Monday, April 18, 2022

Dining like a king

There's a crappy little restaurant about a mile from house, good walking then drinking then walking again distance, from my house. It's called Dear Johns. And it's been an icon of epicurean mediocrity of Culver City long before the gentrifiers and road re-arrangers came to town.

Years ago, on a lark, my wife and I as well as two other middle aged local couples, decided to give it a shot. We might have been the youngest people in the jernt. The place was dark. And quiet. Only interrupted by a poor Frank Sinatra crooner who was jammed into the corner by the service bar.

As we left the place, we all wondered aloud how a place like Dear Johns could've survived this long. And as it turns out we were quite prescient because months after our "dinner", they closed up shop.

But not for long, because some stellar chefs from Beverly Hills signed a three year lease to reopen the place, but with their menu and their expertise. It was like an episode of Restaurant Makeover, only in real life.

Last week, I had the pleasure of dining there -- under the new management. Moreover, I got to do it with some old friends who are literally Advertising Royalty...

That's Jerry Gentile, Jeff Gorman and yours truly tucked away in what Jeff calls "The Mobster Booth."

For those not in the business, Jerry has more awards (One Show Pencils, Cannes Lions, Clios, and other assorted metal trinkets) than almost anyone in the business. And Jeff, as well as his partner Gary Johns, with their groundbreaking work for Nike (among others) helped establish the West Coast as the new Mecca of creative advertising.

Part of me, the part that houses the imposter syndrome, still can't believe that I had a seat at the table with these guys. And indeed all the men and women who made Chiat/Day history.

Surprisingly, we talked very little about advertising. As three altakockers normally do, we spent a great deal of time discussing our various medical maladies.

In fact, as you're reading about our scrumptious sand dabs, creamed spinach and two mammoth rib eye steaks cooked to perfection, I will tell you that I am under currently under the heavenly sleep brought on by Propofol, while a team of ass specialists slide a long camera tube into my innerspace, the final frontier.

Hope your day is better than mine.



Unknown said...

You complete that famous Trio, Rich.

Unknown said...

YOU make up the third advertising noble person, Rich in that mighty triumverate.

Ad Chick said...

Let’s make colonoscopies great again and Save some lives- thanks Rich for another great piece. 👍

David Esrati said...

Keeping the new name of the place a secret is either:
1) Intentional- so none of us can try the place out without having to invite you.
2) Unintentional- you're in advertising- not journalism. Facts, schmacts, you take what you get.
3) The reason you're getting the probe today... it's not nice to tease.

I hope everything comes out OK.