A quick trip to SoCal included a few deeply delicious trips down memory lane.
A real Hollywood story
I recently hit pause on my never-ending road trip, hopped on a plane from ABQ to LAX to attend the cast and crew screening of The Marvels, a movie my sister, Laurel worked on for the better part of a year.
Yes, of course, I wanted to go. After all, I attended the now-seasoned hair stylist’s first screening decades earlier for that mega-blockbuster, Titanic. Pretty dang cool, right?
We were thrilled to gather for the screening in Westwood, but first… breakfast, lunch and a little dinner.
A super early wake-up call
After a restful evening hanging out with my grownup kiddo at the retro-groovy Beverly Laurel Motor Hotel, we got up before 6 and headed to one of the best always open delis in the universe, Canter’s.
While the dining room was mostly empty at that pre-dawn hour, the energy level of the staff was full-on perky. Yes, please, I’ll have a refill on that coffee that’s a world away from a pumpkin spice latte.
Portions are as huge as the massive menu, so Butter — yes, my offspring’s chosen moniker — and I split a smoked salmon benedict with a twist. We swapped out the English muffins for latkes and wow, was that ever a game changer. Why don’t more diners go that direction?
There are dozens of traditional delis around the city and hundreds of diners, but Canter’s remains at the top of the greatest hits list for good reason.
Lunch in Los Feliz
After a soothing soak at the Beverly Hot Springs, my sis and I Uber’d across town to one of her old haunts, the ultra-charming Figaro Bistrot. This neighborhood landmark looks a bit like it’s been lifted straight out of Paris.
Our gracious server remembered Laurel from her previous visits, which was sweet. We ordered and from our outdoor table, got a healthy dose of people watching. Oh, Los Angeles, where everyone looks like they’re ready for their close up. But, really, wasn’t that the character actor from “Breaking Bad”? Probably.
Lunch arrived and we wolfed down the spot-on Croque Madam, steak-frites and Caesar salad and before the food coma set in, we moved on to another neighborhood.
Au revoir, for now, Figaro. See you next trip!
A slice before the show
We arrived in Westwood on the early side, so after scoping out the neighborhood near UCLA, we decided to kill some time and grab a slice at Enzo’s Pizzeria.
This venerable spot has its own Hollywood backstory: The owner’s father played Luca Brasi in the original “Godfather”, his photo alongside Marlon Brando hanging above the counter where the crew preps New York-style pies.
On that Wednesday, the cozy cafe with red-and-white tablecloths was packed with college students and a steady stream of customers picking up a to-go order. The vibe was friendly and the generous slice was exactly what we were craving. Nothing trendy, pure comfort.
Now, about that screening: We spotted no stars, but the theater was filled with the hard-working teams that played important roles in putting this entertaining, high-energy film together. There was a big round of well-deserved applause as the credits rolled at the end. Hooray!