Tara and I decided to go to a movie and a late dinner, and met for a 7:30 show at Opera Plaza. We'd chosen to see Get Low over that movie where Patricia Clarkson has an emotional affair in Egypt because the latter seemed too stereotypical. I'm thrilled we did. Get Low stars (my close, personal friend) Robert Duvall as a hermit who throws himself a funeral party, hiring Bill Murray and the grown-up kid from Sling Blade to plan it all. It's wonderful, and would have been perfect save for the horrible, horrible people sitting in the theater with us.
I actually took a moment to think, "What do I expect? My own private screening? Come on. How bad are they?"
They're bad. When Bill Murray first comes on screen, the woman behind me gasped like she'd just seen a dead relative and then, in an outside voice, announced, "Is Bill Murray in this?"
Now just multiply that by 100 repeated, similar offenses and you've got our theater. Opera Plaza theaters are super small. There were probably 80 seats in the whole room, so Sherlock sitting behind us got to share her observations with everyone. Including her husband, the man who's throat will never be truly, fully clear.
In front of us, we had the gufawer. He joined the throat-clearer in audibly grasping every subtle piece of humor in the film. There were certainly some LOL's to be had. But at one point, Duvall posts a sign that says, "No Damn Trespassing." That's it. A smirk, sure. But the gufawer let out a bellowing, "Ha! Ha! Ha!" He probably grabbed his belly and rolled back in his seat. It was like watching a movie with fucking Santa.
The film, which you should go see, let out at 9 and Tara and I discussed it all the way to the Wayfare Tavern, Tyler Florence's new FiDi restaurant that everyone is oohing and ahhing over. Unable to make even a 10pm reservation, we decided to see what walking in would do. There was no way we'd get a table, but we were told we could wait out for two seats at the bar, which we did. Immediately, an Irishman dining alone at the bar adopted us for the next hour.
By the time the two seats next to him opened up, Tara and I knew literally everything about this charmer: when he lost his virginity, his child's medical diagnosis, his wife's thoughts of monogamy, his politics, his detailed recommendations on the menu. I was rapt the entire time. When he finally left, around 10:15, Tara said, "I want to marry a man like that."
He was gorgeous, the way 40-something men get gorgeous when they're confident and honest and funny and touch your arm to make a point. And while he talked off our ear, we ate it up.
We finally ordered food at 10:30, and took a second to look around the space. I've really done a lot of eye-rolling at Food Network celebrity chef TyFlo. But my GOD, this place is my version of aesthetic heaven. It's dark and masculine, cozy and colonial. I want to live there.
When Tara came back from the bathroom, she gushed, "You've got to go. You're going to love it."
She was right.
My meal was wonderful. I had two appetizers: fresh figs with burrata and tomato bread soup. Tara ordered a burger that was too massive to consume. But her fries were perfect. And everything just looked so great, felt so stylized yet comfortable.
I take it all back TyFlo. You're a genius.
On 30-something girl dates, by the way, one always gets dessert. We split chocolate pudding, which was perfectly normal and then, what will go down in history as one of the greatest foods I have ever consumed, the pineapple upside down cake.
We didn't speak as we ate it. Tara and I took our time, crafting perfect bites onto our massive, pewter, colonial spoons. "This is..."
"It's like nothing I've ever..."
After a solid two and a half hours at the gorgeous Wayfare Tavern, Tara and I headed back to my car. Arm in arm, we laughed about what a long, fun night we'd just had.
"Oh, a Citibank!" Tara said. "Lemme just run in and use the ATM."
The Citibank on Montgomery and Sacramento has one of those ATM's that's inside, requiring ATM card to access. The second Tara pulled the door open, we were hit with a smell that was like a slap in the face. And which point, right as the clock struck midnight and Tara screamed, "My God, Beth! What is tha...", we saw:
That's a heater, she has plugged in. And a stuffed animal as a pillow. While we obviously did not use the ATM, I took a photo because, smell aside, this is obviously a pretty resourceful woman. She managed to get herself into the Citibank ATM room and plug in her appliances. And running into her, as it were, was a weird and bracing end to our night.
As I drove Tara back to her car, we passed The Clift Hotel's Redwood Room, it's over-dressed contents spilling out onto the sidewalk. I thought for a moment that Saturday nights in my 30's are a lot different that Saturday nights in my 20's.
And I'm perfectly fine with that...