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A fun, but flawed, evening and morning

July 13, 2013

We had a fun night last night. We first went to the expensive and fancy French restaurant Church and State.

First, the good news: the food is fabulous! We had a “tartare” which turns out to be a pizza-like flat bread as our appetizer. Then Michelle had their chicken and I had the duck. Delicious! Finally, we had pudding and coffee for dessert. I almost licked the bowl clean the pudding was so good!

The bad news is the service was friendly but lazy and careless. It started with the beginning, when we arrived to an empty restaurant and waited about fifteen minutes to be seated. No one even looked at us during this time as a silently wondered why we couldn’t just as well sit ten feet away at our table. Then during the meal, our waitress just disappeared over and over again. Is she outside smoking or something?

But my favorite moment was when they brought us dessert, and then our coffee ten minutes later. Shouldn’t they come together?

By the way, the situation seems endemic; the restaurant is packed shoulder to shoulder with employees, the vast majority of whom are just chatting, even though it was a busy night. I’m not kidding: if you want to see thirty employees talking to each other and ignoring customers in a relatively small place, go there.

I saw two managers and tried to get their attention, but the whole time I was there they were engrossed in a conversation and never even glanced up at the room or moved. I guess they are setting the tone for the rest.

By the way, I hear that is how things are in France: great food, indifferent service. So maybe they are just being truly “French”. It’s too bad, because the food is awesome.

The play Faustus at the Archway Theater is somewhat similar: good, but flawed. It is a contemporary play that is written in Elizabethan English. That takes a minute to get used to. “Thee doth have thou…”

Moreover, the playwright chose to start the play with a long and frankly quite boring soliloquy that will have you wondering if there is a discreet exit. Acting is reacting, and with no one else to react to, oh my. Maybe someone should tell him not even the masters of the playwriting field would dare start with a very convoluted monologue in Elizabethan English that seemingly goes on forever. Shakespeare himself didn’t. His audiences were pretty rowdy, and he knew better.

But just when you think, “would it be too embarrassing if I left now?” Mephistopheles appears, and suddenly, we have drama. The rest of the play is really great! It is a fun, entertaining and well acted play. And it is very original: not another play about a young man in West Hollywood finding his sexual identity or something. Faustus is a straight morality play that would be a hit in Bakersfield. I was very glad I stayed through the first part. But that monologue needs to be cut from ten minutes to two. It was the world premier, so maybe someone will tell the writer. Or maybe he will read this on my blog….

Finally, we hit the O Hotel downtown and just hit the sack. We were tired. It’s a nicely decorated place with small rooms. Unfortunately, as a wake up this morning I am serenaded by the dulcet tones of a group of angry foreigners yelling at each other on an upper floor in a language I don’t understand. But somebody is telling some other people off for about an hour so far. I hope they get the picture soon, because I want to go up and tell the damn guy I am sorry by now.

The only solution is to pay more for your room. I have noticed poorer people get madder a lot more often than rich folks when you stay at hotels. Well, this room was about $200. Maybe for $300 I would buy happier neighbors.


From → Reviews, Travel

One Comment
  1. Georgann permalink

    I am glad to hear the play was worth your time and money.

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