Friday, August 31, 2018

It's Almost Fall!

I can feel it in a sly, undertone of autumn crisp - when even the humid, still breezes have that certain promise - a preview scent of fall leaves?  Crisping in the sun?  A flicker of a cooler scent underlaying Indian Summer?  I can't describe it any better than this, but someone else certainly has.

by John Keats 

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him (Sun; took me a minute, too) how to load and bless
With fruit the fines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the ground and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they (bees) think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cells.    

I skipped a bunch, finding this a fitting  -

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music, too - 
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubbled plains with rose hue.  

He did go on at some length which you can easily find via Google, but in truth, the very first line is what I think of every year at this time of the year.  My favorite season when the light, too, is crisper, the shadows starker, the beams of sunlight brighter … I love fall and hope that you find pleasure in it, too.  

Hmmm possibly a Fall Festivus??? 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

"Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold"

The origins of this statement are not pinpoint known, having been credited to Proverbs, Bible, and numerous other sources.

Well, John McCain is certainly cold, but his revenge continues to flow freely.  He authorized HBO to make the documentary they did on him, which begins  right after his announcement of the brain tumor.  McCain insisted on the proviso that HBO could not  run it until one week after he was dead.  Way to avoid criticism or rebuttals … but pretty much cut and run after you're dead.

This morning, readers of the news find that former running mate Sarah Palin's attendance at any of the many funerals was rejected, despite the fact that she was always supportive and never mean to or about him.   McCain felt (or his wife Cindy did) that Palin cost him the election.

Sometime ago, I wrote a column of the fun one could have dying - changing the Last Will and Testament at the drop of a ballpoint to punish a family member or friend who, in your mind, did you wrong.  Based on the above, I never knew McCain read me.  Fancy that.  Who knew that pettiness could extend so far from the grave.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

An American Queen (of Soul) Is Laid To Rest

In a great display of affection for Aretha Franklin following her death from pancreatic cancer, the City of Detroit and Franklin's family are leaving no (grave) stone unturned to honor her.  This is her just due as from all reports, she was a loving and kind person.

In return, a niece told the media that by providing a lavish funeral, Aretha is paying back her devoted  fans.

But all  is not as it may seem … the "solid gold" coffin is solid bronze with a 25 carat gold overlay.

The hearse - a Lasalle manufactured by GM Cadillac from 1927 through 1940, transported the casket and this is not the first time it has been pressed into service:
1984 - C.L. Franklin, her father
1991 Davy Ruffin of the Temptations
2005 Rosa Parks
A fleet of eight (I counted but this may not be accurate as a news lady was blocking some of the view) pink Cadillacs will presumably carry the family and dignified guests to the cemetery.

This was a surprise - today, Wednesday 8/29, her viewing gown is a bright red  formal dress paired with a pair of red Louboutons with 5 in. heels.  Loubouton is the shoe maker who paints the soles of all his shoes red, keeping the all red outfit true to designated color.    It was a minor surprise to see the entire body laid out as all of my previous open casket viewings have been half lids with the lower body invisible.

But this is the kicker.  The red outfit is just the opener - on Thursday, she will be seen wearing a gold dress and presumably gold shoes.  On Friday she will be wearing "a gown" in which she will be interred.

I had never heard of the corpse being undressed and dressed again and reinserted into the coffin.  Doesn't mean it isn't common in some parts of the country, but extensive digging has only turned up what to wear when you go to a funeral.

 Imagine that on your resume - Corpse Clothes Changer.  Is the deceased wearing underwear?  If clad in panty hose, and are they changed daily, too?  Since rigor mortis would be well gone, how does one wrestle (literally) a floppy body into elaborate gowns?  It might be a real workout …

Note to "Raffish" - if you know, e me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Where Were You, John McCain?

As all of the world now knows, John McCain died at 4:18 p.m. on Saturday, August 25th.  He was then given an escort to the funeral home in Phoenix, some 100 miles from his ranch, where an honor guard paid their respects out in front of the funeral home.

Straight-forward enough … but there are gaps that have me curious.  After he vanished into the Phoenix funeral home, he wasn't heard of until Wednesday?!   Sunday, Monday, Tuesday - where was he?  Languishing in the funeral home?  Embalmed and then taken back to the ranch?

This inquiring mind is curious.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Properly Attired for a Shooting Massacre

David Katz, 24, the shooter who killed two and wounded 11 others before shooting himself at the Madden NFL game tournament in Jacksonville, FL, was wearing shooter's earmuffs.

