Screwed in Beverly Hills
If you don’t live or spend time in Beverly Hills, you’re not missing a lot. Seriously, one just pays way more for everything there. I had lunch in town on Friday. The prices were a joke at a place called Fred’s, which is in that trendy but snooty and insanely expensive “Barney’s of New York” department store on Wilshire Boulevard. Dead film producer Julia Phillips wrote a bestselling 1991 book titled You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again. Duh, ‘cause it’s too damned and stupidly expensive to eat lunch in BH!
So there I was on the 5th floor of Barney’s seated at a table in the corner by a window that looked out over a boring view of the parking lot and trying to adjust to the high decibel noise level of this very noisy place.
While waiting for my luncheon companion (a former colleague at the Disney Studios, and late by half an hour, but totally understandable considering the horrendous B.H. traffic!), I perused the meager menu. Thirty-six freakin’ bucks for a silly salad?! The “Palace Warm Lobster Salad”:$36. (Chunks of fresh lobster, green beans, new potatoes, and scallions, severed with a bistro dressing). The least expensive salad was $26 (Little gem lettuce, tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, red onion served over house made hummus and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. Add grilled chicken $7, grilled shrimp $11, grilled salmon $12.) I’m a restaurant guy, preferring to eat out than cook in, but for a lunch in a place that could easily be a room in a cafeteria, the prices were oh-so-way over the top for not very much in return! The pizza selection was nuts, too: Margherita: $23. Something called a Wise Guy (Mozzarella, tomato, freshly-ground farm-raise Berkshire hot and sweet sausage and roasted peppers … what the hell is “Freshly-ground farm-raised Berkshire hot and sweet sausage?” Like what’s farm raised? Praise Jesus!) $26.Emilia Romagna (this one boasts 12-year old Aceto Balsmaico. Ooooh, almost a teenager!) $26.
I ended up with the Prosciutto for $26. And truly, it absolutely wasn’t any better than I remember cruddy Shakey’s pizza. No kidding. Maybe I’ve lost touch with the times and eating in Beverly Hills. But hey, if you wanna spend $$$ at a place like this then have at it. I’m not here to judge. However, if my Disney chum ever suggests this place again, I’ll put up a mild fuss. At least the conversation was fun and it’s always a pleasure to see her. And the nice waiter offered to validate my parking without me asking. But, when he brought the bill, I was pissed to see that they’d charged for each of the three refills of my lemonade. At $7 per glass!!!! (You do the math!) Seven freakin’ bucks for a glass of lemonade. Yes, I’ve now officially morphed into my curmudgeon father!