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Trip Report, Los Angeles, January 26, 2011

Driving on, the traffic started getting worse.   One of the first things an out-of-towner notices in LA is that they have
giant billboards (some 50 feet high) for upcoming movies and TV shows - I've never seen that anywhere except New York.

Then we drove by Whiskey a Go Go, a must-see for rock n roll fans.
Rumor has it Go Go dancing was invented here - and I'm a big fan of girls in boots dancing  :)
When Smokey (and Mick) sang, "Going to a Go Go," they were talking about this place.

The Whiskey hosted Johnny Rivers, Frank Zappa - The Doors were the house band a for a while.
The Kinks, Zeppelin and The Who - if you were anybody, you played the Whiskey when you went West.
Motley Crue, Poison, Van Halen and Guns n Roses all got big by being the best band on The Strip.

BTW, I've been reading a book by Stephen Davis called "Watch You Bleed," the bio of Guns n Roses.

    Click  to  Order

That's one crazy-ass book, let me tell you. One of rocks great bands battling bi-polar disorders,
drug-addiction, the law, severe homelessness, The Man and each other.  What a wild book!

Besides the I-can't-believe-it story I was reading, it was fun to see where they'd been.
The book would say, "Axl and Slash were living in a 12x12 foot dump at 7816 Sunset"
so we'd go there and check out their old 12x12 dump, which is still a 12x12 dump today.

A few blocks away we saw The Roxy Theater, where Neil Young was their first stage act back in 1972.
and The Rainbow Bar and Grill, where John Belushi had his last meal at Table 16.

Not sure why, but five years after her drug-overdose death, Anna Nicole Smith still watches over The Strip.

From there, we did something some people might find strange.

I have an app on my iPhone called Zillow.

It's a real estate app, so we drove around Beverly Hills and checked out home prices
in case  ever makes it big and we can get the hell out of Oklahoma.

You know I have this obsession with real estate.
Homes that cost $150,000 in Tulsa cost $2,500,000 in Beverly Hills.
Same home, same bricks, same wood, but better views, better weather and better location  :)

When we drove by a home that was for sale, Zillow let you see the rooms inside :)

The trees in Beverly Hills are different, tho...


We still had some time to kill, so we checked out the beach.

This is Venice Beach, but it's confusing because the sign says "Santa Monica Pier."

They wanted $10 to park, so we just drove by, instead.

Funny, when you're close to the beach in LA, the homes look like the homes in Key West.

Zillow said this quaint little place was $2.2M, which seems fair for a 1600 sq ft home.  (cough!)

We had time for one more mini-adventure before we had to get ready for tonight's big show.

Mrs. Bart loves  to watch HGTV and The Travel Channel and the Food Channel.
On one of those, she heard about Philippe's French Dip which is located in LA's Chinatown.

They are said to have the best French Dip sandwich on Planet Earth and who doesn't like beef?

We were on the coast, and it was in Chinatown so we had some driving to do.

Reminder: It makes Mrs Bart so nervous, but I LOVE driving in hardcore traffic.
The Dallas Loop is the most dangerous place to drive on Earth.  Trust me.
They drive 85 around the loop in Dallas and it's like the Wild Wild West.

Lower Mahattan is also a fun place to drive, but you gotta be sure not to Block the Box.
Los Angeles and it's freeways are also very exciting - more on that later, too.

So we drive alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the way to downtown from the beach - it took about 90 minutes.

Once we got to Philippe's, we were lucky to find a parking place because, even at 2 PM,
it was more crowded than an RNC cross-burning on Martin Luther King's birthday.

There were 6-8 lines with at least a dozen people in every line.
We didn't have to wait too long, only about 45 minutes or so.

So there I am with my sciatica broiling like Mount Vesuvius, waiting 45 minutes for some damn beef sandwich.
But then again, if I was going to Roast Beef Heaven, maybe it would be worth it.

Like many/most places in America, Philippe's had their heads up their butts.
They didn't have any signs that said what to do or what was for sale.

I saw people walking away with their food orders, trying to figure out what they had.
All those signs you see?  Only three of them mentioned food.

Gee, I'm so old-fashioned, I think a restautrant ought to have menues, but noooooooooooo.
(Sad, that "Noooooooooo" is a Belushi - he just keeps coming up.)

So after 45 minutes of near-blinding pain, I finally get close enough to see that their
very famous, world's best roast beef sandwhich had so little meat on it, it was invisible!.

All I could see was the bun - where was the f-ing beef?
(Reminds me of Mondale screaming at Gary Hart in 1984!)

So finally it's my turn to order, (It was soup-Nazi-ish) so I get two French Dips with Extra Beef.
After driving 90 minutes and waiting in line for another 45, by God, I wanted some BEEF!

On the Food Channel program, they said you could order the sandwich DOUBLE DIPPED,
meaning they'd dunk the entire sandwich in a bowl of fine, fine connie-sewer au jus.

So I ordered our Dips that way - DOUBLE DIPPED.
I got two waters, two bags of chips and two Brownies, just for insurance - insurance rules.

Finally I slog back to the corner where Mrs. Bart had secured two chairs.
It was time for Roast Beef Heaven, but nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Our sandwiches were drier than Ben Stein's sense of humor.
I expected them to be soggy with au jus, like an Oklahoma biscuit dunked in gravy.

It wasn't the worst sandwich ever, it was maybe 2 or 3 on the scale, but I was expecting a TEN!
It's the most revered goddamn french dip dive on Planet Earth and the food was only a 3?
Good think I bought those insurance Brownies because they save the day.

We paid over $30 for that meal and it turns out f-ing Arby's French Dip is better.
Arby's French Dip costs $3.95 and the beef is tastier and it's cut thinner so you get more flavor.
Plus, Arby's gives you a cup of au jus so your French Dip is as soggy as you wanna make it.

OK, now it's 3:30 or so and our call sheet said 6 PM at the hotel and we didn't want to be late
so we headed back West towards I-10 when I saw what I call The Superman Building.

This is actually the old LA County Courthouse (whatever, don't correct me) but if you're old,
it's the building George Reeves leaped over "in a single bound" on the old Superman TV show.

"Look!  Up in the sky!"

Now we gotta make time - and the freeways are full of Los Angelinos!

Traffic was backed up everywhere, and it didn't help that I missed a turn
and we were heading south on I-110 instead of West on I-10.

Hint for the California sign makers:
Call it the same damn thing all the time.
Sometimes it says "Harbor Freeway" sometimes it says "I-110."

A well-done sign can make all the difference.

But we eventually made it back to the hotel where we once again met up with
high-powered entertainment lawyer and uber-litigator, Perry Sanders Junior.

 Click  Here for Part Final


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