For those who don't frequent shooting ranges, ear muffs are routinely used in these establishments.  This Katz guy is going to kill himself, right?  But before that - must protect his delicate ears!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Curiosity Satisfied

Many of you may have noted that Robin Leach "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" has died age 76 in Las Vegas of a second apparently massive heart attach.  His first event occurred in Cabo San Lucas where he might have been a guest at George Clooney's tequila brand debut.

In the accolades, I noticed that one of his three sons was in charge of news dissemination, but there was no mention whatsoever of the wife who spawned them.  His longtime best friend, Joan Severance, 59, was featured as his co-star on some kind of wife exchange on television, but that was it.

Voraciously curious about things that don't matter and are quite probably only of interest to me, I set forth to find out what I could.  And here it is:

He was the second husband of Judith Dresser Siderman, Bernard Siderman being the father of the three sons.  Siderman died in 1964 and Judith was then married to Leach from 1968 until their divorce in 1977.  Judith, born 4/14/1935, died age 82, on 4-21-17.

Now we know.  Whew!  Curiosity satisfied.

Letter to the Editor

Opinion, Daily Breeze, 8-24-18

Stick to local news

Re:  "The president's attacks on facts should be a concern to all" 8/16

As a longtime subscriber, I read your commentary with interest.  Given the vast separation between national/international news and local news that you so eloquently described, it occurred to me that you really don't have a dog in this hunt.  When you do, go after'em!

In the meantime, stick to what you do best:  local news and views.  Let CNN, the New York Times, and Washington Post fend for themselves.  They are well-funded and certainly motivated to be as biased as they choose to be.  And they are.

Nina Murphy
Redondo Beach 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Sooo International, Dullings

Richie's French language class goes to lunch on the fourth Wednesday of each month.   It is quite the rodeo with messages and e's flying back and forth as to who will attend, who will not (and most interestingly sometimes "why" they won't be there) and the rest of us all signing on.  Wednesday's class runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at which point, the class re-groups at the restaurant of choice at noon.

Where the lunch will take place is a matter of finding a restaurant we all approve of; whether or not it has a parking lot - we had to abandon Scotty's on the Strand all summer long because their parking lot fills up with tourists, as an example.

Today's gala will be held at Las Brisas Mexican restaurant at 1969 Artesia, Redondo.  Las Brisas , chosen for it's own parking lot, spacious roofed patio (for shade) that would easily accommodate the 12 of us as well as a big space inside with tables (the rest of the place is booths.)  This is perfect weather for the patio and I am hoping for it.

What I find amusing is this:  the French class chose a Mexican restaurant - El Torito - last month, too!  I shouldn't be surprised as BFF Michelle loved  Mexican food when she visited here from France.  To this day, when we go to visit her in France, we bring cans of refried beans, chopped green chilis, containers of chili powder, Pico Pico hot sauce, several packages of tortillas …all of which are received with rapturous bliss.  To say nothing of the margarita mixins'

At today's lunch, I will propose Cap'n Kidd's. Redondo marina for it's parking lot, picnic tables and benches set up and oh!  Excellent sea food!  The lobster roll as previously mentioned is chock full of crab claw meat and very little else.   So much for September.

October?  How about Madrone's? PCH, own parking lot, huge walled patio - oh, yeah - it's Mexican food.  Viva la cuisine Mexique!  Mas por favor!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Finishing Pope Francis' Sentence

He is quoted:  "We showed no care for the little ones."  He left it at that, but I think he was going to add, "Instead we pursued them and subjected them to unspeakable horrors over and over again."

When Nuns Take a Hit for the Church

The Catholic abuse scandal is gaining international headlines and subsequent comments.

What caught my attention is that there seem to be no whistle-blowing on the part of the nuns against priests they knew were guilty of molestation.  None of them came out for the children; instead they came out for themselves and the horrors perpetrated on them by priests.  I read with interest that in Chile and Uganda, priests pay for an abortion for the pregnant nun.   Priests are salaried; nuns are not and live solely on what the convent provides them.  Apparently there is no abortion fund.

Some interesting statistics and Catholic nuns - nun recruitment was at its height in 1965 when there were 180,000 U.S. nuns.  In 2014 (last census of them) there were only 50,000.  This is a 72 per cent drop over 50 years.

In 2012 the average age of a nun was 74.   In 2009 more of them were over 90 than under 60 years of age.  One per cent of them were under the age of 40; 99 % were over 40.  And they won't be faring well in the future as we have already seen Mother Church yanking their convents right out from underneath them as the church sells them for funds to pay off the many lawsuits caused by some priests.

