Hood became legend giving to the poor, and gangsters from Jesse James to Al Capone to John Gotti have won over the public and press (as well as corrupting public officials) regardless of their crimes by spreading the wealth around the neighborhood.

"Hidden Cash" - REAL STACKS OF CHEDDAR!

“Hidden Cash” – REAL STACKS OF CHEDDAR!

A personal message for “Hidden Cash”:

HEY RICH GUY! WHAT IS THIS NICKLE AND DIME SH*T? THIS IS LOS ANGELES! YOU BETTER UP YOUR GAME: GIVE AWAY SOME REAL MONEY! START WITH $1000 ENVELOPES AND THEN GET REALLY STUPID WITH REAL BIG CHEDDAR!  

"Hidden Cash" - REAL STACKS OF CHEDDAR!

“Hidden Cash” – USE REAL BIG STACKS OF CHEDDAR!

And if you’re just feeling generous and want to “give it away now”, please send it to me via US Mail at Joshua Weisel PO Box 18376 Encino CA 91416 or send me a message! NOTE: I will happily mention you here on my blog or we can just keep it between us….

There’s one more drop promised for tomorrow (Sunday), so follow “Hidden Cash” at @HiddenCash if you want to make an ass out of yourself with a bunch of idiots. Frankly, I’ll be glad to see him go back to San Francisco and take his circus sideshow with him.

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$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

UPDATED Wednesday, June 5th

HiddenCash hit Lake Hollywood and Hollenbeck Parks on his way out of town, hiding money in bottles of bubble-stuff. Then he stopped in Bakersfield on the way home to San Francisco. Yesterday, it was reported that he was sorry for the dangerous Burbank frenzy, and that he may alert law enforcement before making money drops in the future. He’s promised to have some fun in S.F. this weekend and that he’ll return to L.A. soon.

 

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“MALEFICENT!”, the promotional display at the ArcLight Cinemas

Disney’s “Maleficent!” – the promotional display at the ArcLight Cinemas

NOTE: This Blog is supplemental to the previous “Chef” the film, Sherman Oaks Galleria, ArcLight Cinemas, and Dinner at Versailles Cuban Food Blog.

I haven’t been to the MOVIES in a long time. There are a few real good reasons why….but I’m not going to go into that subject today. Instead I’m going to go into a little detail on “Maleficent”, a classic Disney character and villain!

"Maleficent!"

“Maleficent!” – I took this pic of the promotional art at the ArcLight Cinemas Sherman Oaks

Created for the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty and designed by Disney Legend Marc Davis, Maleficent is the “Mistress of All Evil”, Disney’s version of the wicked fairy godmother from the original French fairy tale. After not being invited to the royal christening, she curses the infant Princess Aurora to “prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die” before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday.

Disney's Maleficent (the original)

Disney’s Maleficent (the original)

In the Fantasmic! show performed at Disneyland & Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Maleficent is the true villain along with the Evil Queen. They decide it is time to take out Mickey Mouse, once and for all, and command the other Disney villains to strike at Mickey through his dreams and imagination. Maleficent is the final villain to attack Mickey. The battle between Maleficent in Dragon form and Hero Mickey serves as the climax to the show. Maleficent cries out before becoming the dragon, “Now you will deal with me, and all the powers of my imagination!” Notably different from the original film where she proclaimed “Now shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell!”

Maleficent in Dragon Form

Maleficent (the original) in Dragon Form

That’s the basic history of the character, so now back to going to the movies….

As detailed in my previous Blog, on Memorial Day Monday, we went to the ArcLight Cinemas in the Sherman Oaks Galleria in the San Fernando Valley, and saw “Chef”.

"Chef" the film

Russell Peters and Jon Favreau recreate a scene from “Lady & The Tramp” in “Chef” the film

In the lobby of the ArcLight, there was a large promotional display for “Maleficent” with two costumes worn by Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning and conceptual artwork from the film. The display was enclosed in glass and it was hard to get a clean pic without the glare. It was an unexpected surprise, and it was cool, so I thought I’d share it here.

NOTE: Remember, “right-click” and open a new window to see a larger picture!

Maleficent! Costumes at the ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Costumes and Artwork at the ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent Costume (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Still photo of the costume as worn by Angelina Jolie (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Concept Artwork – Does the castle look familiar? (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Not something you get to see everyday! And I’ll probably update this Blog with a review of the film, which opens wide today, soon.

Twitter Ad! Reposting it here.

Disney’s Maleficent! From a Twitter Ad – Reposting it here.

And just for fun:

DMorte Disney Tarot 10 Wheel of Fortune (unauthorized)

DMorte Disney Tarot Card 10: Wheel of Fortune (unauthorized)

THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE TAROT CARD

Upright: Unexpected good luck. A raise in pay. A promotion at work. Prosperity may be coming your way. Good news about health issues. As always, good luck becomes better for the prepared and the proactive, but this card also represents providence. Traditionally, fortune, good health, and advancement.

Reversed: Ups and downs. Instability. Unpredictability. Apparent good fortune may not turn out to be so good after all. Traditionally, negligence, inconsistency, speculation, cruel fate.  Might suggest fluctuating health issues such as allergies or weight gain.

Correspondences – Element: Fire/Water – Zodiac: Jupiter

Read the previous Blog “Chef” the film, Sherman Oaks Galleria, ArcLight Cinemas, Dinner at Versailles Cuban Food

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“Chef”, Sherman Oaks Galleria, ArcLight & Dinner at Versailles

“Chef” (the film) at the ArcLight Cinemas in the Sherman Oaks Galleria and Dinner at Versailles Restaurant in Encino!

Memorial Day Monday! It’s a national holiday!

USA! The United States of America!

Memorial Day! – USA! The United States of America!

I hung the American flag out front first thing in the morning, then changed my facebook cover and profile photo to reflect the patriotic nature of the holiday. I had bacon and coffee for breakfast, and then fried chicken, watermelon, strawberries, avocado, and an iced espresso for lunch. Later I munched on some popcorn and then went to the movies and saw “Chef” at the ArcLight Cinemas in the Sherman Oaks Galleria (it was very good, but don’t see it on an empty stomach). Then we went for dinner at Versailles Cuban Food Restaurant in Encino and had a great meal.

There are four parts to this Blog:

1. “Chef” (the film) starring and directed by Jon Favreau, with John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, and “the kid”. Great supporting roles performed by Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlet Johansson, and Oliver Platt. There’s also a small but memorable cameo appearance by Robert Downey Jr.

"Chef" the film

“Chef” the film

“Chef” – My Review of the Film: I liked it! It was a very good story, it was well written and well acted with interesting characters to care about. There was almost no CGI and no one got assaulted, murdered or blown up. It was well directed with a straightforward and low-budget “indy film” quality. It’s a feel-good, buddy movie/romance/father-son bonding story,  with (spoiler alert) a happy ending. The story was fun! It was made up of a series of both comedic and dramatic vignettes, about a middle-class, hard-working chef trying to manage both his career and his fractured family. There were several very clever creative choices both in plot and direction that explore social media (Twitter, facebook, vine, etc.) and it’s influence on our culture and society.

