Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Off the bone

I hate flying, but I love planes.

This can be attested to by any of my many advertising colleagues who had the misfortune of accompanying me on a business flight. I'm a confirmed white knuckler.

Before boarding any flight I need to know what model we're on.

Is it a 737?
A 757 long?
An Airbus 320?
Or even the dreaded DC10? Most of those are baking in an airplane cemetery deep in the Mojave desert.

Once, on a return flight from San Francisco, I leaned over to my partner and said...

"I think we're coming in too hot on this approach."

"These guys land thousands of planes they know what they're doing, Rich. Besides it's all controlled by the computer."

No sooner had he said that, did the pilot full throttle it up and send us soaring back into the skies over Santa Monica Bay.

"Yeah, sorry about that ladies and gentleman. We're gonna circle round and try this landing again."

Like I said, I love planes, I just don't love being in them.

I also love BBQ. And now I have a place to indulge both.

Recently the Proud Bird Restaurant, a Southern California mainstay that has been here longer than my 44 years, underwent some major renovation. They turned their massive space into an upscale food court. They also refurbished the outside patio are for optimum plane landing viewing.

The restaurant sits about 200 yards away from the base of LAX's longest runway, I believe it's  25L.

On a late summer evening, when the sky takes on multiple shades of blue, orange and red, it's absolutely perfect. Particularly with an expertly-drawn pint of Einstok White Pale Ale.

The ribs, I'm sorry to say were not.

This is especially upsetting because the main vendor in the Proud Bird Food Court is Bludsoe's. The ribs were dry, crusty and the only way to get the meat off the bone was with a hammer and chisel. I would have sent them back but I was not convinced the staff -- a bunch of unenthusiastic and very likely stoned kids -- could do any better.

I'll let you in on a little restaurant secret. And the folks at Bludsoe's should be listening as well. The secret to great BBQ pork ribs is not the BBQ. As I learned from my catering days and Valentino, the world's greatest back of the kitchen prep chefs, the trick is to slow bake the ribs in a pool of water, for 3 hours. Then, and only then, can you place the ribs on a scalding hot grill so they can be lathered in tangy BBQ sauce.

Perhaps it's a blessing the food was not that good. Because as all Angelenos know, with great food and a great setting, come great masses of people.

I can deal with inedible baby back ribs.

I can't deal with insufferable Westside hipsters.

1 comment:

Matt Zinkl said...

Insuffrable hipsters! They've taken over SF too!

Gonna have to try that rib method.