Monday, November 7, 2011


The first outing, Yamashiro's. Impromptu, because I was going to start with my favorite restaurant, but it was closed on this particular night. Well of course it was because that's mostly how it goes. It just is. Things not going as planned seems quite a general theme of life, which is why I've tried to become an expert at handling, well, all of it.  I guess I learned a long time ago that we're just not in control of too much. Possibly anything.  Our only decisions seem to come not in what happens, but in how we will be with what happens.

So a new plan. Yamashiro's seemed a nice alternative to the original idea. Which, yay, I can still look forward to! But, to Yamashiro's. It's so beautiful there. It's an iconic Hollywood restaurant at the top of the hill overlooking the city and is definitely a tourist destination, but I love it because I can walk there and for so many reasons, actually. Sweeping view of the sparkling city. Paths through the gardens on the hillside. And the summer night-time farmer's market they host is one of my absolute favorite things, but that will have to wait until April, when it begins again.

Anyway, delicious shared dinner with my friend. A plate colorfully striped with vegetables and noodles and some crazy delicious flavors coming from somewhere. So, so delightful. I love sharing food. Oh, how I love and have always loved that! There is something so engaging about it. And you are connected by the food itself, so it becomes more of a living element of the whole experience. Being with others, tasting the same flavors. Just good. 

I wonder, sometimes, do I enjoy these small things more than most? Probably. It seems that when I'm in a restaurant, I'm the person having the most fun. I look around and it's like everyone else is trying to play by some rules that I'm still trying to figure out and then I giggle too hard and drop my fork and the champagne spills and I laugh some more….But maybe it's just that I grew up in the restaurant business and am so comfortable with it all, like it's my element. Except, then again, even when I walk down the street or go to the market, I feel like I'm having the most fun. I just find this adventure here so very interesting. 

After dinner, we walked the gardens. Looking out over the whole of Los Angeles. That is always such a beautiful moment for me. I remember flying into LAX many years ago and saying to myself, god, I could never live here! So sprawling. Just a sea of pavement and buildings for miles and miles and too many miles! And here I am, nine years in, and it's home. And I love it.

I flew back here from a visit to New York a few months ago, and I was so happy to return to that same stone sea. And I tried to figure out what it is, exactly, about this city that I love so much and I realized, the main thing is, it's so expansive. And I am too. So it just suits me. Because the thing I fear almost the most is feeling trapped. 

Here, on certain days of the year, when I go hiking, I can see the mountains dusted with snow to my left, and the ocean spanning straight to the horizon to my right. And then I look to the streets and buildings and neighborhoods and towns in between, and all I see are memories, sweet sweet memories. And I know that I have been living here, really living, the way I have always wanted to.  

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