Passionately Pursuing the Good Life

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

The Particular Sadness of Lemon CakeThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This novel can be described much like the food that Rose survives on: superficially appealing but inevitably lacking in substance. The premise is captivating (she can “taste” the emotions/feelings of the person preparing the food), and the characters are endearing though often frustrating (especially the parents), but in the end you want so much more than what you are left with. And although I enjoyed the journey of the story, I’d be hard pressed to say what, exactly, was the whole point.

If you really love character driven stories (i.e., no plot), and are charmed by the “magical realism” genre, you might consider picking up this book for a decent, easy read. Otherwise, I would suggest discovering or revisiting “Like Water for Chocolate” instead.

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Mighty Life List #76: Martini at Musso & Frank

Ah, Musso & Frank! One of the last remaining in the endangered species of classic old Hollywood restaurants. If you have an appreciation for the old days of Hollywood, when movie deals were brokered over martinis instead of cell phones, you should definitely plan a trip here, if only to sit at the bar and nurse a cocktail while conjuring the spirit of Orson Welles. Many stories and legends surround this restaurant, which first opened its doors in 1919. My favorite being that Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, and Douglas Fairbanks would race each other down Hollywood Boulevard on horseback from the studio to the restaurant. Whomever lost had to pick up the tab!

The waiters here are possibly as old as the wallpaper, but so long as you treat them with the respect they deserve, they'll take good care of you. And how was my classic gin martini?

I'd say a lot like the bartender...a little rough at first but as the hour went by became progressively more smoooooooth. At first sip I honestly didn't think I would be able to finish it. I surprised myself!

We capped the night off with a walk across the street for a hot dog and chili fries from another Hollywood institution, Skooby's. I love my life...

I also love this guy.