"Chef" the film

Exploring the Influence of Social Media and Twitter in “Chef” the film

Jon Favreau does a great job as the title character, Chef Carl Caspar, including performing difficult knife tricks and cooking tasks with practiced skill. John Leguizamo is great as his sous chef, buddy and comic relief. I’m sure sales of corn starch are going to spike. Bobby Cannavale is good as the other sous chef, playing the wasted but capable second fiddle with his usual almost over-the-top “New York theatre trained” style. Scarlet Johansson plays the restaurant’s beautiful hostess and the chef’s “friend with benefits”, and in this case the benefit is pasta! Dustin Hoffman is terrific as the intractable restaurant owner. Sofia Vergara is gorgeous and shines as the chef’s ex-wife and romantic interest, remarried and divorced from a sleaze bag investor played by Robert Downey Jr., but sharing custody and co-parenting of their adolescent son. “The kid” did good job, and I gave him a pass on the few times he was “acting” it, because he was cute and his performance was both capable and pivotal to the storyline. And a tip of the hat to Oliver Platt for his performance as the food critic Ramsey Michel. There’s a lot of music, both soundtrack and live performance, in the film. I enjoyed the ethnic Cuban beat (made me miss Tito Puente), Gary Clark Jr.’s Texas blues, working in the kitchen, cooking good food, road-trip playlist and even enjoyed the sing-along to “Sexual Healing”. From the opening cooking sequence accompanied by Aiko-Aiko I found myself tapping my feet along with the music. And of course, as a film titled “Chef” necessitates, there was a lot of cooking and good food involved, so my advice is to go see it, but don’t see it on an empty stomach, because you’ll be hungry for something good (maybe a Cubano sandwich) by the time the credits roll at the end.

————————————————————————————————–

The holiday adventure began with a drive down Ventura Boulevard at 4pm. Normally on a weekday, there would be a lot of traffic. Everyone must have left town or stayed home to barbecue, because there was hardly anyone on the road.

Ventura Blvd east going to Sherman Oaks (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

No Traffic on Ventura Blvd going east to Sherman Oaks! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

A short drive down the nearly deserted street brings us to the world famous SHERMAN OAKS GALLERIA (the second incarnation). Parking is available in the structure under and next to the Galleria Complex. Valet parking is located under the main mall structure and self-parking is located in the structure next to the bank, offices, restaurants and retail shopping. There is a charge for parking, but there are validations available at the theatre, the Starbuck’s, and in the restaurants. Parking in the structure can be crowded and difficult at times, so be sure to allow for traffic and a long wait to exit the parking structure and/or get your car back from the valet when there are a lot of people at the Galleria (or when all the movies let out at the same time).

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

2. The Sherman Oaks Galleria at the intersection of Ventura and Sepulveda boulevards is a San Fernando Valley Landmark. Used as a filming location since it was first built in 1980, and featured in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, “Commando” and many other films and television programs. The original mall was damaged during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and then repaired, but never fully recovered. It closed in April 1999 for a major renovation and remodel. It reopened in 2002 as a mixed-use open-air center, it’s second and current incarnation, a collection of office space, retail shopping, a few familiar chain restaurants, a Starbuck’s, a Ben & Jerry’s and the ArcLight Cinemas.

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – “The Wind Tunnel” Patio Area (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – Fuddrucker’s Hamburgers (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – The Water Wall in “The Wind Tunnel” (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – covered walkway (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria - P.F. Chang's Chinese Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – P.F. Chang’s Chinese Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – P.F. Chang’s Horse Statue (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – The Cheesecake Factory (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – El Torito Grill Mexican Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The walk from self-parking (once you’ve found a space) takes you past the restaurants, retail shops, patio, courtyard and fountain. Continue through the “wind tunnel” and covered walkway, to the rotunda and the escalator and elevator. And be sure to leave enough time for parking and the walk if you’re going to the ArcLight Cinemas!

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Ride the escalator or the elevator (past the DSW Shoe Store) to the third floor and the ArcLight Cinemas lobby. There’s a fitness center and membership gym on the second floor, so just expect to see people in workout clothes anytime of day or evening and there may be a funky smell in the elevator.

NOTE: If you Valet Park, you can ride the elevator or the escalator up to the third floor without walking through the “wind tunnel” and covered walkway, but all you’ll see of the Galleria is the rotunda. There is an additional charge for Valet and as previously noted, you may have to wait awhile to get your car back. But on a positive note, you might meet a celebrity while you’re waiting! I said hello to Ice Cube last time I used the Valet.

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – rotunda, skylight & glass elevator (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The ARCLIGHT CINEMAS in the Sherman Oaks Galleria

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas in the Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

3. The ArcLight Cinemas in the Sherman Oaks Galleria was originally the Pacific 16, but was rebranded, renovated and upgraded in 2007 (with further improvements made even more recently). In addition to the traditional popcorn, candy & soda concessions, there are better food items available. They have a coffee, tea and espresso bar and a gift shop that sells Hollywood “movie-related” knick-knacks and other souvenir items.

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Box Office is inside the theatre, in the lobby, and you don’t need a ticket to visit the espresso bar, gift shop, concession stand, lobby exhibits or cocktail lounge.

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas – Concessions Stand (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas – Gift Shop (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Marvel Merchandising! Get your Spider-Man 2 lunchbox and Wolverine sippy-cup here!

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas – Gift Shop (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 “Double espresso with whipped cream, please.”

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas – Coffee, Tea and Espresso Bar (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

And there’s a BAR & COCKTAIL LOUNGE AREA with a full liquor license in one corner of the lobby! Cocktails, beer and wine are available of purchase but can only be consumed in the lounge area!

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas – THEY HAVE A BAR & COCKTAIL LOUNGE! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They had a large promotional display for Disney’s “MALEFICENT” with Costumes & Artwork in the lobby. (see my next blog with more pictures and details)

Maleficent! Costumes at the ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Costumes & Artwork at the ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The film was showing in a theater adjacent to the Bar & Cocktail Lounge Area, and it was a full house for a 4:30pm showing on Memorial Day Monday.

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas – Full House for “Chef” the film (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I wandered past the X-Men Days of Future Past lighted wall of marketing, and it was cool.

ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ArcLight Cinemas – X-Men Days of Future Past wall of marketing (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Going Down at the Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria- covered walkway (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Usually we like to hit the Cheesecake Factory after a film, when it’s not a total madhouse. The food is good and you get a lot of it, and the cheesecake is THE BOMB. It gets pretty slammed when the Galleria is busy and a there are good films showing, but that’s true of all the restaurants in the complex on high traffic days. I don’t care for the El Torito Grill, and P.F. Chang’s is pretty expensive for Chinese food. Fuddrucker’s is an okay burger, but it’s almost “buffet style”and there’s a FatBurger and In-N-Out not too far away if you want a real good burger. There’s a Sisley Italian Kitchen and an upscale Denny’s across the street within walking distance, or any number of good restaurants on Ventura Blvd just a short drive away. I recommend Cafe Bizou (east of Van Nuys Blvd) but you should make a reservation well in advance for dinner.

Well, after seeing “Chef”, the decision was made to have Cuban food. So, after the walk back to self-parking and a short drive back down Ventura Boulevard, we arrived at our dinner destination, VERSAILLES CUBAN FOOD RESTAURANT in Encino.

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food Restaurant in Encino (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

4. Dinner at Versailles Cuban Food Restaurant in Encino

If you want Cuban food, Versailles is the place! We’ve been eating here since they opened the Encino restaurant. The original space is in West L.A. at Pico and La Cienega, and there are also Culver City and Manhattan Beach locations.

