On Rodeo: You Know the Dinner is Good When it’s Four Hours Long

Last week I was invited to On Rodeo, the restaurant and lounge inside (and outside) the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. They are adding baked goods to their offerings and have wisely begun with a chocolate soufflé.

I don’t typically attend events like this but I’ve had several lovely lunches at the Luxe Beverly Hills and my daughter is bugging me to have a sleepover (and possibly a Sweet 16) there so I figured I’d put on my best eating dress and head out for some soufflé before dinner at 5pm.

We had passed appetizers, champagne and the soufflé along with an explanation of the sourcing of the chocolate and a reminder that Beverly Hills and Cannes are sister cities. I sort of paid attention but mostly I was enjoying the dessert. I enjoy the occasional sweet but given the option of cake or a cheese plate I’m pretty religiously going to choose savory over sweet so I was delighted to find that the soufflé was full of chocolate flavor and missing that overly sugary finish that too many desserts seem to have.

Once you’ve had dessert you might as well stay for dinner. So I did. There were wine and tequila pairings and great company at the table so I instagrammed the meal because I wisely knew that I’d forget each and every thing.

We started with roasted tomato soup which tasted like warm tomatoes from the garden.

Next was Ahi Tuna with fresh citrus there was a white wine pairing that was delightful.

Beet salad with candied walnuts

Do not miss the shrimp (and I don’t love shrimp) paired with a sip of tequila

Pan seared salmon on a bed of cauliflower with a sauce you don’t see.

Our second dessert was bread pudding because everyone needs a second dessert when you’re on your fourth hour of dinner.

bread pudding

And their dessert cocktails are spectacular. My favorite is the Key Lime Pie Martini. It’s delicious.

on rodeo key lime pie martini

If you’re looking to sit outside, to see and be seen be sure to request table 81. You’ll be smack dab in the center of Rodeo Drive. We ate and drank and laughed until 9.30. Just in time for a midnight snack, right?

Sharp Knives!

A year or two ago I was driving home and saw an outrageously painted lilac bakery truck parked in front of the restaurants near my house. It had a phone number on the side, some messages about redemption and the fact that the owner of said truck would sharpen knives.

Los Angeles has knife sharpening issues. It used to be that you’d bring your knives to the butcher at Hughes Market and they’d sharpen them while you shop. Later when Hughes sold to Gelson’s you could sometimes find a butcher who would help you out and then it all just stopped. HOWs markets opened up and my knives were sharp again but then they promptly closed. There are places where I can drop my knives off but no one seems to do it right or they want me to wait for two days. Maybe my family could just hit pause on dinner for a couple of days while the knives are being sharpened? I don’t think so.

So as I’m sitting around with Junior giving him water through a syringe (no exaggeration) the phone rings and it’s a number I do not recognize. A man mutters something about knives and I tell him he has the wrong number. Then he says, “Jessica, I sharpened your knives for you last year.”

“Do you have a purple truck?” I am excited.

“I do.” He is calm.

“I have been looking for your number everywhere. Are you nearby?”

And he was.

purple knife truck

Now I’m sitting with Junior who just wants to be held (though that’s not unlike him before being bitten) and I’m watching the world pass me by. It’s not unlike the first months of motherhood when it felt impossible to leave the house as it took 30 minutes to feed the baby, change the baby and collect the gear.

It’s a strange feeling, this sense of immobility. It’s like having a sick day without being sick or rewinding the clock to when they were babies and the world was small. It’s not altogether unpleasant but it is remarkably dull. I don’t want to fix up the house, I want to leave the house but that’s just too much for Junior today and leaving him alone right now isn’t wise. The good news is that he is moving his leg a bit, he’s responding to touch and he’s not putting weight on it but that’s to be expected. We’re removing the word amputation from the discussion.

This week I’m watching my dog sleep but I’m going to do it with sharp knives.