Gin. Dry Vermouth. Shaken (or stirred) with ice, then strained into a stylish though somewhat impractical glass, with either an olive or a twist of lemon peel dropped in at the end.
With such a brief recipe, could the quality of the Martini Cocktail actually vary that much from establishment to establishment? The answer is, of course, “GOD yes!” And the martini served at Los Angeles’s venerable Musso and Frank is the finest I have ever had.
We were celebrating my recent graduation from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, whose founding faculty included Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith. While I was studying there, I also received a bit of financial help from the Mary Pickford Foundation. Pickford, Griffith, and Fairbanks, along with Charlie Chaplin, founded United Artists 1919, and they were all regulars at Musso and Frank, which opened that same year. Chaplin’s favorite dish was the grilled lamb kidneys, and an “oft-repeated, but unverified story“ has Douglas Fairbanks racing Rudolph Valentino down Hollywood Boulevard on horseback to get to the famous bar and grill.
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Tags: chaplin, cocktail, douglas fairbanks, los angeles, martini, mary pickford, musso and frank, old hollywood
Yesterday, my father was up here in LA, visiting me and picking up his visa for an upcoming trip to Shanghai. Lunchtime was coming up, so naturally I checked the Twitter feed on my phone.
The new rage here in Los Angeles is food trucks that park somewhere in the city, and then tweet their location to foodies citywide. I scanned my list of food tweets – Korean bbq tacos, the Indian Dosa Truck, etc., – and then a tweet caught my eye. “Try our new fois gras burg!” from the Grill Em All truck, parked just a few minutes away in Hollywood.
That seemed to embody the LGA maxim, “If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth overdoing.” So we hightailed it out there. And, wow. Let me tell you – you have not lived unless you have tried the fried egg, potato chip, and fois gras burger they call a Lars (named, I assume, for the esteemed Mr. Ulrich).
Gents, next time you’re in LA, check it out.
Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu.
Tags: food truck, grill em all, lars ulrich, los angeles