Versailles Cuban Food

Versailles Cuban Food – The Dining Room (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Encino location is a large storefront dining room with floor to ceiling glass windows tucked into the corner of a small strip mall on Ventura Boulevard. The parking lot is small, but there is always metered street parking (8am-8pm) available nearby. They have a small bar area and there’s usually a sporting event on the television. It’s pretty much “no frills”, just good food, and when the dining room is full at peak dining times, it can get very loud.

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food – The Menu (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have an extensive menu of classic Cuban food, with a wide choice of chicken, pork, beef, fish and vegetarian options.  The food is consistently excellent! We usually pick up “take out” and our regular order is the house specialty, the garlic roast chicken served with steamed rice, black beans (or moros, a combo of dirty rice and black beans), onions and plantains. The roast chicken (and also pork, beef and fish) is marinated in their special Cuban garlic-citrus-vinegar sauce, which is also sold by the bottle at the bar.

Versailles Cuban Marinade - sold by the bottle at the bar

Versailles Cuban Marinade – sold by the bottle at the bar

Start with a glass of sangria and the bread with butter and garlic, choose an appetizer, an entree and later, if you are so inclined and not too full, a dessert. The entrees are large and easily shared by two people (or more), so bring friends and order a few different things.

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food – Sangria and a Coke (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food- Bread w/chopped garlic & melted butter (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ON THE MENU: I had the Bistec Empanizado (seasoned & breaded steak) and plantains served with steamed rice & black beans! Also had to have the bread with garlic and melted butter, a taste of pork tamale (with garlic sauce which I also drizzled on my rice), a glass of sangria, and a coke.

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food – Pork Tamales in Garlic Sauce (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food – Bistec Empanizado with Plantains (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food – Bistec Empanizado, the breaded steak (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food – The Roast Chicken in Garlic Sauce! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I also recommend the roast pork in garlic sauce and the oxtail stew in tomato and wine sauce, which were also on the menu at our table.

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food – Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Versailles Cuban Food – Oxtail Stew in a Tomato & Wine Sauce (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The prices are very reasonable, and they have lunch and dinner “specials” with discounted prices on both food and drink items. You get a lot of good food for a decent price. The service is usually fast and efficient, but it can get a little chaotic in the dining room when the waiters are slammed or serving a couple of large parties at the same time.

We all enjoyed the food and drink, had a really good time, and when we finished the place was packed. So, if you like Cuban food, definitely try Versailles. It was a great dinner, but no one ordered a Cubano sandwich (see “Chef” the film).

"Chef" the film

“Chef” the film – Russell Peters and Jon Favreau recreate a scene from “Lady & The Tramp”

Versailles Cuban Food Encino – 17410 Ventura Blvd., Encino http://www.versaillescuban.com  818-906-0756 (and 3 other locations in L.A.)

Sherman Oaks Galleria – 15301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91403 (on the northwest corner of Ventura Blvd and Sepulveda Blvd) http://www.shermanoaksgalleria.com ArcLight Cinemas (same address) – https://www.arclightcinemas.com 818-501-0753 

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New Blog Under Construction!

Memorial Day, “Chef” the film, the Sherman Oaks Galleria, the ArcLight Cinemas*, and a great dinner at Versailles are the subject of the Blog Under Construction.

*NOTE: The “Maleficent” Costume and Artwork Display Blog is also Under Construction!

"Maleficent!"

“Maleficent!” – I took this picture of the display artwork at the ArcLight Cinemas at the Sherman Oaks Galleria

 

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It’s TOWEL DAY! Don’t forget your towel.

It’s TOWEL DAY! Don’t forget your towel.

Travel advice from Douglas Adams RIP – from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

Towel Day! Don't Panic.

Towel Day! Don’t Panic.

“Somebody who can stay in control of virtually any situation is somebody who is said to know where his or her towel is… a towel has immense psychological value.”

Towel Day! Don't Panic.

Towel Day! Don’t Panic.

“For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.” 

Towel Day! Don't Panic.

Towel Day! Don’t Panic.

The original quotation that explained the importance of towels is found in Chapter 3 of Adams’ work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

Happy Towel Day!

Happy Towel Day! Don’t Panic.

http://www.towelday.org
@TowelDay

From Wikipedia.org: “Towel Day is celebrated every year on 25 May as a tribute to the author Douglas Adams by his fans. On this day, fans carry a towel with them, as described in Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to demonstrate their appreciation for the books and the author. The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after Adams’ death on 11 May 2001.

Towel Day! Don't Panic.

Towel Day! Don’t Panic.

 

Douglas Adams RIP

Douglas Adams RIP

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Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino

Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino 

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Upstairs in one of the weirdest “strip malls” in the San Fernando valley, is the Taj Mahal Cuisine of India restaurant. Climb the stairs (or ride the elevator) to this fantastic dining establishment and enjoy a wonderful culinary experience!

There’s usually street parking (metered 8am-8pm) available on Ventura Blvd. There are a few spaces in the small parking area in front, and many spaces in a very large underground garage below the mall…and it’s FREE. No valet parking surcharge!

The restaurant is a “mom and pop operation”: mom manages the restaurant and pop runs the deliveries and catering. The space has a sterile, modern design with big windows and lots of light during the day and it is always clean. When you enter, you’ll be greeted by the wonderful aromas of fragrant and exotic food cooking in the kitchen. They also have an outside patio dining area with a nice view of Ventura Boulevard and the Ralph’s parking lot across the street. (yes, it’s the valley)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Dine In, Take Out or Call for Delivery! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Amazing Indian Food!

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Menu and a Mango Lassi smoothie (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ON THE MENU: Crispy flatbread crackers served with spicy sauces, Chicken Coconut Curry, Chicken Tikka (Tandoori style), Bangin Bharta (eggplant), Basmati Rice, Peshwari Naan (warm flatbread with fruit and nuts), Raita (yogurt), Mango Chutney, and a Mango Lassi (smoothie).

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – crispy flatbread cracker w/spicy sauces (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

For starters, there’s a crispy flatbread cracker served with spicy sauces and pickled root veggies. We like to order their mango chutney, which is sweet, tangy and delicious.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Starter (“bread”) plate (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have a wonderful selection of fresh baked naans and kulchas (seasoned breads) served warm out of the oven. I really like the garlic naan and onion kulcha, and they have a fantastic Peshwari naan with fruit and nuts baked in. Have it as an appetizer or with dinner.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Peshwari Naan, flatbread w/fruit & nuts (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal - Onion Kulcha and Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Onion Kulcha and Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have terrific appetizers. I like the Samosas.

Dinner at Taj Mahal - Samosa Appetizer (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Samosa Appetizer (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have a great menu! There’s a good variety of chicken, lamb, fish and vegetarian dishes (no beef, of course). In addition to the tasty appetizers, they have wonderful soups and a unique dessert list.

Each flavorful entree is served with tasty basmati rice and raita (seasoned yogurt). My favorite dish is the chicken coconut curry, which can also be done with lamb. The Tandoori chicken is also a good choice, and is served sizzling on a skillet with grilled onions. Have it on the bone or served without bones as chicken tikka.

All of the food is constructed with a mix of spices that delivers a real taste of Indian home cooking. I’ve tried some of their other dishes on previous visits and without exception they have all been excellent. They use a wide range of ingredients and there’s something on the menu for every taste. The cooking is traditional Indian style, but the taste is extraordinary!