The priests always seem to come out on top; the nuns kicked to the curb of indifference by the sandaled foot of some degenerate priest.  Run, sister, run!  It's not going to get any better.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Dread the Department of Motor Vehicles?

License renewal is coming up and you've seen the pictures of people lined up around and around the office; fearful tales of six hour waits for your turn - despite having an appointment...

Here's how to avoid the annoyance.  Go down to Palm Springs or Palm Desert and visit their DMV offices.  The photos show at least 10 people manning the counters, a large waiting area with plenty of chairs … Sure as hell beats trying it here.

Palm Desert DMV, 74-740 Technology Drive  800-777-0133

Palm Springs DMV 950 N. Farrell Drive same phone number.

The average October temperature is 91 degrees days; 61 degrees at night.  Make it a mini-vacation and stay a couple of days!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Raiding Party Dispatched In Timely Manner

This morning, "D" picked Richie up at 7:15 a.m., the two of them then went to Long Beach to pick up Mouton and all present and accounted for, they went to Fullerton and will take the train to San Diego to then walk (!) to Petco Stadium for a Padres-Arizona game.

As I am not a baseball fan (major understatement) I have no interest in going, too, as the chaperone or duenna of this once-rowdy trio.  At their ages, "rowdy" would include a hot dog at the game.  Fats, cholesterol and salt, you know.  All of the bad stuff in one tidy roll.

However, this is a yearly event much looked forward to by them.  All of them cite the beauty found in rolling along the Pacific Ocean in a train as of greater joy than the ball game.  My suggestion would be that if they like the train ride so much, pick a destination that appeals to more than baseball wingnuts and do, say, lunch at Peohe's my favorite restaurant on Coronado.  Take a water taxi to and from Peohe's and then  hit a bar or two in Old Towne and take the train from there back to Fullerton.  Money down they would miss the return joys of ocean from the window due to the necessity for a nap.  But if you get only half of what you wanted, you're on a roll.

So far they have remained adamantly opposed to this fine suggestion.  Hope springs eternal.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Squeegee-ing Sightseeing

We are deliberately flying in to Kansas City on Thursday for two reasons - to have dinner at Hereford House that night and to have Friday to ourselves as we don't have any reunion events until 4:30 Friday afternoon (meet, greet, have a belt.)

When I told an old friend about the trip, he said that we really must make a visit to the WW1 Memorial on the grounds of the Liberty Memorial which is a great tall tower to nowhere.  He went on to say that he'd seen it during a visit 12 years ago which puts it well ahead of the last time I saw the Memorial as a school kid.  The only "museum" then was in the tower base with glass cases around the walls with such as helmets, arms, Sam Brown belts and so forth.

But if it impressed Jimsie, I knew we would like it so I looked it up.  Oh, my!

How about the results when a 17 in. howitzer hit a French farmhouse?  Life-sized trenches that include the soil strata, items in daily use with appropriate ambient noise.  The Reflecting Pool that has 117 poppies standing in for the  1,000 male and female soldiers.   A glass bridge over a field of poppies.  I will cheerfully cross it because the steel support beams under this "glass" bridge are clearly visible.  Such is my terror at heights, that the all-glass one at Heathrow or Charles de Gaulle, can't remember, had me looking for any other way than That across.  After about 30 seconds, I gathered my nerves (mostly tattered ends) and raced across.

So we are really looking forward to this event.  Richie, who loves heights, will undoubtedly go up to the tower top which features a stunning view of most of Kansas City, Mo.  The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and seniors are $12. plus $5 to see the special exhibit of that time.

Jimsie also recommended a restaurant in Union Station which is down the hill from the Memorial.  It is Pierpont's and is very posh (and thus expensive) for lunch.   But given our tight schedule … why not?  "Museum trotting always requires a rest stop so why not a really good one?" asked the hedonist.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

In Which I am Gobsmacked By A Discovery

Richie honorably and gratefully retired after36 years with a Major American Airline (MAA) and we have still flown non-revenue subsequently.  As a non-rev you are at the mercy of the gods and MAA, and all employees know the Gate Leap wherein we are sent bounding around any airport going to the next gate and hoping for a seat.  Some of us in pure desperation have been known to find a seat on a flight going Anywhere and take it!  Packed for the Caribbean and find yourself going to Nome, Alaska?  Airports sell clothing in various boutiques at twice the price elsewhere.  But you got a seat.

