Pleasant Surprises

A couple of great things happened last night.  One, Marisa, our friend Rob and I went out to dinner to celebrate the hopeful end of her Breast Cancer treatments.  She has braved 6 rounds of chemo, a mastectomy, and 6 weeks of radiation daily. it has been quite a year.  You would never know it by looking at her, but she has been quite the little warrior in pink.  I, her faithful driver and partner in positive and healing energy, have been so pleasantly surprised that she is doing so amazingly well.  I didn’t see it coming, and I’m so glad that it did.

Cut to our celebration dinner, which we decided to have at Xandros, a new Greek restaurant in Beverly Hills.  I have been eagerly anticipating trying this new place as a friend from high school, Glen Tinsley, is the Executive Chef.   We had THE MOST amazing dinner.  Imagine walking in to a transformed old-Hollywood spot, that now has this Clash of the Titans meets high design, yet never letting go of this feeling of being comfortable.  The staff is most welcoming, beautiful and friendly. We enter and can’t wait to eat.  We start with spreads and fresh pita (chopped cucumbers for me).  The one with four cheeses and peppers was so good I wanted to swim in it. Another highlight was a salad of watermelon, giant heirloom tomatoes, feta, cucumbers, mint and a honey glaze.  This dish immediately reminded me why I love living in California, as we devoured it on a rainy October night.   Every plate, simple as a bowl of olives to our grand finale of gigantic prawns grilled to tender perfection, seasoned by angels from heaven and offered with a dipping sauce that was supreme to the last drop.  I think Rob may have considered licking the bowl.

Glen came out to check on us often, and I’m pretty sure our cleaning of the plates, constant laughter and the picture of people experiencing the joy of succulent, flavorful, adventurous food let him know how much we loved it.  There was even a gluten-free dessert nothing short of divine.  A firm, creamy panna cotta, subtly flavored with vanilla and citrus, served with macerated berries was an unexpected kicker.  As I savored each bite, Glen sat down next to me and said in a very boyish giggle, “You didn’t see this comin’, did ya?’

My mind rushed back to being a teenager in Southern California.  This was the guy who would ditch school to go surfing on more than one occasion.  Remember hanging out at Trestles, grabbing some burgers at Oh Boy’s and maybe a stop home at whoever had a pool?  Life was an Endless Summer and we didn’t have a care in the world.  After high school, the next time I saw Glen he was bartending at a cool pub in Dana Point in the 90’s.

I was so pleasantly surprised to see him following a dream, a passion, and recognizing when you are good at something, go for it!!!  Xandros restaurant is a guaranteed good time.  There is a dancing Greek dude, beautiful girls who serve food and entertain, live music, a surreal ambiance, and most important, so much love put on every plate you can feel it when you are eating it.  I must say, NO Glen, I didn’t see this coming!


1 Comment

  1. Judi Philpott said,

    November 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Love it!!

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