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Bangin Bharta (Eggplant), Chicken Coconut Curry, and Chicken Tikka Tandoori Style (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Bangin Bharta is a spicy vegetarian dish made with eggplant and peas, and like all the main dishes you can request it “mild, medium, or hot”.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Raita, seasoned yogurt (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Chicken Coconut Curry, Chicken Tikka (Tandoori style), Bangin Bharta (eggplant), Raita and Basmati Rice  (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I love this restaurant and we come here often for dinner and sometimes have it delivered. They’ve also catered several large parties for us at our home. The food was excellent and it’s easy to serve buffet style (they’ll even provide the chafing dishes).

They also have the classic “all you can eat” lunch buffet and a champagne Sunday brunch at a great price! They advertise in local “coupon mailers” and offer discounts on the buffet and brunch as well as 2-for-1 entrees ($10 off) when you dine in with coupon. There’s also a nice selection of beer and wine available, again at very reasonable prices!

NOTE: the only thing that I’ve found to be annoying at Taj Mahal is the service. My advice is to request anything you need or want when there is someone at your table. If you ASK for ice, extra napkins, additional beverages, water refill, and the check, rather than waiting for service or someone to ask, you will have a much better experience!

There’s also one more thing I don’t like (this is my own personal opinion) and that’s that they’ll plate your food at the table for you, as part of the service. Some people enjoy being served this way, but I prefer to serve myself and determine my own portions and placement of food on the plate. So, I usually tell them “thanks, I’ll just serve myself.”

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Cooking in the Kitchen! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 Taj Mahal Cuisine of India17815 Ventura Blvd, Ste 201, Encino, California 91316 818-345-2244 http://www.tajmahaldining.com

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Dinner at Taj Mahal - Mango Lassi, pickled veggies & crispy flatbread cracker (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Mango Lassi, pickled root veggies, spicy sauces & crispy flatbread cracker (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)


UPDATE December 17, 2016:
We enjoyed “take out” from Taj Mahal last night and it was great!
This is, in my opinion, the best Indian food in the San Fernando Valley!

On the Menu: chicken coconut curry, chicken tikka masala, banging bharta (eggplant puree with peas), basmati rice, raita (yogurt with cucumber and dill), mango chutney and Peshwari naan (flatbread with dried fruit & nuts).

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UPDATED Friday April 7, 2017

We enjoyed another fantastic dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India tonight!

On The Menu: Chicken coconut curry, boneless tandoori chicken, banging bharta (eggplant dish), basmati rice, onion kulcha (flatbread), mango chutney, raita (yogurt), crispy cracker bread with spicy sauces and a mango lassi

TGIF! Friday’s word of the day is FREE!

FREE!!! (the word of the day and today is Friday)

sunset-person-spreading-arms-freedom-and-joy

1. ENJOYING PERSONAL RIGHTS OR LIBERTY
2. pertaining to or reserved for those who enjoy personal liberty
3. existing under, characterized by, or possessing civil and political liberties
4. enjoying political independence
5. exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc.; independent, unfettered
6. able to do something at will; at liberty
7. not subject to special regulations, restrictions, duties, etc.
8. NOT SUBJECT TO RULES, set forms, etc.
9. clear of obstructions or obstacles
10. not occupied or in use

parentalert_freetrial

11. exempt or released from something specified that controls, restraints, burdens, etc.
12. having immunity or being safe
13. that may be used by or is open to all
14. engaged in by all present
15. unimpeded, as motion or movement
16. loose, not held fast; unattached
17. not joined to or in contact with something else
18. frank and open; unconstrained or familiar
19. unrestrained by decency, loose and licentious

free_you_pay_nada

20. ready in giving; liberal; lavish
21. given readily or in profusion; unstinted
22. given without consideration of a return, as a gift
23. PROVIDED WITHOUT, OR NOT SUBJECT TO, A CHARGE OR PAYMENT

free

24. at liberty to enter and enjoy at will
25. traveling without power; under no force except that of gravity or inertia
26. WITHOUT COST OR CHARGE
27. to exempt or deliver
28. to relieve or rid
29. to disengage; clear

ghk-free-stuff-heart-300

 

TGIF! Have a great and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

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Three Great Adventures in Los Angeles near UCLA!

Three great adventures in Los Angeles near UCLA!

“Can you recommend a 5-hour round trip from LA to see the most sites? My husband and I will be visiting our son and his wife at UCLA in October from Alabama. While they are busy during the day, we would like to venture either north or south, preferably on the PCH to see some of California. In addition, we would love to find an interesting boutique or historic hotel to stay in near the UCLA campus.” ~ Nancy M. from Birmingham, Alabama

UCLA is in Westwood. Stay at the W Hotel Los Angeles in Westwood!

Five hours (round trip) is not a lot of time and Los Angeles is a very big place. Here are three great adventures near UCLA:

1. Santa Monica and Venice Beach

Santa Monica Pier Sign at Ocean Blvd

Santa Monica Pier Sign at Ocean Blvd

I recommend you head to Santa Monica (you can take a drive down Wilshire to San Vicente through Brentwood and do some shopping on Montana Avenue). Walk the Third Street Promenade, Palisades Park, and the Santa Monica Pier. Do some shopping at Santa Monica Place and have lunch at one of the many restaurants down by Santa Monica State Beach or head south on Pacific Coast Hwy to Venice Beach. Have lunch at one of the many restaurants there and visit the Venice Beach Boardwalk, Main Street and Abbot Kinney Blvd. If you have time drive into Marina Del Rey and have a drink at the The Ritz-Carlton.

A Nice Day in Marina del Rey (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A Nice Day in Marina del Rey (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Take the 10 freeway or the Marina freeway back to the 405 freeway north, exit Wilshire Blvd east and you’ll be back in Westwood.

*One more quick note: You can also visit the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades-Malibu as a great side trip from Santa Monica. The Getty Villa houses a fantastic collection of ancient Greco-Roman art and sculpture! It’s FREE but you need to make reservations. http://www.getty.edu/visit/villa/ ___________________________________________________________________

2. Century City and Beverly Hills

Century Towers - Century City, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Century Towers – Century City, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Park at the Westfield Century City Mall in Century City, CA. There’s lots of shopping (including Bloomingdale’s), restaurants and the AMC Century City 15 movie theater. Take a walk into Century City (follow the people in suits going back to work) and visit the CAA building (aka “The Deathstar”), the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza (also a great place to stay), and the Century Towers and Plaza.

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel - Century City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel – Century City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There’s more shopping and even better restaurants there (Craft is Tom Colicchio’s steak place). Be sure to visit the shops underground at the Twin Towers! Century City also has the The Annenberg Space for Photography (FREE!) and a few other art galleries. There are fantastic buildings and lots of hidden things to see if you just walk around during the day. Here’s a link to a list of museums and other info for the area (Westwood-Century City): http://centurycity.patch.com/directory/art-galleries

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Rodeo Drive from the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

You can also drive to Beverly Hills and visit Rodeo Drive, there’s mega-shopping and wide variety of some of LA’s finest restaurants: Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen, Mastro’s Steakhouse, Spago Beverly Hills, Il Pastaio, Il Cielo, Fogo de Chao, Matsuhisa, Lawry’s the Prime Rib, The Farm of Beverly Hills, and many others! in addition to the The W Hotel Los Angeles – Westwood, the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills is a great boutique hotel and they have a wonderful restaurant, where you can dine indoors or outdoors in a poolside cabana at Oliverio at Avalon Beverly Hills restaurant.

