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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

not quite up to the standard

on friday, we gathered to surprise our dear friend levioletfemme with a goodbye dinner. after going back and forth on dates and coordinating with mr. levioletfemme, we settled on 24/7 restaurant at the standard in downtown l.a. actually, this turned out to be a combo celebration - as we were bidding LVF a fond farewell with this little party, we were welcoming home our dear winnie, back from her self-imposed exile on the east coast. yay x 2!

my cheap ass passed this up:

in favor of saving $5 and parking my car my own self downstairs, in the underground lot. hey, $5's $5.

we've eaten here before, although last time we were seated outside. it was a little chilly, so we opted to sit at a table inside, where i thought it looked like a padded cell. apropos for our group, yes?

the menus here always crack us up. i was hoping to get the dog, but apparently that one's reserved for the wine list. and we all know i have zero use for that thing. so instead, this was me:

here's the monkey's, and nanette's is the dessert menu.

i was amused to find what looked like a folded dishtowel at each place setting. i'd recently read an entry on eaterLA about how this is the new cool thing to do at restaurants these days.

as the rest of our group arrived, we had fun chatting and catching up, plus signing the photo album i'd put together as part of LVF's going-away present. i'd gone through the archives and found almost 40 pictures of GTGs and LVF making funny faces at my camera. it was fun putting it together, and the ladies giggled as they paged through the various photos from the last several years of our friendship. nanette and r had scooped up the other components of our gift, and we scurried to put it all together before LVF arrived.

from where we were sitting, we had a great view of the entrance via a mirror on the opposite wall. and when mr. LVF came into view with our guest of honor in tow, we all snatched up our menus and hid our faces with them. i wish i'd gotten a picture of that, but i'm sure you can imagine the hilarity.

expecting date night with her spousal unit (a term i've borrowed from my buddy cornell), LVF looked slightly puzzled at his choice of restaurant - until we peeked out from behind our disguises and shouted "surprise!"

i caught a few other shots with various facial expressions, but i'd like to keep LVF as a friend, so they've been deleted. heh.

despite being invited to join us, mr. LVF boned outta there like his feet were on fire. i guess i don't blame him. i probably wouldn't have hung out, either. haha! and after she got settled, we passed her the album and goody bag. i'd explain the contents, but they're super old inside jokes that wouldn't be funny to anyone who wasn't on the local knot board back in the day. sorry.

despite having perused the menu on and off for the last, oh, 45 minutes or so, i was still undecided as to what i wanted to eat. i was torn between the burger (substantial) and their homemade ravioli, stuffed with goodies like asparagus, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and other delicious ingredients. upon hearing that nanette was experiencing the same conflict, i suggested that we order both and split them. problem solved! and it turned out that we started a trend, because weatherjen, winnie, r, and lilcee all decided to do the same thing.

LVF opted for a chicken entree and the monkey, not a mushroom fan, chose a goat cheese flatbread and a side of macaroni & cheese, which she generously shared with the table. mmmm.

at some point during dinner - i can't remember whether it was during our entrees or after - this occurred:

weatherjen, in a stage whisper: hey, do you see a bug over there on the curtain?
[winnie and i turn to look, and see a big ass nasty black thing kickin' it in the folds of the drapery]
winnie, shrugging nonchalantly: yeah, it looks like it.
me, slightly wigging out: ewwwww! gross! we need to find someone...
nanette, waving down a passing busboy: HEY!
[busboy stops at our table]
a number of us, gesturing towards the window: um, there's a big ol' bug over there. can you...
[busboy practically sprints over to the curtain, puts out his hand, and squashes offending insect]
entire table: uuuuughhhhhh! ... YAY!

pretty stinking funny. something always happens to us at these gatherings.

for dessert, the usual indecisiveness kicked in and we ended up ordering practically one of everything to pass around the table. i only got pictures of the ones on our end - sugarplum tart (sounds very holiday-y, eh?), strawberry coupe (not a car, as verified by the monkey while ordering), and reliable ol' red velvet cake.

as we wrapped it up, took care of the bill, and said goodbye to weatherjen, nanette and lilcee, we got the server to take the requisite group shot.

the rest of us trooped over to the escalator to head up to the rooftop bar, to hang out a little longer and maybe grab a drink or two. we were stopped by the cheerful bouncer dude, who sent us outside to get a wristband. i groaned inwardly, because i knew what that meant.

and sure enough, the guy out there looked down his nose at us, a bunch of 30-something women not clad in cleave-baring, skintight hoochie attire, and said "there's a $20 per person cover to go upstairs."

looking over at the monkey, he added "and you can't bring that camera up there, either. you can check it in at the desk while you're upstairs."

well, son of a bitch. my days of paying cover charges to get in the door for anything are long gone, and the monkey wasn't about to part with her precious camera, either. we squelched the urge to smash our purses over the guy's head and walked down the steps in defeat.

and that was the end of our night. after a round of hugs, i headed down to the parking garage with winnie and r, who'd also chosen to save $5, and i was home before 11. luckily, it's not quite a final goodbye to LVF, because we're going to squeeze in at least one more GTG before she heads off to the wrong coast.

but for the right reasons. awesome reasons! yay for LVF!


  1. Love this post.

    And between you and winnie, I don't have to now!

  2. Looks like a great time!

    Sidenote: So glad to know "twentysomething" is now "LVF" and has a blog again! I missed it!!

  3. Ugh. This is not 2004. The Standard needs to get over itself.

    What a lovely get-together for LVF. Love how you gals give love.

  4. looks like a super fun time!

    I can't believe bars still have the balls to charge such a ridiculous cover. they need to FRO.

  5. It's crazy to think about how this all started...just a few years ago.

  6. yay for winnie's return! boo for femme's departure. triple boo for the standard's snobbiness. ick.

  7. I love how you wrote about 10 times more than I did. Far more complete story than mine :) Love your recap. Can't wait til our next GTG!

  8. What a great surprise for LVF! Yay for Winnie's return!

  9. Fabulous recap! I'm sad I missed it. :(

  10. Had a great time with you guys!! We need to get together again, soon!!


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