March 8, 2007
Strangers in the night—a Ghetto Purim
(Page 2 - Previous Page)It was easy to see we were probably the only real outsiders here, but David and I still managed to make a few friends. Todd was amusing, sparking conversation on San Francisco sex clubs; Joel (we were on a first-name basis now) was menschy, offering some tips for my article, and Cassandra, Joel's wife, was feisty, kicking out a guy who at one point snagged her seat at the table.
A Klezmer accordionist and guitarist played throughout our meal, which included End of Winter Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette, Lamb Osso Bucco and Nutella and Apricot Hamantaschen. Chef Anita Bergman of Venice's Primitivo created the dishes.
We were further entertained by storytellers riffing on the Purim theme, "Facing Your Dark Side."
Wine flowed throughout, and then Joel got a text telling him he had a ticket waiting at the Hotel Café, where Pete Townshend was playing a secret show. Todd hinted that he'd like to tag along. Joel and Cassandra made graceful apologies, and left.
Without the celebrity couple, things seemed to wane again. It was getting late, anyway, so David and I grabbed some hamantaschen and made our way out, too.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not delusional enough to believe we'll be dining with Joel and Cassandra again soon. But it occurs to me there's something to Jeremy Townsend's notion of community-building through communal dining. Being out of our element -- which, by the way, is right in line with the topsy-turvy nature of Purim -- did unite all of us at the table that night. A few of us really connected, if only until Joel's celebrity call reminded us of the true order of things.
The next Reboot L.A./Ghetto Gourmet party will take place Tues., April 3, the second night of Passover.
For reservations and more information, visit www.rebooters.net.
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