Eat Drink Love, Episode 3: Romance Blooms + A Taxidermy Jackalope
Editor's note: As many of you know, Bravo debuted a new show about the L.A. food scene recently. Since some of us spend our Sundays watching sports instead of reality television (yes, even if it's about food; especially if it's about food), we though we'd ask a writer who writes more about television than about restaurants to cover the series. Read on for her weekly updates.
Last night on the network cable show where Miley Cyrus wasn't foam finger twerking, the third episode of Eat Drink Love touched on themes of isolation, romantic rebellion and taxidermy.
Nina, feeling the familiar disconnect that many Angelenos face from time to time, laments on her lack of social life and new business after the L.A. Food & Wine event. She is back at her personal chef gig, scolding a loud 5-year-old toy-thrower, while she tries to teach his more patient 3-year-old sister how to cook a whole branzino. Nina may not have much of a social life, but what she does have is a great relationship with
her friends on Bravo her self-proclaimed godmother, model, actress and family friend, Lauren Hutton.
Over lunch at Food Lab, Lauren offers her the kind of compassion, wisdom and bitty boppity boo that only godmothers can do. Also in search of familial support is Waylynn, (named after family friend Waylon Jennings) who visits her mom, brother and old wedding dress that she tries on before she decides to sell it. It is time to move on with her life and hopefully she will use the dress money to never make a cronut.
In an effort to create deeper friendships in Los Angeles, Nina invites the cast over for a game of "Show and Tell," which is like the "Truth or Dare" game from the first episode with less dildos and more violins. Cometh together are Nina's hip, creative friends and the Bravo foodie gals, who are less into the game and not impressed with the lack of warm dishes that Nina prepared.
Once the game begins, the footage went a little something like this: L'artista reads a poem from his journal. Judgmental stares from Bravo stars. L'artista plays the violin. Judgmental awes from the Bravo stars. L'artista shows a gnome. Foodie girls want to run away and never show nor tell again.
We meet Nina's friend, potential ancillary character and "bad ass bitch," Lindsay. She is a mixologist and lover of taxidermy jackalope -- the mythical creature potentially inspired by sightings of rabbits infected with the Shope papilloma virus. Her jackalope, Alec, sleeps above her head and foodies cannot even handle it. "It's like 12 kinds of bizzare," noted Kat.
Next it is Kat's turn, informing the room that her name is Kat "like meow" in case they were confused it was "like ruff." She brought a cookbook that she received from her grandmother when she was very young, which Nina thinks is boring, but is actually sweet and also not everyone is blessed with the gift of musica, Nina. Jessica shows a picture of her grandmother, the first woman merchant marine, and Brenda presents the charm bracelet her mother left her. Waylynn shows her wedding dress and gets the approval of the room to get rid of it. It turns out that everyone had a great time, despite everyone looking like they didn't. A reality show success!
Needing a break from the Bravo cast, Kat has dinner with another friend at The Churchill, where she says "cute" in reference to the boys and "ew" in reference to the food, which poses the philosophical question: If a guy is cute but his food is ew, do you make out with him? If Kat says "cute" in the woods, does she get their number?
Not far from there, on everyone's favorite Cahuenga, Jessica meets with new Show and Tell pal, Lindsay, soliciting her mixology expertise to create a new cocktail menu at Fuku. Jessica needs sake cocktails on the double and is preemptively worried that maybe Lindsay will take her sweet time. It seems, for now, the transaction is going rather smoothly, which means it won't next week.
Brenda continues her quest for love and expresses her irritation of Kat's flirty tendencies, claiming that "Kat flirts like a woman who has been married too long and might be looking for something on the side," whereas she, "flirts like a first date." Luckily, Kat invites Brenda to a 5-by-5 charity event at Bouchon, so Brenda will have the opportunity to have an honest conversation with her in which they will come to some sort of understanding thereby strengthening their friendship forever. At Bouchon, the two tour the kitchen and meet Rory Herrmann, chef de cuisine at Bouchon, Gino Angelini chef-owner of Angelini Osteria, Josiah Citrin, chef-owner of Melisse, and Waylynn's ex, Michael Voltaggio, chef-owner of Ink. Brenda gawks and takes mental notes at Kat's ability to command attention in a room full of chef-owners. This was meant to be a great night.
When the two sit down, they're presented with a tiny chalice of white sturgeon caviar fit for princesses and very fancy cats, and are joined by ... Lindsay! She's back again! With no explanation or protest, new taxidermy friend sits down for dinner. Not without secret verbal disapproval from Kat because Lindsay is disrespectfully wearing flip-flops and a tank top to Bouchon, like a paysan. Brenda notes that Lindsay "doesn't sit quite right" with her.
Judgment and speculation are put on the back burner when they meet chef Thomas Keller, "Pope of the food world," in the most exciting moment of all of their and the audience's lives. As the three eat breast of duck, we learn that it is no longer about the rise of the celebrity chef -- it's now all about the rise of the celebrity farmer. (Soon to be followed by followed by celebrity crop dusters, celebrity soil and celebrity irrigation systems.)
As the dinner goes on, Kat rudely texts at the table, Brenda rudely demands to know if it's Chris Crary, and Lindsay rudely sits silently in her rags. The love triangle established last week rears its melodramatic head. Kat says she does not want to make out with Chris, but he did text her "I have fun around you," which is the adult way of saying, "Do you like me? Circle yes or no," and that he has tweeted her asking her out, which is the adult way of being exactly like a teen. Brenda is miffed after last week's Crary shoulder rub and neck nuzzle. Brenda, have you been paying attention? Kat will soon be dating celebrity farmers and you can have all the celebrity chefs to yourself. There are enough celebrities to go around -- just wait it out until season two.
Speaking of nuzzles, now that she has shed her white lace symbol of purity, romance comes for Waylynn in the form of a tattooed Prince Charming who likes candied ginger on his face: chef Andrew Kirschner. He visits her at fōnuts multiple times, impresses her best friend, fills holes with too much frosting, touches her butt with his, and after some swigs of whiskey, takes her face and gently kisses her 'neath the florescent lights of 3rd Street, silently putting an end to the strict "no chef" policy that she has had for the past two episodes. In the words of Waylon Jennings, "it feels like romance and it's good to be feelin' like this."
Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Los Angeles dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.