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bathtub/Walk-in Shower & view at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and The InterContinental Los Angeles Century City Hotel, the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, the Montage Beverly Hills, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel, Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, London West Hollywood Hotel, Mondrian Hotel- Hollywood and Chateau Marmont are a few of the finest luxury hotels in the city.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Each hotel has at least one amazing restaurant and/or bar: 24/7 Diner and the Cactus Lounge/Pool at the Standard, Scarpetta and the Scarpetta Bar (and the hidden whiskey lounge Ten Pound by The Macallan), On Sunset @ Luxe Hotel (amazing Sunday Brunch!), LIVELLO, Culina, Modern Italian @CulinaLA, Tres by José Andrés, Saam at The Bazaar by José Andrés, On Rodeo Bistro Lounge, The Rooftop Grill, the Parq Bar, and Cut (Wolfgang Puck’s steak house) to name just a few.

LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

On Sunset Restaurant Patio at the LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

You must try Stan’s Donuts and Diddy Riese ice cream in Westwood Village And for a quick and tasty Chinese lunch or takeout try Jin Jiang at Santa Monica and Sepulveda. ___________________________________________________________________

3. The Getty Center

405 Freeway and the Getty Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

405 Freeway and the Getty Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

One more great 5 hour trip from UCLA is a trip to the The Getty Center and it’s FREE! http://www.getty.edu/visit/center/plan/

Getty Center Central Garden (view from museum)

Getty Center Central Garden (view from museum)

From the Getty Center website: “The collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center includes pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; 19th- and 20th-century American, European, and Asian photographs; contemporary and modern sculpture; and Robert Irwin’s Central Garden, designed specifically for the Getty Center….Contemporary and modern sculpture is featured throughout the grounds, including 28 modern and contemporary outdoor sculptures installed at the Getty Center, donated by Fran and Ray Stark.” In addition to the absolutely incredible Permanent Collection, they also have changing exhibitions. Here is the exhibition schedule: http://www.getty.edu/visit/exhibitions/

You won’t be able to see everything in five hours!*

So, take your time and explore two of the four art pavilions, walk the gardens and enjoy the amazing view from above.

Panoramic View of West L.A. from the Getty Center

Panoramic View of West L.A. from the Getty Center

There is food available (but it’s not inexpensive), so you might want to bring a picnic lunch from one of the hotel restaurant I mentioned in my previous post, or from Whole Foods Market in Westwood, or if it’s Thursday the Westwood Village Farmer’s Market. There’s also the lovely Bel-Air Bar & Grill on Sepulveda or On Sunset @ Luxe Hotel for fine dining, either before or after. The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel is a beautiful property, and I recommend an upstairs room by the pool with a balcony if available.

LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“Josh, these suggestions are fantastic—-can’t wait to show them to our kids before they move—-they will love them! I especially appreciate your recommending the Avalon Hotel. We love boutique hotels and this one is very reasonable! We may have to extend the trip and leave the kids behind! Thanks so much!” ~ Nancy M. from Birmingham, Alabama

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Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills

Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven in Downtown L.A.

My Sister’s Birthday Dinner at Fifty Seven in Downtown Los Angeles

My little sister is a bigger “foodie ” than I am, so for her birthday we decided to take her to the hot spot restaurant downtown. We tried to get a reservation at Alma, but we were denied (and they won’t take a reservation for a party larger than four people). You might think that’s unfortunate, but I don’t like restaurants where the chef cooks what he likes and serves it to you without a choice. You eat what he serves, that’s it. No thank you.

So, we made a reservation for six at FIFTY SEVEN in the industrial arts loft neighborhood south of downtown Los Angeles, which is now gentrifying as fast as it can. I wasn’t driving and we took the surface street route through the Skid Row neighborhood, which has moved east now that 5th Street has been rehabilitated. It’s a strange feeling when you’re going for an expensive luxury meal and there are people living on the streets and tent encampments line the sidewalks for entire city blocks just a short distance away.

Welcome to Fifty Seven. There’s street parking and they have valet parking available.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

It’s INDUSTRIAL! Enter on the alley through the tall glass doors. It’s a beautiful space with wood floors, red brick walls, metal railings, retro wall sconces, exposed ceiling and stainless trim and duct work.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

There’s a huge rectangular bar, and you walk up a ramp past the open kitchen, to the raised dining area upstairs.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Looking down on the huge rectangular bar at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Looking at the front door and open kitchen area across the huge rectangular bar from the raised dining area at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Open Kitchen – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Raised Dining Area Upstairs – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The raised dining area is a little too “close quarters” and the aisle between the seats is only wide enough for one person. And of course it’s LOUD! The hard wood and brick with the low ceiling over the dining area amplifies the sound to a level that make conversation difficult. Also, there’s music playing in the bar area and there’s a performance space downstairs. Did you hear me, it’s LOUD!

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Tiny Chair! – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The chair was tiny and the back was just too short, there’s no way to hang a jacket properly, and it’s hard to sit in for a long time (a warning for people with bad backs). The meal, if properly done takes about 3 hours. That’s a long time in that chair.

We started with still and sparkling water, a Marsannay 2009 Burgundy wine, and the Chef sent us a complimentary order of deviled eggs to get the birthday party off to a good start.

We ordered a few shared plates for the table, all of which were excellent, and everyone decided to take advantage of the Prix Fixe Menu (Great Deal! See Below.).

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sparkling or Still Water? – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Marsannay 2009 was a really good wine choice.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Marsannay 2009 Burgundy wine – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The restaurant concept its to have a Chef in Residence, and then change that chef every six months or so. The current Chef in Residence is David Nayfeld.

From the Fifty Seven website: “Nayfeld’s cuisine can best be classified as Progressive American, harmoniously combining flavor palettes from around the world with a broad range of techniques to create food that is refined, distinctive and satisfying – all while using ingredients that are grown, harvested, and foraged wild from the land that surrounds us….in Europe, David worked with such distinguished chefs as Mauro Colagreco, Albert & Ferran Adria, Philip Rochat, David Toutain, Clare Smyth, Gregory Merchand and Jacques Genin. In New York, he spent more than three years at Eleven Madison Park, where he served as the senior sous chef. While there, the restaurant received three Michelin stars, six James Beard awards, and four stars from the New York Times”

THE SHARED PLATES:

Deviled eggs (compliments of the Chef), Fried Chicken, Pickled Garden & Veal Liver.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

WINNER! Deviled Eggs Shared Plate – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The deviled eggs with stuff inside were an excellent beginning to an awesome meal. We chose two orders of the Fried Chicken shared plate and it was perfectly cooked. The skin was crunchy and flaky, the inside was warm and juicy. It was served with pickled veggies and a brown mustard sauce. WINNER WINNER! Fried Chicken to start your dinner!

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

WINNER! Fried Chicken Shared Plate – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

We had to order a Pickled Garden shared plate, just based on the name. It was exactly what it sounds like, a combination of pickled vegetables. Each had a distinctive taste, different than you might expect. My mother said about the pickled cucumber (dill pickle) piece she tasted, “That’s the best pickle I’ve ever tasted.” I enjoyed the pickled carrots and pickle, they were tasty and not a typical appetizer, but I wasn’t quite that enthused about this dish.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Pickled Garden Shared Plate: pickled cucumber, carrot, squash, cauliflower and baby beets with red miso – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Now the Veal Liver is a different story. Winner! Winner! The Veal Liver was truly excellent! The smell and taste brought back memories of my Great Grandmother’s chopped liver, and the texture was similar to a fine foie gras. It was served with an onion jam and toasted rye bread. I spread a big chunk on the warm bread and topped it with the jam. It was a really great combination of flavors with a taste that took me right back to my childhood!

