Thursday 4 February 2010
Another Thursday night, another Los Angeles adventure. Tonight my friends and I visited Larchmont. Larchmont is located in Beverly Hills, between 3rd Street and Beverly. Sometimes you will see a movie shooting on the boulevard. Often, you can also spot a celebrity or two walking around. (My friend B has seen Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr there; though he’s a balloon artists and makes balloon animals for kids on Larchmont on Sunday and that in of itself is awesome.) Larchmont (or used to be) such a beautiful, quaint little street in the middle of Los Angeles…before it became commercialised and filled with franchises like Blockbusters, Chase, Jamba Juice, Noah’s Bagels, Crumbs the cupcake store and even Starbucks. I liked this area so much more when it was filled with small mom&pop stores with a distinct charming and chic French ambiance. I once sat down on a bench and a man, with his little chihuahua, sat next to me and told me he has lived on Larchmont for over 25 years and slowly sees the deterioration of the street, year by year, as more corporations take over and buy out the small store owners.
Nevertheless, the small restaurants and boutiques that are left are still worth going to. It is a lovely place to go to escape the little bubble I live in around the university. Larchmont also makes for a wonderful Sunday morning stroll. You can visit one of the restaurants for a lazy Sunday brunch and then stroll down and check out some of the clothing boutiques or even the cute post office. There’s a great Wine and Cheese store which also carries other European imported food like fleur de sel and fruit preserves and jams.
My friends and I hit up the local pizzeria for dinner, the Larchmont Village Pizzeria. The place was packed fill of loyal customers. Some were waiting for a table (there were 4 groups in front of us already at 6.30pm), while others were ordering takeout. There were about 5 tables outside, 6 tables inside and a bar you could sit at. The restaurant was packed so full that my friend C was stressed out just looking at the people!
We finally sit down and order the large Village special with pepperoni, cheese, meat balls, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, anchovies, etc. It came. It was gigantic. And it was delicious! The crust had to be the best part of the entire pizza. We ordered the thin crust just like the way Italians make their pizza (Neapolitan anyway, and not Sicilian, apparently). It was crispy and just the right texture, not too crunchy but not too chewy either.
Another reason why the crust was delicious was because it was fresh, not at all soggy from the cheese or sauce. The best part was the more you chewed it the better it tasted. It has to be the best crust I’ve ever eaten in Los Angeles (the pizzas in this city, no offense, have pretty terrible crusts).
After a lovely meal and some chit chat, we polish off our plates and rush off to the comedy show at 8. We all bought tickets to see the improv show at Groundlings, Cookin’ with Gas. The Groundlings is a popular comedy theater which also operates as an improv school during the day. The school has turned out some famous people such a Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Griffin and a bunch of folks on Mad TV and Saturday Night Live. The show we watched tonight had a cast of 6 comedians, 2 musicians playing the keyboard and drums plus a director who moderated the show.
They started with a rap and went on to some hilarious skits. My favourite ones were the chiropractor’s office, the two Staples workers and the last skit about a bathroom accessories salesman who falls in love with a wig saleswoman who in turn eventually becomes a cat lady. Groundlings is great for those who like improv: you get to shout out suggestions and see the comedians act out your suggestions. Of course, some stories don’t make much sense and sometimes the dialogue can be a bit dry. But it’s improv. That’s what makes it funny.
Additionally, Thursday nights are hilarious because the entire show is improv. And no matter what skit they play, at one point in the night, you will probably be clutching your stomach laughing your head off.