Comes then the advent of MAA 20 which is 20 per cent off the list price.  The very thought of actually paying for what one always got free is galling to many including us.  After 36 years of hoping for coach and getting 1st instead, it is just too delicious to pass up.

But as we will be on a fairly tight schedule in September to attend my 60th high school reunion and sightsee around Kansas City, MO, as much as possible, I called MAA20 this morning.  LAX to DFW to MCI are all short flights and we certainly ride Coach often enough not to whinge.  Including from JFK to LAX in that last two seats in the plane, backed by a toilet with the gallery cater-cornered and no window at all.  "Bat Cave" came to mind.

When I called, this morning a very nice lady responded.  After we had worked through the flights I wanted, she then said, "Do you have a seat preference?" and I said, "What?" and she said, "Window? Aisle? and gasping from shock, I bleated out, "One of each please."

Being ever more helpful, she said, warningly, "Then you will have someone between you," but I said, "Fine," and old logic, surfacing was gleefully chuckling "And if the flight's not full, we've got a table between us, heh heh!"

I tell you the knowledge that our languid asses will be draped over Row 27, A and C, is bliss.  No looking hopefully (and often) at the list of non-revs and hopeful upgrades list and finding us #17 and #18 - vanquished by spending a little money.  In this case $500 for two RT tix from LA to Kansas City and back.  But I'm still a little amazed at how far for so little, we can go.   MAA just got herself a new customer.  It's only money.  Compare that to something like $30,000 RT on Dubai Airlines.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Catering to Yacht Owners - And The Rest of Us

You don't have to own a yacht to eat at Cap'n Kidd's.  Conveniently located near the Redondo Beach Marina, at 209 W. Harbor Drive, Cap'n Kidd's offers take-out ready to eat or take-out ready to take home and cook.  If you elect to swing a leg over a bench and eat at one of the heavy-duty picnic tables, you will be facing the parking lot and beyond that a vast swoop of furled sails,

Though roofed and walled, all of the windows are generally kept open so that sea breezes can cool your fevered brow in the summer.  In the winter, bring a sweater.

However, yacht or no, lobster is a menu item that strikes fear into the heart of the wallet; (Billfolds practically quiver in fear in pocketbooks) to me at least.  "Market price" can - and in some cases probably does - mean, fork over the next mortgage payment, baby - you're gonna pay for this!

But this morning, I am caroling with glee as I have discovered a source of damned near "free lobster" which is (drum roll) the lobster roll at Cap'n Kidds.  $13.99 for a grilled roll, literally stuffed and over-flowing with lobster meat.  I quit counting after I discovered six meaty claws waiting to be devoured.

The occasion was the monthly dinner meeting of friends that go back 35 years, since we all first met in the same apartment complex.  "D" eying my lobster roll, said, "During my walk yesterday, I passed Chef Melba's Bistro (1501 Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa) and she's offering two-pound lobsters for $55 right now."  I laughed and speared another claw and said, "Why would I pay that kind of money - look at all of this!" and continued gnawing my way through it.

I never thought I would say "Bargain Lobster!" but I am now.  Go for it!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Just As Well...

That none of you came to the jazz club meeting yesterday afternoon.  Nannette and the Hotsy-Totsy guys showed up, ready to perform in their dark pants and black t-shirts made to look like a tuxedo top, details outlined in white.  I had been looking at the  phone when Our Star made her entrance and I blurted out, "Is that a birthday cake up on stage?" and Richie said, "No,but  I think a chandelier fell on her head though."  She was wearing a Cleopatra-style tinsel wig.  Her sequined ice-blue gown fitted her snugly and she made frequent, eloquent use of the 6 ft. long feather boa that accompanied all of the above.

Nannette apparently took one look at her audience and dialed it down considerably and I don't blame her - who's going to kill themselves for a 48-member audience?  That's how few we were.  June, July and August are always slow due to vacations elsewhere, guests arriving in waves (especially to homes less than a mile from the beach) and so forth.

Thus there was no parasol parade and very little "bounce" to Nannette, mainly some half-hearted wriggling seductively.

Dismayed, but understanding the circumstances, we sought to console ourselves with a libation at Hudson House, 514 N. PCH, Redondo.

Because it was early, we got a booth (of only two; the rest are little tables against the long wall and stand-up seating in the middle.)  Richie ordered a Hudson Pale Ale and when he discovered they are $3 the half pint, ordered another to go with his brown sugar pork ribs ($15.)   I contented myself with a flute of Mont Marcal Cava $9 - to go with my  brown sugar ribs.

