Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Among the Uppah Clawsses, Dahlings

(Despite the fact that we are Full Metal Jacket Middle Class. Thought that should be noted.)

Richie surprised me today with lunch out. We'd finished running errands, but instead of heading north and home, he went south to Riviera Village. For non-residents, Riviera Village is the south end of Redondo Beach and could be considered our Beverly Hills. Tiny boutiques (they change frequently)several brew-pub restos, a Trader Joe's, a card shop, a couple of office buildings and so forth.

Yellow Vase Flowers - Cafe - Bakery, 1805 S. Catalina, Redondo Beach, 90277

The building is a rectangle with a patio running down one of the long sides. First in your face is a flower shop, followed by a small cafe tucked behind that and presumably the kitchen and bakery are behind that.

The Yellow Vase sells flowers, wedding cakes (round or square,) has a glass display case of hand-made chocolates, another of desserts -- dessert bars in cherry, apple or lemon, pastel-tinted meringues and it serves actual food -- salads, crepes, paninni and one lone pizza (margarita.) You enter, look at the menu, order and pay for your food, are given a numbered plaque for your table and you go sit down -- inside or on the patio.

Richie ordered the ham melt -- Black Forest ham, Brie, capers and Dijon mustard. It looked like a rather smallish sandwich to me, but it came with a huge salad -- arugula, radiccio, etc. I had the Parisian salad -- romaine lettuce with dried cranberries, candied walnuts, red onion, shallots with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the side, please. It was quite good. We agreed that the food was okay nothing wrong with it, but what made the place outstanding was the clientele.

It was mostly women, the Ladies Who Lunch plus real estate saleswomen (eager eyes trolling the rest of us) and the dilettantes -- one woman was wearing tennis clothing! I haven't seen a grown woman in tennis whites since 1982! (when I lived in the real Beverly Hills.) It was all hilarious to us. Normally a large group of women would be so shrill that bats would flee them, but the music system -- harps, flutes - was so loud we never heard their gasps of appreciation, sneers at lesser mortals or (sadly) any riveting gossip.

So, if white-gloved Auntie comes to town or racquet-wielding Betsy, this is the place to take them. Let their husbands go to the brew pub across the street. They can sit by us.

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