A February 2001 trip
to Hollywood by lisamcgu
Quote: Every now and then I venture out from behind the Orange Curtain (Orange County) to ingest a little "culture" in Los Angeles. As such, I spent an evening in LA this past Saturday, February 24, 2001.
I was there mostly for the Evita sing-a-long at the El Capitan Theatre, showing for the last time that evening, but I got there early to catch the Superflat show at the MOCA Gallery before it closed at 5:00 PM.
With dinner at the local Authentic Cafe, and tourist time at the Roosevelt Hotel and Grauman's/Mann's Chinese Theater, I had a fun in LA and it didn't end until around 1:00 AM.
Southwest, Tex-Mex, Santa Fe, all describe the super hot food at the Authentic Cafe. Very spicy, very new, very much at the forefront of local cuisine which, in LA, is saying something. Like the food, this restaurant is right out there, all windows as it curves around a corner of Beverly Boulevard. Driving by, its right in your face, as are those sitting up front along the edge of the windows.
I forget the long-winded name, but my meal was fettucine with chopped chicken and southwest vegtables (bell peppers and corn) mixed up with a spicy red pepper cream sauce. I ate every drop. Price, $12.00.
My friend, who is a local, had what seemed to be the "in" thing to get there, the Santa Fe Salad and yes, there was alot going on there on his plate and, yes, it all looked good. Even better, I thought, was the Tortilla Soup he had before that. It was really, really spicy and thick, coming in a large flat bowl, enough for a meal if you're a light eater, priced at $6.95.
Anyway, my friend is not a light eater and before his soup and entree, he ordered an appetizer. If you've read some of my other journals, you know I hate tomatoes. Sure enough, the quesidilla was chalked full of them. Disgusted, I took all the tomato chunks out, not expecting much, but found the quesidilla to be one of the best I've ever had. Soft, yet butter-crisped on the outside, with spicy cheeses and special salsa sauce. Yum!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 26, 2001
7605 Beverly Boulevard
Hollywood, California 90036
Attraction | "Movie Sing-a-long at the El Capitan Theatre"
I was surprised Disney bought it because it is relatively small. But they've got it in good condition, including the paint on the intricately designed ceiling and the chairs which were, surprisingly, comfortable. Oh yeah, when we walked in, there was a guy up on stage playing one of those old organs. It was huge and it, too, looked newly painted. It was bright gold.
I was there for the last showing of the movie Evita with sing titles, but it seems they do these special sing-a-long movies all throughout the year at 10 PM on Friday and Saturday nights. The next sing-a-long movie scheduled is Mary Poppins, starting March 16, 2001.
After we sat down, the ushers came around and handed out props for the show. Then, they had a comic, dressed up like Juan Peron, do a little monologue for us. When the movie started, we just followed the song titles at the bottom of the screen so, throughout the movie, the audience was able to sing-a-long with Madonna and Antonio. (I was surprised at how many were so into singing showtunes, however, I was in West Hollywood.) But that wasn't all. Obviously, it was okay to make jokes and wisecracks throughout the movie, and we had a good audience. Everyone either kept laughing or singing the entire time.
The movie started a little late, what with the antics beforehand, so we got out just before 1 AM. The tickets were $9.00 each, or just like five bucks more for VIP tickets (in first, free parking, center seating and something like free popcorn). Either way, a bargain for such a fun, interactive movie event.
Pacific El Capitan Theatre
6838 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, California 90028
Attraction | "MOCA Gallery"
The show we went to see there, Superflat, just started in January and ends May 6, 2001. It is a show featuring edgy Japanese artists covering everything from videos to clothing design to photography. All the art displayed is meant to be, if not shocking, striking.
The gates were up, so we didn't have to pay for parking, so I don't know how much that costs, but it was $3.00 for the gallery.
It was an interesting show. Definitely something to do that will stimulate without demanding too much of your time.
Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, California 90069
Attraction | "Grauman's/Mann's Chinese Theater"
What can I say? The minute I got in front of the theater, I had to do it, check out the hand and footprints of every movie star I recognized. My only complaint is that I didn't want to stop. I was bummed when I'd exhausted the footprint supply. I wanted to stay and play some more while putting down the shrimpy movie stars.
It was the first thing I noticed, that movie stars are a tiny lot. Or, at least, their feet are. I realized, finally, after finding a large enough print to compare with my feet, that a footprint in cement makes a size 7-8 foot look like a size 5-6 foot. Nonetheless, most of these women had like size 2 feet, especially those casting the earliest prints, and the men weren't much better. I pictured the women being four feet tall and the guys reaching, maybe, five feet two.
Anyway, this is a definite tourist must and fun even for those who have already been there done that but are just waiting for the movie to start across the street.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
Get yourself a drink and relax at a table or on one of the lobby couches. You'll be surrounded by both tourists and locals having a drink before going on to a show at one of the three theaters just outside or taking a break from a banquet being held in one of the hotel's Hollywood-era style ballrooms. The first floor ceiling is open, allowing a view to the floor above. Or, you can go upstairs and walk around, looking down from the balcony.
Either way, people are welcome to cruise the place, looking at all the memorabilia and pictures of movie stars that line the walls. Its set up like a mini-exhibit, a way for the hotel to show off its rich history. They even, supposedly, have movie star ghosts that haunt the place. Ask about Room 928.
For sure, the best part of poking around is to go upstairs and peer in the cracks between the doors of the big ballroom - its usually locked.
As you get off the elevator, the doors to look through are on the opposite wall to the left. The interior is so old Hollywood. The chandelier is the size of a minivan and magnificent. I would imagine this grand room is where they used to hold the Academy Awards and, I must admit, when I first looked in, I found myself a bit awestruck.
Teddy's Lounge (in the Roosevelt Hotel)
7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA
Hollywood, California 90028
Orange County, California