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

WINNER! WINNER! – Veal Liver with Onion Jam and Sweet & Sour Nebbiolo Shared Plate! – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

We all enjoyed the shared plates and the wine, which were served at a very nice pace. Our waiter was attentive and took our order in a timely fashion. The servers brought the food out and presented it properly, again in a timely fashion.

The tabletop was a little small for all the food plates, silverware, and wine glasses.  I ordered a coke and an extra glass of ice, and I received only a flat “bar coke” which I sent back. Again, it was a little close quarters at the table with six people. The narrow aisle, the waiters taking orders, the servers trying to serve and bus dishes, and the hostesses trying to seat incoming parties. Not for people who can’t handle being close to other people.

We were given a short break in service, then they brought us bread course: Rye and Brioche Buns with “House Made” Butter. The rolls were baked to perfection. The brioche bun was topped with salt and anise (I think) and the butter was smooth, creamy and a little bit better than store bought.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Rye and Brioche Buns – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“House made” Butter – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

HERE’S THE GREAT DEAL!

CHEF’S PRIX FIXE MENU! CHOICE OF STARTER, MAIN, & DESSERT FOR $48!

I chose the Vegetable A La Grecque, the Heritage Pork, and the Chocolate Dessert for my meal. Other choices at the table were the Brassica salad and the Jerusalem Artichoke starter plates, and the Muscovy Duck and Halibut “main” entree courses, and the Cherry dessert. I tried a little taste of everything except the halibut (which got a positive review from my step-brother).

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Brassica Starter Plate – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Jerusalem Artichoke Starter Plate – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Vegetable A La Grecque Starter Plate – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The three starter courses were good. My vegetable plate was similar to the pickled garden, and the pickled vegetables on the fried chicken shared plates. The brassica was probably the best of the three, although the Jerusalem artichokes were very well received.

The restaurant started getting busy, the bar filled up, the noise level rose, five very muscular men from West Hollywood were seated at the table next to us (and they all pulled out their phones and started texting), and they brought us the “main” entree course.

The Heritage Pork was beautiful. It was perfectly cooked and the spaetzel mixture was a great complement to the meat. I enjoyed it, but was getting full and wanted to have dessert, so I had most of it packed “to go”.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Heritage Pork “Main” Entree – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Muscovy Duck for Two was presented to the table for our approval and they requested we name it. I wasn’t having any part of it and just wanted to get a good picture. Alas, the sun had set and the light level inside had dimmed, so this is the best shot:

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Whole Duck for Two Shown Tableside – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: There’s a $45 upcharge for the Duck on the Prix Fixe Menu! (but it is for 2 people)

The duck was returned to the kitchen and returned to the table as a plated dish. Again, it was perfectly cooked, tangy and delicious, and complemented by a duck confit.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Muscovy Duck “Main” Entree – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dessert: Cherry, Chocolate, Lemon or Strawberry? I’ll have CHOCOLATE!

And the Chocolate was terrific! It was a dark and rich chocolate-covered-creamy-mocha mousse on a cookie crust with an edible gold leaf flourish, served with salted caramel ice cream, crunchy and crispy wild rice, and a little splash of Laphroig 10 year old Scotch . I enjoyed it completely!

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

WINNER! Chocolate Covered Mocha Mousse with Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Crispy Wild Rice, and a little Laphroig 10 year old Scotch – Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Cherry was also yummy. It was a tart cherry served in a warm cobbler with whipped cream. It was a little too tart for my taste (slightly reminiscent of the Swanson hungry man cranberry sauce from the frozen turkey dinner) but it too was a great dessert.

My sister got a candle in her cherry cobbler, but they didn’t make a overt show of her birthday. The other table next to us (not the guys from WeHo) was also having a birthday party, so it’s a great place for a small party and a special occasion.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Everyone in my party really enjoyed the meal. The service was good and timely, although it did slip a little as the restaurant got busy and that’s all I’m going to say about that. The Chef came out during the meal and visited our table twice, so we got to meet David and have a little conversation. Because I didn’t eat a lot of the pork, he wanted to make sure I enjoyed it and even offered to get me a different entree. I expressed my admiration for his cooking, and the pork, and declined another plate. It was a great moment and made the meal even more personal. We discussed the concept and he told us he was looking for a permanent space to open a new restaurant.

The meal was great! It was an expensive dining experience, but you get what you pay for. I would definitely go back, and I suggest you put this on your list of restaurants to try while Chef David is still in residence.

Fifty Seven712 S. Sante Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90021  http://www.fiftysevenla.com

UPDATED JANUARY 13, 2017: Fifty-Seven CLOSED in September 2014!
The space is currently For Lease in the Arts District next to Bestia Italiano:
http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/19913503/712-S-Santa-Fe-Ave-Los-Angeles-CA/

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Phyllis Patterson RIP – She changed my life!

 

Phyllis Patterson RIP – She changed my life!

not my pic, Phyllis in the Costume trailer in Devore riding a broom

Vicky Nebeker’s pic of Phyllis riding a broom in the Costume trailer – Devore 1993

Many Tributes have been posted for a remarkable woman who passed away yesterday morning. Here is mine:

On May 11-12, 1963 schoolteacher Phyllis Patterson held a class activity in the backyard of her home in the Hollywood Hills. She and her husband, Ron Patterson presented the first Renaissance Pleasure Faire as a weekend fundraiser for radio station KPFK to 8000 people. The Faire was designed as an actual spring market fair of the Elizabethan period.

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP and Ivan doin' the Cocktail Walk! (another great Jenny pic)

Phyllis Patterson RIP and Ivana doin’ the Cocktail Walk! (another great Jenny pic)

 

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NOTE: Today is Monday, May 19.

Paramount Ranch Park - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.”

My life changed in Spring 1980 when a friend from high school brought me to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire workshops at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura. I worked for the Living History Centre for the next 14 years, so her influence on me, my life, my ideology, and my reality is profound (as it is for so many others).

Eryk Bacon playin' wet & dirty, ale taxing the tourists in the streets of Chipping-Under-Oakwood 1480 (Agoura 1980)

Eryk Bacon playin’ wet & dirty, ale taxing tourists in the streets of Chipping-Under-Oakwood 1580 (Agoura 1980)

“You’re not special, and neither is your problem.”

Renaissance Pleasure Faire - Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA

Renaissance Pleasure Faire – Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA

I came to Agoura workshops and started performing at the Faire with the Mongers (The Guild of St. Swithin’s), hung out with folks from St. Helena’s (the peasants, middle and lower class characters), St. Minerva’s (Washerwomen), St. Blaise (Cryers), St. Paul’s (the Thieves & Cutpurses) and made a lot of new friends. The thrill and memory of doing live street improv in Witches’ Wood with Greg the Obscene Juggler for hundreds of people is one I can’t forget. The memory of performing in a night show or two, I wish everyone could forget…but I know there are pictures, because I have some.

“Don’t gamble if you can’t afford to win.” 

Mongers! Agoura 1980

Mongers! (St. Swithin’s) Michael, Jim, me, Roger and Richard – Agoura 1980

St. Paul's - Agoura '81 (classic lineup, my very good friends: unknown, Woderick the Wam, Walt, Cooper, Karen, Patty, Doug & Stacey - not pictured Eric, Phredd Daniels, Lisa & Nicole

St. Paul’s – Agoura ’81 classic lineup, my very good friends: unknown holding Woderick the Wam, Walt, Cooper, Karen, Patty, Doug & Stacey – not pictured Eric, Phredd, Daniels, Lisa & Nicole

“This is a Costume.”

