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Goin’ Goin’ Back Back to Cali Cali: Bill’s Trip to Los Angeles

April 24, 2013

Yes, that’s a Biggie Smalls reference in my title. I love California. That is no secret. I go there 2 or 3 times a year, sometimes for work, sometimes for fun, and every time it renews my love for the people, the beaches, and the lack of ‘wintry mix’ in any local forecast. One day, I will stroll down Hollywood Boulevard and stumble across the Star dedicated to “Cooking for Bill,” because this blog is indeed bigger than either Patrick or myself. I can’t wait for that day, namely because it means I’ll be in California again.

Anyway, this past week I was in Los Angeles for work, attending the Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders. The best part about travelling for20090918_katsuya_560x375 work is the food, because you are typically treated to a lavish dinner with clients and colleagues, or you are given a per diem that defrays the cost if you are left to your own devices. While in California, I stayed at the popular JW Marriott at LA Live, right next to the Staples Center. LA Live is a trendy area that has been growing over the past few years with new hotels and high-class restaurants. Over the course of the week, I was able to eat at places such as the ESPN Zone, Wolfgang Puck’s and the Yard House, which I only recently realized was not a place unique to Boston.

The meal I want to focus on, however, occurred on Thursday night, which was the big night of the conference. My company, Quaero, hosted a dinner for our clients and internal attendees at Katsuya, a very well-known upscale Japanese restaurant. When I made the reservation, using a pre-fixe menu, we were planning for about 12 people. Well, we only ended up with 8 people at the table, and the same amount of food was prepared. A dream for myself and my over-eager eating co-worker Leah, but we definitely had more than we could handle. First came out edamame, followed by spring rolls and cooked vegetables, followed by teriyaki chicken and steak, followed by sushi (tuna, grouper, and some other stuff), followed by desert plates, including Mochi, a Japanese ice cream dish that was INCREDIBLE.

We enjoyed a few hours of eating and drinking saki before it was time to call it a night. Problem was, we still had enough food to feed a small armykatsuya-la-live (Like really small, maybe a couple guys). So, as I walked one of the women back to her car (It was dark in downtown LA and I am tall so in the dark can look intimidating), we set out to find homeless folks who may be able to benefit from our extra servings of perfectly untouched and delicious food. With two giant bags in hand, we were prepared to do our good deed for the night, but I got a little excited. The first homeless man we came across, I gave him an entire bag of food, including all of the silverware and napkins that we had taken. This meant that the next person wouldn’t be as lucky.

Finally, we passed a guy who in my estimation wasn’t actually homeless, but we asked anyway, “Are you hungry?” He was, and in retrospect that question really didn’t pertain strictly to the homeless, so this guy may have duped us. We gave him the rest of our stash, white rice, chicken, and some sushi, a nice meal for sure. As I returned to the hotel, I gazed up at the city lights and breathed in deeply the smog-filled yet refreshing air around me. “Why in the hell do I live in Boston?” I thought. Then, I turned on the news, and remembered why.. what a fantastic city to call home… though I WILL live in California someday..

Although I didn’t miss Patrick’s cooking, he certainly missed my buying. When I returned home Saturday morning after a red-eye, Patrick was cowering behind the couch eating the remains of a pillow. I went shopping immediately to bring some life back into him!

– Fin

– Bill

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