To go with our drinks, we split an order of black pepper French fries ($5) which were a new choice to us as  haven't been in there in ages.   Black pepper instead of great swashes of salt are a very good idea.  They come with catsup or mayo in little cups.  Thus, some of our disappointment was slaked.  Further cheer - leftover ribs and black pepper French fries for dinner tomorrow night.  

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Gatsby Clothes and Hotsy-Totsy Boys

Today's (8-12-18) featured band at the monthly South Bay New Orleans Jazz Club is (drum roll) Nanette and Her Hotsy-Totsy Boys, who will be storming the stage around 2:30 p.m.

The club meets at the Knights of Columbus Hall, at 214 Avenue I in Riviera Village (Redondo south) from noon-ish to 5 p.m.  Park in the Wells Fargo bank lot - free.

Many of the club members are musicians who bring their instruments and engage in a series of pick-up encounters until it's time for the Featured Attraction.  After the dust settles from whoever it was, the pick-up musicians go back to work right after the 4:30 p.m. raffle winners are announced.  Tickets are a strip of five for $1 or 6 strips of tickets for $5 to win the various items members donate.  There is always a bottle of wine, usually jazz CDs and, of late, a bouquet of fresh flowers plus various trinkets which have included, stuffed toys, soft books for the grandkids, a stuffed turkey for the Thanksgiving décor.  It's 'way too big for the table.  I know, I won one and tried mightily the next year to get his cousin.

Nanette and Her Hotsy-Totsy Boys have appeared here about once a year and are anticipated with glee. Nanette is a woman of undetermined age (more than 20, less than 80 or 90) who wears flapper outfits, more beading and sequins that you'd think she can support, what has to be a wig, semi-hidden under extravagant cloche hats.  She mingles freely with the audience, cabaret style, kissing a bald man's head to the delighted screams of the rest of us.

She also issues parasols to female members to twirl as they are herded around the dance floor following her in a no-hands Conga line.  All very colorful and gay.

If you are wondering what "hotsy-totsy" could mean as I was, I looked up to find that it is a term of approval, a sign of perfection "Everything at the ball was hotsy-totsy;" well-being "Well, we had a little tiff - you know how it is with her - but everything is hotsy-totsy now."  "Oh, he ran off with this hotsy-totsy show girl."  

The "boys" attire is '20s chic to match Nanette's Gatsby era outfits.  All in all, it's a very pleasant ad amusing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Y'awl come!

P.S. full bar; member-baked goods and they are a dab hand at baking.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

What Are Those Words? That's the Tune To ...

Since French is the only other language I speak, when our instructor, the late Arlette Nelson, made us study French songs with "American" tunes, I was … somewhat confused.

My head began to really spin when she explained that that all of the tunes we were hearing originated in France.  I thought, "Tell that to Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin .."  Who, since they were musicians probably knew this, but I didn't.

"My Way,"  "And now the end is near and I face the final curtain..."
"Comme d'habitude" or "As Usual"  Opening line "I get out of bed and I bump into you; it doesn't wake you up - as usual."

"La Mer" Charles Trenet singing for your pleasure … "We see the dancingwaves along the shores of clean bays"
Bobby Darin "The Sea"  "Somewhere, beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me, my lover stands on golden sands and …"

Really diametrically opposed:
The Crystals' Da Do Ron Ron:  "Met him on a Monday and my heart stood still..."
Johnny Hallyday and Sylvia Vartan's version of "Da Dou Ron Ron" "When love goes 'Goodbye,' all is finished..."

Give the French a chance to be melancholy, regretful, victim of love, dying of love … and they'll take it every time.  Poor things.  Pauvre choses.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Beat the Humidity By Sleeping Like an Egyptian

Unless you live under a large cactus in the desert, you are experiencing humidity.  And quite possibly not at all happy about it.

So in the spirit of being helpful rather than whining about the humiiidity I Googled "Beating Humidity" and happily there was lots of free advice (the best kind - you can ignore it and it didn't cost anything.)

The first to catch my eye and understandably was:  how to sleep like an Egyptian.  You will need two bath towels or bath sheets; one dry (you sleep on it) and the other very, very damp under which you sleep.  A towel sandwich if you will.  As I know no one in Egypt, cannot verify efficacy of this plan.

Other hints included such as sleep with your feet outside of the covers.

