By Tara Redfield
It's been a year since I've been writing to you and not once have I sipped at a happy hour in The Valley! I feel badly about that, so I did some serious research and found out that the highly rated French Restaurant, Pinot Bistro, offers a happy hour!
Late in the afternoon, on a cloudy October day, I opted for the Laurel Canyon drive. I love that drive this time of year. The trees hide the noise and concrete and make me believe that maybe I'm on a quiet country road leading nowhere. It's a brief escape into a wholesome reality between the smokey-mirrored studio-lands that lie below.
Just as I rounded the corner, about to approach Mulholland Drive, a vibrant rainbow happily waved at me against a backdrop of melancholy violet-gray clouds. In an instant I could feel my mood brighten as the rainbow assured me that everything was going to be alright. I love rainbows.
I arrived at Pinot and took a seat at the quiet stool-lined bar. An older blonde woman and her gentleman friend sat to themselves at one end, I sat on the opposite end. My friend Jamie arrived, looking like a much younger Jennifer Aniston, sans the effort. Mid-July had been our last rendezvous, so there were a few months we had to catch up on...over red wine and cheese obviously.
Our bartender looked as if he had been transported from Paris circa 1902, with his balding round head and thick, up-turned mustache. He clearly had been doing this for years and took our orders with a routined indifference.
Happy Hour menu items included risotto balls, a cheese plate, and almonds & olives. We ordered the risotto balls and cheese plate, along with two glasses of merlot from the wine selection.
Somewhere between savoring the delightful crispy-soft sensations of the risotto balls (which are sure to haunt my cravings again soon), the creamy, sharp, rich wonders of the cheese plate and the crucifying of our recent boy-related woes, we had unknowingly solicited a fan.
An apparent "regular" had taken a seat on the other side of Jamie's golden blonde hair and had been listening to our entire conversation and felt comfortable enough to comment on it. "Sorry, I couldn't help but hear your conversation," he started...(Oh really? Or did you just choose to listen? ) "I don't understand how such lovely ladies could have such horrible dating stories," he nearly whined, burger in hand. Dude, not the way to hit on girls at happy hour! That was awkward. We kindly disregarded that comment, but, he still thought it was appropriate to offer us his french fries.
Pinot Bistro is an ideal bar setting if you're looking for a non-fussy place to catch up with a friend...and the risotto balls are well worth trying. As long as there isn't an all too eager fellow, with a tie and an intrusive ear, you should be completely uninterrupted during your visit.
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