Party Fuel – The Standard and Cafe Pinot, Downtown LA

The recovery is slowly beginning. Always sober when I drive, but yesterday, it was a veritable mental and emotional haze to Fullerton, and the grey, misty weather didn’t help at all. Mom fed me some very much needed dduk-gook, which she had prepared for everyone on New Year’s Day, but made mine special for my New Year’s Resolution: egg whites only, and yah-chae mahn-doo (vegetable won tons). Broth perfect for a dehydrated brain, and soft rice cakes that require little expenditure of energy to chew. Mom fed me, and you’d never guess how old I really am.

Suffice it to say, three days downtown and I think I ate the equivalent of one meal, unless we consider liquid lunches and drinks for dinner. Ha ha! There just wasn’t time in the whirlwind weekend that started at slow, but ever accelerated the whole way through. Even as late as Friday afternoon, I was waffling about whether I would join everyone downtown. Nervous and though I was motionless, curled up on the end of my couch, my brain racing back and forth. I was nauseous and couldn’t eat. When I finally made the decision to yes! play in the giant downtown playground for the new year’s weekend, I went from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds and just didn’t have a moment. Tearing apart my closet for something to wear, packing my bags, then dashing out the door. *whew!* When we got downtown, we didn’t even settle in – just ripped open our bags, painted our faces, and played dress-up. Wait! We have to eat something before going out…we won’t be back for another 12 hours at the earliest.

Room service in The Standard is actually better than the food in both the restaurant off the lobby and the rooftop bar. When the hotel first opened, I made it a point to meet friend downtown for lunch, and regretted the time I wasted driving all the way down there. The salad was just fine, but was just way too expensive for a salad that I could put together myself at the salad bar inside Ralph’s. Strange, since the restaurant, the bar, and room service must all use the same kitchen. The pizza arrived warm, and better than the food? The delivery boy. Order more! We want more room service delivered! At the urging of my friend (you can’t party on a empty stomach!) I took an absentminded nibble of the pizza whilst focused on applying mascara.

That was the last food we ate for the evening. When we finally woke up Saturday afternoon, we heaved ourselves out bed and decided to eat our very late breakfast in the diner dowstairs. Clearly, this was the B team on duty for the holiday weekend. The service was horrible. There were probably only three tables in the entire restaurant, and certainly, the diner is fairly small, but with four servers, we were surprised that they were so incredibly slow and inattentive. I know about the attitude at the Standard, but come on, this was ridiculous.

The hotel’s name is fitting for the restaurant – standard, but not like “setting the standard,” rather *eh* just standard. For the prices however, it most certainly should have been better.

Breakfast so late in the afternoon replaced lunch, and we had to pass up dinner in the name of New Year’s Day. We started at Cafe Pinot. It’s lovely outside, early evening, slightly misty, so we jump from table to table chatting with friends on the patio. Some people order food, but I stick to the very strong drinks. I have yet to try anything from Monsieur Splichal , so I’d like to go back to Cafe Pinot, and try a real meal out on the patio in the spring.

Simple food was what we were looking for when we got back to the hotel some time late Saturday night, or was it early Sunday morning? A chicken sandwich brought via room service was simple enough, and the sauteed mushrooms were good. The only explanation I have for the substituted mushrooms for fries is that someone wasn’t completely sober when she called downstairs.

Again, it was late morning when we finally rolled out of bed on Sunday morning. We could have gone outside the hotel to try some of the downtown cuisine, but unlike other cities’ downtowns, LA is quiet after 5 pm on weekdays, and basically shuts down on the weekends. With this a holiday weekend as well, we were limited to The Standard, or venturing as far as the Bonaventure, for more hotel food (though the Bonaventure does have its own little food court with more options). The diner it is, and to be quite honest, I had no appetite and was basically waiting to get home to Mom’s dduk gook.

The Standard is no destination for food. In fact, it’s not a destination for drinks either. Parking is troublesome, even getting into the place is a gamble (are you on the list?), and the tab is almost always double what I would run elsewhere. And it usually doesn’t come with quite so much attitude.

And I still need to try one of the Pinots.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eve June 7, 2005 at 9:30 pm

it is true! never party on an empty stomach!


2 chocolate strawberries February 24, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Here’s how to make delicious chocolate covered strawberries. First of all ensure that the strawberries you are intending to use are dry, then allow them to be room temperature warm prior to making them. After the strawberries have been covered in chocolate, put them in your refrigerator to cool, but do not store them in the fridge. Consume within 1-2 days.


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