May 21, 2008

Posted in Food | 0 Comments

Spago + Joan Rivers = Happy Anniversary

My hubby and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary on Sunday and in honor of the occasion, he managed to nab a very hard to get reservation at Spago in Beverly Hills. Although I’d eaten at the Vegas location a few times, I’d never been to the L.A. restaurant. We had an awesome booth and it was the prime people watching table. My hubby elbowed me to point out the quintessential old Hollywood guy at the very next booth. He was a very Robert Evans type – overly tan – bordering on tanorexic, wearing oversized designer sunglasses at night and wearing his shirt unbuttoned to his solar plexus. A total character.

But my husband was totally freaked out by his female companion. “That woman’s pulled within an inch of her life” he whispered in horror. I glanced over at her and had to restrain myself from guffawing and whispered back, “That’s because it’s Joan Rivers.” He did a double take as discreetly as possible and said, “Oh my God, you’re right. Yikes!”

Yikes is right. Joan Rivers is the poster child for bad, out-of-control plastic surgery. If you think she looks scary on the red carpet on Oscar night, she’s downright terrifying in person. She once famously said, “A bad face lift is better than no face lift.” I beg to differ. Especially if you’ve had multiple lifts, implants and who knows what else? The result is that poor Ms. Rivers looks subhuman. In fact, she resembled an aging hammerhead shark since her eyes are so far apart as the result of a vigorous face lift, or two, or three. It’s too bad she messed around with her face so much. I think she’s talented and hilarious. But her face should serve as a cautionary tale to all women who can’t leave well enough alone.

But enough about Joan. The restaurant experience was mixed. We decided to go with the tasting menu since we’re foodies and don’t like making decisions about what to eat. So having a little bit of everything makes us happiest. I think that’s one of the many things I love about my hubby – his adventurous palate. I don’t have too many friends who are game to eat everything and anything when we go out so it’s so very nice when your best friend, who also happens to be your spouse, can be that partner in food crime. All went well and quickly for the first few courses, then everything in the kitchen came to a screeching halt. We waited and waited and my butt started to go numb from all the sitting around. Our waiter and maitre d’, formerly so attentive, disappeared and avoided our eye. This is a world-class restaurant, not Chili’s, so what gives?

The flustered maitre d’ finally came over to our table with profuse apologies and some strange story about how our entree was supposed to be rabbit but there was some disagreement in the kitchen over where this rabbit was so now it was lamb. Ok-ay, whatever. He offered us some free dessert or wine to make up for the wait so we got a comped dessert wine. The main entree finally came out and it was good, but not spectacular. The dessert came out with Happy Anniversary etched in frosting onto our plates. By the end of the evening, I was stiff from sitting for over 2 1/2 hours. The upshot was that they comped half of our bill – a huge discount at $95 off. We were impressed at their commitment to making things right for us after we were forced to wait. I was exhausted by the time we got home. Funny how eating and sitting for so long can be so tiring. High class problems, huh?

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