Use a wet wash cloth you fished out of the freezer as a poultice on your neck and go to sleep with it on your head.

Go to bed with wet-ish hair.

Before climbing in, hang a damp sheet or kitchen towel in the window.

Wet and freeze wrist sweat bands, wear everywhere.  In a pinch, stick your wrists under the cold water in the bathroom or kitchen until you feel the cool.

This worked for me.  While shooting off-road racing at Riverside Int'l Raceway in July and August, I would go out in the field wearing Richie's old Navy hat - the cupcake looking ones - with the brim folded back?  but only after giving it a good soak in the drinking fountain.  Pop it on, pull the brim down and drip my way to the track.    Worked a charm.  Didn't matter how I looked; as usual I was the only woman shooting the races.  As usual.

Hope that any or some of these work to make you more comfortable. This weather can't last forever.
Be of good cheer and uncap a tall cold one.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

So Now What?

Five days ago, the router that drives the upstairs PC and the downstairs work computer, took a dump on me.  (Unofficial Computer Phrase)  Because I am too bone idle lazy to write a 400+ word column on the child-sized cell phone keyboard, I said (to myself) "The hell with it."

Which was killing me because I was dying to tell local readers  about Maderos' restaurant.  I believe that when you find something good, share it!  Posthaste!

Tuesday the new one arrived from Frontier and the next morning with a minimum of effort (and bad language) it was working.

I was thrilled!  I could write lengthy es and the Madero column.

Today, however, is different.  For all of my much vaunted joy I can't think of a single thing to write about today.  The media has been singularly inoffensive for this while and I am not even moved to mild indignation let alone raging fury.  Maybe it's the humidity.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Rare Rave Restaurant Review

H/T for the headline to Jay S who can do whole paragraphs using words with the same first letter.

The restaurant - Maderos Cocina Mexicana, 231 S. PCH, Redondo Beach  424-350-7031  Own parking

Maderos has the entire blindingly-white building which is fronted by a very spacious walled-in patio.  In fact outdoors blends right into indoors via big glass panels separating the.  Indoors the décor is muted, with minimal frou frou.  No bullfight posters, pinatas all of the items normally found in "a Mexican restaurant."  The patio top is criss-crossed with little triangular flags, a frequent feature of patios all over Mexico.  Very festive, but not in the least  obtrusive.  For all I know, the flapping flags shoo away bugs.

"Never mind all of this blather about décor.  If I wanted that I'd go read Architectural Digest.  What about the food? "   The one word reply is "Awesome."  From the welcome! chips and three (3!) salsas.  They are a salsa crudo, a pale green one that evokes jalapenos and tomatillos and a thick-ish red chili.  We ordered guacamole to go with our drinks (Pacifico $6.50 and a very creamy margarita ($5)  made with wine as the alcohol.  Wine and beer only license as yet.

The guacamole was subtly flavored and not all are.  I hate these:  "I know!  Let's mash up an avocado and mayo and call it guacamole!"  For a meal starter, the salsa trio and guacamole definitely take it uptown.

The mains are no less sophisticated.  Richie ordered the Camarones's a la Diablo which came with refried beans which he had asked for as he doesn't like black beans which are what they normally serve here and Spanish rice $18 for a generous portion of shrimp, properly seasoned - a taste of diablo, but no the hot breath of Hell.

When I saw bacon-wrapped shrimp with Cotillo cheese on their online menu, I vowed then and there to pay them a visit.  Five good-sized prawns with a subtle honeyed, faint tingle sauce.  The cheese oozes out during cooking and makes a lacy, chewy cheese cookie.  Delicious!  The black beans come topped with an ocean of chopped tomatoes and the rice both the go-to sides here and in most Mexican restaurants.  $21 and well worth it.

Good food can ruined by bad service, but I don't think that will ever happen here.  The owner, the male and female servers were attentive, but not overpoweringly so.  No one wanted to sit on our laps and cut our food for us.

The owner told us they'll be opening at 11 a.m. soon for lunch and I can easily visualize a lazy, late lunch out on that patio with good friends, several rounds of drinks and a shared buffet of various dishes.  If there were five of us, everyone could have a bacon-wrapped shrimp.  Proviso:  if I were feeling generous.

Incidentally, Richie cleaned his plate so he's going to have to forage for something for his dinner tonight.  Serves him right.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Router died

Back next week.  Lengthy funeral planned.  May get it Monday.  Hate working from a cellphone.  Have a great new restaurant.