Cafe Bellagio – Sometimes I Miss What’s Right in Front of My Face

cafe bellagio, third street promenade, santa monica, ca - verdure panini
Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.

There has to be some scientific name for this condition. Maybe it’s a disease. I mean surely, there has to be at least one other person out there who has what I must now call Controlled ADD. Inattentive OCD. It’s somewhere squozen between the hyperfocus of OCD on a single task and the utter hair-pulling madness of juggling 37 tasks at once.

Maybe it’s just plain insanity.

Whatever it is, whether one or the other, it causes me to become so deeply inovolved trying to accomplish 46 tasks at once that I completely ignore everything else around me. It’s not ADD because I’m not easily distracted from the 62 things I’m doing. It’s not OCD because I don’t obsess over one thing and one thing only. It’s a hybrid of both in the worst possible mutation.

I do it with work. I have 78 tabs open in Firefox right now because I’m surfing, reading, answering email, bookmarking, blogging, netscaping, tastespotting and checking site stats all at once. And that’s not even work. When I work work, like direct-deposit work, I have every Office application known to Microsoft open because I’m Wording proposals, Pointing Power, Excel-ing numbers, cropping photos (yes, Bill even has a photo editor) and sometimes, I even open Project even though we don’t use it, just so I can have the full suite open and sucking my CPU usage harder than a dirty successful whore on Saturday night.

It causes me to miss things that are right in front of my face. Even when those things are hurled at me and hit me right square in the middle of my broad, flat, blemished Mongoloid forehead, I don’t flinch. I am so focused on my non-focused activities, that I just have to reach my arm out, grab a tissue from the box that’s just on the other side of my laptop screen, wipe my forehead, and continue working. My head stays down. I never miss a key. And even if I do, that’s what Speel Check is for. F7. Spell Check.

Is it any wonder at all that I completely missed the more-than-decent Italian café right in front of my office? Is it any wonder that this entire time, all I do is hit “Send” on my cell, scroll back a half-dozen numbers, hit send again and order a Cheese Quesadilla to-go, please hold the sour cream, from La Salsa on the corner, ready for pick-up in 10 minutes? Is it any wonder at all that Café Bellagio is right in front of my office, even closer by about 10 yards, and yet I have been obsessively eating La Salsa but totally ADD-ing myself over the salsa bar?

Is it any wonder at all?!?!

Of course it is. La Salsa is bad. Eating it for lunch three out of five days is horrible. What have I been thinking?

I haven’t been thinking. That’s the problem. I’m a robot pre-programmed to malfunction into perfection. ADD and OCD.

Café Bellagio certainly is not God’s gift to Dining on The Promenade. It is, however, a surprisingly decent alternative to the overpriced mediocrity that plagues the three blocks between Broadway and Wilshire. Word on the street (or at least in the part of my office that cares about good food) is that Cafe Bellagio is owned and operated by the same people of Locanda del Lago. What does that mean? Not much, since I didn’t find Lago to be particularly good, but I would certainly take it at Cafe prices over a daily cheese quesadilla.

Most people, tourists, probably don’t pay Bellagio much attention as they wander past the boutiques and take careful steps to avoid homeless people and street performers. From the sidewalk, Cafe Bellagio looks like only a gelateria with a prominent freezer case display. If passers-by are looking for a real meal, they head to places that look like real restaurants. Like Hooters. However, Bellagio’s menu on the board over the counter has panini, pizza, salads, and a few other things like burgers and soup that the staff huddle in the tiny space in the back to churn out for those of us in the know. And now you know, I’m in the know, you know. Bell Biv Devoe.

I have this thing about sandwiches. I don’t like sandwiches, and if forced to suffer through one for the sake of convenience or a meeting thinly disguised as a company-sponsored lunch, I always end up pulling it apart and eating the contents with a fork. But I have taken quite a liking to the Panini Verdure — roasted vegetables pressed between two slices of flatbread spread with pesto. The pesto is always “light,” which might incense others who consider it cheap to be so stingy with something that is slightly more expensive than Miracle Whip, but I am fine with it. I am not hugely fond of pesto, but it’s enough on the Verdure to keep the panini true to green. I still pull the bread apart and eat each side like a slice of sauceless, cheeseless, meatless pizza.

Now if only they would deliver that panini the 20 yards to my office.

Cafe Bellagio
in the center “stand”
1400 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401

** a year ago today, i couldn’t party, so i partied. with avocado and grapefruit salad. **
** two years ago today, i went to yu with you for tsunami relief **

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 hermz May 14, 2007 at 6:12 pm

ADD cum OCD.


Apparent now, some things are to me.


2 Anonymous August 20, 2008 at 8:51 pm

they do deliver. i’m a former manager of the caffe.


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