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 Thursdays 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.
Since we're well into the first season of Eat Drink Love, it seems only natural that it's time for a departure from the norm: Road trip! Like how all sitcoms inevitably take a trip to Hawaii, or when the Baby-Sitters Club won the lottery and they all went on vacation together and even though you were only eight years old, you knew it was weird but it quickly became your favorite book because who doesn't love when characters are out of their elements?! This was just like that.
Before the women can travel there is some business to take care of in the form of cast members at different restaurants. Brenda and Kat meet at Tinga to discuss their talk from last week's episode, in which Brenda told Kat she has a reputation for sleeping with people she writes about. Brenda apologized for being blunt, Kat told her that she is “super not mad,” they rekindle their friendship and we're so glad because we hate when mom and dad fight.
They smile and sip wine, when suddenly the door bursts open and in flies a hyperventilating Jessica — armed with a bottle of wine, hair disheveled in the still-looks-good kind of way that only happens on television — who makes her way to the table and drops the news. She was fired.
Wait, what? Like, for real fired? In real life? Or a fake Bravo fired? What's happening? Where' s the server? We need more cheese.
Yes, Jessica was “thrown under the bus” by her colleagues and was fired in what seems to be a manner similar to when a guy texts you that he's breaking up with you. Jessica, who lived, breathed and hopefully didn't eat Fuku burger all day and night for three years, is unemployed without even an apology from Mr. Harry Morton. She is struggling to see the silver lining and dreading having to tell her father.
Meanwhile, Nina and Lindsay go to Mélisse for the day and stage for chef Josiah Citrin. There they learn about molecular gastronomy and work on their sphere technique. Nina reminds the audience that she loves Lindsay and that Lindsay is her “homie.” This scene ends quickly and we're not even sure why it's wedged in here except to maybe give the restaurant some airtime or to show that it's hard for homies to make spheres.
Cut to dinner with Brenda, Waylynn, and Kat getting a chef's tasting, including wine pairings at Colonial Wine Bar. Everyone gets wet and moist and has sex with all of the food — especially the wine that's from the '80s — except for the one pairing of risotto and wine, which wasn't orgasmic.
In non-homie news, Brenda let's everyone know that, apparently, Lindsay told Brenda's boss, Mary, that they were all at the 5-by-5 dinner together a few episodes ago and got Brenda in trouble for leaving
homeroom work early. I can't be the only one who doesn't understand why her boss got mad because: 1. Wasn't 5-by-5 a high-profile event that could potentially bring in business? 2. She's on a TV show, so why can't she film things that could potentially bring in business? Eh, what do I know. Either way, Brenda is pissed and we suspect Lindsay will find out soon enough.
Luckily, at Black Cat Bakery, Kat presents a plan that will help the girls all come together and give Jessica a break from her career woes: a road trip! Finally! As part of her research for a new Eater column, “Weekend Getaway,” Kat invites all the Eat Drink Love women to Santa Ynez to eat farm-central, hyper-local, hyper-seasonal, hyper-hyphenated cuisine. The cast will surely all have a really good time together, smiling, drinking, laughing and cooking chickens they just killed.
Jessica and Nina ride up the coast together and Nina confesses that she used to be a tiny bully and she's been told she's scary but now doesn't have to put people down to build herself up anymore. She is just misunderstood because people in L.A. are sensitive and she's a hard New Yorker.
The women arrive in Santa Ynez to a beautiful house with a pool, volleyball nets, goats, horses and only four beds instead of six. Everyone politely checks out the rooms until Nina claims the best room in the house because she used her “big girl” words and “big girl” words don't include, “Kat, you planned this and we're so gracious that you've invited us so you should have the big spacious room.” It's a hard knock life if you're not a homie from New York.
Turn the page …
The cast heads to Classic Organic Farms and meets with H. Kathryn Lamart to pick vegetables for their dinner while wearing their best farm costumes. Chef Nina takes over the menu because vegetables are her homie and the cast picks berries, pumpkins, herbs and greens to a country time jamboree soundtrack.
Afterwards, they head to Zaca Ranch, one of the few remaining cattle ranches in southern California, where they throw hay out of the back of a pick-up truck at cows. As a payment for feeding the cows, they're presented with slabs of cow meat to eat themselves. The circle of life!
After the hard day's work, the cast finally gets to party. Over at Sunstone Winery, they meet President/CEO Bion Rice, who gives them all “Brenda pours,” which means an entire glass and several refills, while he discusses his fine wines. Brenda flirts with Bion until Lindsay asks him to use descriptive words and inquires about his life travels. Brenda picks up on this interception and informs Bion that Lindsay is a “cocktologist” which we initially think excites him, but he then escorts them out the door to their vehicles, so maybe not.
As with many road trips, along the beautiful scenery and setting sun of the central coast, a fight brews. Brenda asks Lindsay if she's friends with her boss (Mary) to which Lindsay says, “very good friends.” Aha!
When they get back to the house, with her inhibitions left among the vines at Sunstone Winery, Brenda confronts Lindsay about her “snitching” to Boss Mary. Lindsay acts aloof and tells Brenda that she's not to blame her for her personal misery and that Brenda is, in fact, delusional.
Lindsay then offers the evidence that she has not talked to Mary in over three months, which is totally normal for very good friends. (I haven't spoken to any of my very good friends since 1939, but the next time we get together it'll be totally like we just saw each other.) Lindsay even says that she'll give Brenda Exhibit A, her phone bill, to prove she didn't call her. “Stay out of my life!” is met with, “You are milquetoast,” and we realize that maybe everyone is low on iron and needs to start grilling those slabs of meat.
And then — the picking of the sides. Waylynn claims she's neutral before she says, “This is why I work in an kitchen and hang out with a bunch of dudes. Because this shit doesn't happen with a bunch of dudes.”
Raise your hands if you've ever heard a woman say she's only friends with guys because it's less drama. Put them down if that woman is actually very dramatic herself. Still up? Also, dudes are dramatic, just in a different dude way — to be scientific about it. And, last we checked, everyone who works at fōnuts is a woman and they all get along quite well. Remember when they all cried happy tears at dinner? We loved that!
Lindsay, Nina and Waylynn go to the pool and wonder how people could possibly be upset when they're in beauteous wine country. Kat, Brenda and Jessica stay in the kitchen and share their honest emotions, drink wine and eat a giant bag of Lay's potato chips with creamy onion dip. So you tell me where you'd rather be.
All is well in the kitchen until peacekeeper and drama-avoider Waylynn comes in and calls Jessica's onion dip “trailer park hummus” and “white trash amazingness,” to which Jessica takes offense. “I grew up white trash. That's me. And I've been working my whole life to get away from it.”
In her defense, Waylynn didn't know since she was outside with the homies (OK, last “homies” reference ever, I promise) and it seems that she actually really enjoyed the dip. But emotions run high when you've been fired and think you may need to return to the Midwest, leaving Los Angeles, its volatile food industry and wine country road trips behind — maybe forever.
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