In 1982, I got my first Crew job with the Costume Department (Much love to Carolyn, Chriss, Deborah, Vicky, Louise RIP, Freida RIP, Mary Jo RIP, Todi, Daria, Gretchen and Leslie!) and quickly made friends with all the theme characters, stage show performers, CREW and key Staff members.

“There’s no reason for it, it’s just our policy.”

The Costume Crew - Chriss, me, Gretchen & Daria, Agoura 1984

The Costume Crew at the Costume Shed – Chriss, me, Gretchen & Daria, Agoura 1984

“All the Faire’s a Stage!” – “Eat, Drynk & Be Merry!”

My first CREW gig! Press event at the Old Globe Theatre in West Hollywood with Chriss Spring 1982 (from the L.A. Times)

My first CREW gig! Press event, Old Globe Theatre, West Hollywood with Chriss – Spring 1982 This is the first and last time I played a Puritan! (from the L.A. Times)

“Whip me, beat me, show me you care. Make me work the Renaissance Faire.”

In Agoura, I joined the original Sea Dogs at DAW-SOB in 1982 with Captain Charles Taylor RIP. (Actually I was “Shanghai-ed” by Virginia, because I was good friends with her brother)  I was in attendance at Julie & Tracy’s wedding, Cat & Charles’ wedding, the weekend long 4th of July parties in Camarillo and the Antelope Valley, Christmas at Virginia & Mario’s (and the birth of their 3 children), and many New Years Eve parties at KJ’s mom’s house.

“Oh no, not another learning experience.”

Ahhh...Youth! Shirtless Behind DAW-SOB Agoura 1984

Ah, Youth! Behind DAW-SOB Agoura 1984

“As long as you’re having a good time.”

Pretty sure that's me center of between Lance & Keith, The Enterprise 5-20-83

Pretty sure that’s me center of the bales in white behind Virginia, between Lance & Keith – from The Enterprise 5-20-83

“This is a good day to go to jail” – 

Cat Taylor Overstreet's Pic of DAW-SOB Bloke's Group Pic 1985 (I'm in a crew shirt on the end next to Dwayne)

Cat Taylor Overstreet’s Pic of DAW-SOB Bloke’s Group Pic of Capt. Charles Taylor’s Sea Dogs, Agoura 1985 (I’m in a crew shirt, front row, on the end next to Dwayne)

“Ripe” – “Saucy” – “Juicy” – “Stewed” – “Seedy is as seedy does”

"End of the World" - Blackpoint Forest, Novato

“End of the World” – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

I was a Monger and a Soldier in Worthington’s Company-of-Foote (the original St. Michael’s) up north and was a Queen’s Chair-bearer for a couple years (yes, I was the left rear wheel on the Tudor sedan!). 

Worthington's Company-of-Foote Summer 1983

Front and Center with Worthington’s Company-of-Foote Summer 1983

Worthington's Company-of-Foote Summer 1984

Worthington’s Company-of-Foote Summer 1983

“I’ll see your attitude and raise you one.” – “When I want your advice I’ll beat it out of you.”

Dickens' Christmas Fair at the Fox Theatre in Oakland 1983-84

Dickens’ Christmas Fair at the Fox Theatre in Oakland 1983-84

I worked for Costumes and worked for Security at Dickens’ Fair in 1983 at the Fox Theatre in Oakland (and again in 1984) and the Southern Faire. So, I probably approved your costume or checked your passes at one time or another in the 1980s.

“Martyrdom is not as useful as you think.” – “We don’t care, we don’t have to.”

Living History Centre CREW Badge - Devore 1989

Living History Centre CREW Badge – Devore 1989

“No Scudi, No Booty.”

Fool's Guild Coronation of Greg the Obscene Juggler as King! Agoura 1985

Fool’s Guild Coronation of Greg the Obscene Juggler as King! Agoura 1985

I was a proud member of the Fool’s Guild (and the Lord Mayor’s Fool in Agoura sometimes), I partied with Jack, Toby Jo, Jonnathon, Skip, Clay, David and Andy at the Guildhall at Fountain & Harper and the Griffith Park Boys Camp! And later was involved in the American Puppet Theatre fiasco!

“Ya-Ta-Heh” – “I don’t care how you did it last Faire.” – “I can make your night a living hell.”

Clowning as the Lord Mayor's Fool, Agoura 1986

Backstage clowning as the Lord Mayor’s Fool, Agoura 1986

“Sudden prayers make G-d jump.”

I'm Still a Prisoner of Fun!

I’m still a “Prisoner of Fun!”

“We are amused.”

All Hail Saint Stupid!

All Hail Saint Stupid!

“Only if you brush your teeth.”

Camping in Pig's Gulch - Paramount Ranch, Agoura 1980

Tent Village Camping in Pig’s Gulch – Paramount Ranch, Agoura 1980

I camped in Pig’s Gulch and on Cardiac Hill (and slept in Actor’s Camp and a few other places too). I hot tubbed in the PIG. I dated one of Billy’s daughters. Maybe we shared a hooch, tent or shower stall? I had a hooch on-site in the Crow’s Nest above Drench-A-Wench by the snow fence in Agoura for a few years. Later relocated to a hooch behind New Forest and The Maze. “Sleep is for Sissies!” So for the years I was on Night Security, I only slept a little during the day (while commuting north and south to boot).

Guardshack - Blackpoint Forest, Novato (Dario took this pic)

Guardshack – Blackpoint Forest, Novato (Dario took this pic)

“Operating outside of design limitations.”

Security CREW - Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Security CREW – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

“Instant Authority Complex, Just Add Radio….And Stir.”

Tools of the Trade - Security Lieutenant (Walking, Nights, Front Gate and Mobile)

Tools of the Trade: Living History Centre Security Lieutenant – Walking, Nights, Front Gate & Mobile Security 1983-1994 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel) – We kept it safe!

“What part of NO, don’t you understand?”

“Are you going to come quietly, or shall I pass out earplugs?”

I worked Living History Centre Security as a tunic and walking guard in 1983-84, and then as Walking and Front Gate Lieutenant, Night and Mobile Security in Oakland, San Francisco (Pier 45), and Novato until 1987; and in Agoura and Devore until 1994. Jim Hayes was my walking partner up north, and Michael C. taught me the art of “night walking”.  In summer 1987, I lived one mile off-site with Richard, Jason and Okai in a house in Novato while working on-site during the week as Mobile Security, as well as Days/Nights on weekends.

“Of course I remember you – we tore up your pass last week, right?”

The "EXEMPT" button. Only a few of us had them...

The “EXEMPT” button. Only a few of us had them..

“When you’re up, you’re up and when you’re down the security guard bites you.”

So, Where's Tabitha?

So, “Where’s Tabitha?”

“It’s love making fun.” – “Yes, Yes, No.” – “Forgive me Father, for I have funned.”

We all were temps…but I still prefer the term “Seasonal”. I did have the experience of going from an honorarium of a few food tickets per day (Scholarship at the College of Renaissance Delights) to being one of the highest paid regular hourly employees at LHC.

