It’s not the big things. It’s the thousand trivial cuts that erode the soul. However, parsing woes, unless you are Larry David, has never gotten anyone anywhere. The only choice is to push through, to do the work. Advertisements
Drive down the 1700 block of Chicago Avenue at night and you will see a neon light beckoning, the kind of flashy signage reserved for truck-stop massage parlors, adult bookstores, or strip clubs. This particular neon doesn’t flash “live nude girls” or anything like that. It says “Funkenhausen”, which is apparently a made-up word that basically translates to “radio live” in German. I suspect it was chosen because it sounds like “Funky House”, or an excuse to swear (say it three times fast) to English-speaking Americans. With a name like this, you expect to be blasted with a live set from George Clinton once you open the doors to this modern German restaurant.
I attended the University of Michigan around the same time as Tom Brady. I’ve watched every single one of Brady’s Super Bowl performances. But I cannot become Tom Brady. Even if I were genetically gifted like TB12, committed to a Torquemada-worthy Pilates routine and drank ten gallons of water daily, minor study and brushes with greatness are not enough to be superlative like Brady and the New England Patriots.
I did not expect things at the restaurant to start out like a Viagra ad. Me: “It’s ok. It happens.” Chef: “Not to me it doesn’t. I don’t think that has ever happened.”
Hotel restaurants are like a mash-up of The Twilight Zone and the Bermuda Triangle. Weird stuff happens. Models eat carbs in sweatpants next to dudes in Beats headphones making music on Macbook Pros, while ingenues like Scarlett Johansson fall in love with washed up old men. Ok, that last part was a movie, but you know what I mean. Hotel restaurants also swallow up chefs’ careers like the Triangle claims ships and airliners.
Aaat Laaast! You’ve heard it a thousand times, probably in the background of a jewelry commercial where some rich lady’s self-worth is confirmed by the receipt of a humongous diamond necklace. There’s the string section swell followed by the dusky croon of relief from Etta James that her lovelorn days are finally over. It is an earworm of the first order.
I’m officially done with tasteless beef. Part of this is I’m getting older, and I recognize that, despite pretending to court cardiac arrest in some of my writing like it was a hot prom date, arteriosclerosis, unlike Donald Trump’s promises to make Mexico pay for a border wall, is a real thing. I’ve already seen some of the best minds of my generation stented and statin-ed.
The world is pretty fucked up right now. Because I’m a lib, this means that certain ideas like arming children don’t really resonate with me. But, maybe you are different. Maybe you are mad because Purdue pharma worked really hard to misrepresent the safety of certain opiates, and you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of fear and loathing that you’ve channeled in to a crippling and destructive fear of the other. Either way, for both of us, the world is not working the way we expected.
In 2015, an American presidential candidate named Deez Nuts polled at 9% in North Carolina. Donald Trump rated 24% in this same poll. You know how that worked out. A nut was elected President. Though inconceivable then, I pine for the possibilities of a Deez Nuts administration now.
The King of Spain was not waiting in the bar tonight. But, if he were, I know I would have been seated first. I cannot blame the King of Spain for not yet dining at Pacific Standard Time (PST), the new restaurant from the partnership of One Off Hospitality (Paul Kahan, Donnie Madia, et al.) and Underscore Hospitality (Erling Wu-Bower, Joshua Tilden). Like me, he probably heard the name of the restaurant and shook his head. Which is to say, it feels a little weird to have a restaurant that is an homage to California produce and “California coast soul” (sadly, Marvin Gaye is not involved) named after a Western time zone open in Chicago. I suppose I’m being provincial, but if you opened a restaurant named Central Standard Time in Los Angeles serving Italian beef and tater tot hot dish, Jonathan Gold might just resurrect the LA Times rating system just to award no stars at all.