“My face is my pass.” – “Your face is not your pass.” – 

Chillin' "off the clock" in Napalm Springs, Devore 1989 (the day of Don Mills' Memorial) with Jenny, Janeen, Shannon and Shawn

Chillin’ “off the clock” in Napalm Springs, Devore 1989 (the day of Don Mills’ Memorial) with Jenny, Janeen, Shannon and Shawn

“I’m not real excited about being awake.”

Oh yeah, I still have my radio with a “Thys’ll Killya” sticker on it.

Thys'll Killya! And still set to Channel 19

Thys’ll Killya! And still set to Channel 19 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

“It all started when he hit me back.”

I also still have my John Schulp’s knife, my Suzy Cooksey Hat O’Leather, one of Robert and Frannie’s Whales, my old CREW t-shirts, framed gate and camping passes, old costume pieces, weird props, psychedelic toys, miscellaneous paraphernalia, a collection of fine jewelry, and a box of buttons with funny slogans and catch phrases.

“I don’t care if you respect me in the morning.- But you will.”

And of course, I have the memory of the unique communal experience of road tripping north and south, camping on-site, sharing everything with others, workshops, privies, hay bales, ring-out, water trucks, earwigs, Faire boogers, pre-Faire build/post-Faire teardown, and the time spent in-between waiting for workshops to start again.

“Drop back 400 years and punt.” – “Carry out your own dead.” – “Fairegate”

The Teahouse of the Mullah Nezzuradin's Donkey, Agoura 1984

The Teahouse of the Mullah Nezzuradin’s Donkey, Agoura 1984

“Eating and Drynking are the Three Best Thyngs.” – “Do the cocktail.”

I remember the smells and tastes of coffee, chai and baklava at Don Brown’s; cinnamon buns in the morning, Stan’s turkey legs and beef ribs; Manny’s artichokes, churros and Monday brunch; Steak-on-a-Steak, Fish & Chips, Scarpone, Bangers, Piroshki, Toad-in-a-Hole, French Onion Soup, Fruit Ices, Tryfle, Strawberry Crepes, Truffles, and the rest of the unique Faire food (and the pleasure of knowing the people who cooked and served it). I can say for a fact that the Faire inspired the love I have for great food today.

“I’m Mad over Madalyn’s!” – “Consuming Passions – Born to Ball, Live to Dip!” 

“No Blood, No Foul.” – “Where’s my booth?” – “Cruel & Unusual”

I also remember the taste of Faire dust, stale metallic water and fire retardant. And the smell of fresh pumped privies, bodice sweat mixed with essential oils; the Horse Tourney, wet earth, hay and burlap; melting ice, warm ale, apple cider, and watered down lemonade; dill pickles, green grass, blooming mustard and warm oak trees!

“No good deed goes unpunished.” – “As long as you’re having a good time.”

Marc Harris' pic of Dickens' Fair at the Fox Theater, Oakland 1984 The Fezziweg's Dance Party on stage taken from the first balcony.

Marc Harris’ pic of Dickens’ Fair at the Fox Theater, Oakland 1984
The Fezziweg’s Dance Party on stage taken from the first balcony.

“Is the screwin’ you’re getting’ worth the screwin’ you’re getting’?”

I’ve met and have the memory of amazing and talented artistic people who were entertainers, performers, designers, builders, artists and makers of fine clothing, arts and crafts. I worked for little pay alongside a crazy dedicated CREW of unique and eclectic characters. I enjoyed the fun of storytelling, night shows, Ale Stand parties, and “after-hours” activities! I’ve had Faire romances, and had my heart broken many times.

Ale King Parade - Agoura 1987

Ale King Parade – Agoura 1987 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

I’ve experienced a “Carbon Condition”, a radio gone “D-Watt”, and a “Safety Meeting” (all more than once, LOL). I searched for Tabitha, and celebrated at the Hedonist’s Picnic. I know what “Bubba Bud” and “The Spam Feed” are all about. I saw a ghost at the Fox Theatre, was on the lot when the Water Truck crashed down Gray Barn Hill (“Roll Over & Play Ed”) and was there when Six-Pack fell in the mud (and got a new nickname), and I’ve even seen real Orange Sunshine!

“I don’t want everything, I just want more.” – “I used to be special but then I grew up.”

Jenny's pic of the Paramount Ranch at Night

Jenny’s pic of the Paramount Ranch and Fairesite at Night from Procession Hill

“Insanely Zealous.” – “A filthy mind is a terrible thing to waste.” – “No, me first.”

The Faire also instilled in me a deep love and appreciation for Theatre (stage, street, improvisational and guerrilla), Shakespeare, free thought, questioning authority, alternative lifestyles and religions, holistic medicine and massage, ribald humor, healthy sex, strange and unusual people, historical reenactment, living history, juggling, and English history, music, and dance (although I don’t juggle, play music or dance, and I still tell people I don’t know how to sew…LMAO.)

“We’re laughing’ now, mate.” – “Don’t forget, I love ya.” – “One Boss Potato”

I’m sure there’s a lot I can’t or don’t want to remember, and there are things I’ve seen that I’ll never forget. It’s all living as history now in my head. When my family broke up in the 80s, my close friends at Faire became my surrogate family.

Paramount Ranch - Agoura, CA (copyright 201 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch – Agoura, CA (copyright 201 JoshWillTravel)

“Why yes, I am a rocket scientist.” – “The Pros of Con” – “One Boss Tomato”

I earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts in 1987 with an emphasis on Design/Tech and Film from the University of California, Santa Cruz (and I also worked for UC Performing Arts while I was a student).  My first film job in Hollywood (after working as a Production Assistant on a few PSAs, music videos and commercials) was as a Men’s Costumer and Wardrobe Assistant. After twelve years in production, and ten years as a Talent Manager, I left the entertainment business in 2007, returned for a short time in 2009, and left again in 2010.

“That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.” – “Are we having fun yet?” (Zippy the Pinhead)

Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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The truth is that I did not know Phyllis well. My direct contact with her was very limited. I was frequently in her proximity while backstage or in the Costume trailer. I knew her a little and knew ‘of her’ a lot, and I know she knew me. Because my circle of friends overlapped Staff, CREW, actors and Security, I heard most of the stories, gossip and speculations from different points of view, but avoided the politics and in-house drama as much as possible.

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

I knew Kevin, Leslie, Robyn and Brian, but always maintained a little distance, because they were “the Owners” and I was their employee. My deepest condolences go out to all of them and the rest of Phyllis’ family….and her friends, and her extended Faire family as well. We are all connected through our shared experience!

Red Barn & Cardiac Hill - Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Red Barn & Cardiac Hill – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

If you’ve read all the way through this blog, the impact of Phyllis Patterson and her Faire on my life and the lives of others is pretty clear. Phyllis touched many peoples’ lives, both directly through the LHC and indirectly through her little idea of a Renaissance Faire, which has spread across the country, throughout the world, and has become indelibly embedded in our history, philosophy and culture!

“Who’s Phyllis?”

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

Rest in Peace Phyllis Patterson and thanks for the friends, the experiences, the memories, the rewards, and the super fun party!

HUZZAH! FARE YOU WELL! MAY THE FOUR WINDS BLOW YOU SAFELY HOME!

Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA – Spring 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

JoshWillTravel is a “Charter member of St. Silas’ Guild”, a alumni of “Doctor D’s Traveling Medicine Show”, and also a member of the Loyal Order of Turtles, Mr. Pickwick’s Box Seats and the Golden Grommet Guild. “There are no martyrs, only saints…”

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