The end of days

It’s not the Apocalypse, but it is time for me to go home…

Last night – New Year’s Eve – I took my son Paul to Musso & Frank Grill and spent a ridiculous amount of money on a meal for two people. On the other hand, when it comes to creating a lasting memory for two people, it was a bargain.

It’s all in how you look at it and that’s how I choose to look at it.

Neither one of us will ever forget the time we had New Year’s Eve dinner together and ate the best steak either one of us had ever had.

But first…

The martinis

M&F doesn’t screw around with their martinis…if you ask for an apple-tini I think they have thugs on hand to throw you out the door and into the street. So you have just two choices in the martini department: gin or vodka.

I said we ought to try one of each.

Turned out we both liked the gin martini and thought the vodka version had an aftertaste of aviation fuel.

The martinis were served by our waitress, a pleasant young woman, who apologized for the delay in getting our drinks – a lot of people had the same idea as me and the restaurant was jammed with diners waiting for a table.

I said don’t worry about it, we could see the restaurant was swamped and we considered ourselves lucky to be sitting in a booth drinking martinis.

She said something about us being a couple of the “good ones” and when I asked her what she meant, she said Musso & Frank gets two kinds: people who are happy to be there and people who decide nothing is good enough.

Those people complain about the wait, the drinks, the food and whatever else comes to mind, making themselves and everybody around them miserable.

They say it takes all kinds and I agree…but if you’re that kind, how about you go sit your whiny ass at another table because I don’t want to hear it. There are homeless people living in cardboard boxes just around the corner and if they got a chance to dine at Musso & Frank I don’t think they’d bitch about the wait.

If you’re lucky Life is a long journey and you can spend it enjoying the silver linings or complaining about the clouds.

Completely up to you.

The meal

I told Paul to order whatever he wanted and unfortunately he believed I was sincere and got the most expensive steak on the menu…but so did I. What’s the point in coming to a famous steakhouse and trying to save money?

If that was the point we could have used the Taco Bell drive-thru and called it night. I’ll probably never eat at Musso & Frank again so I wanted their best shot.

We both went with a filet mignon; Paul had asparagus on the side and I had mashed potatoes which taste like they had been prepared by angels in a good mood. Paul’s asparagus came in a sauce that would make a used welcome mat edible.

We both agreed the filets must come from virgin cows that never saw the sun or had to support their own weight.

If you’re a vegan – which until I recently I thought was what they called the aliens in Battlefield Earth – you’re probably disgusted by that and all I can say is there’s probably room at the whiny dude’s table. I’ve seen research that suggests plants have feelings too, so when you’re eating your raw cauliflower just remember it was screaming its ass off at harvest time.

So who’s the barbarian now?

(Actually, I have no idea if that stuff about plants having feelings is true, but if it helps win an argument I have no problem making shit up.)


The cows that wind up as Big Macs die too, so if a Guernsey’s gotta go at least the one we ate gave its life in a noble cause; providing two people with of the best meals of their lives. The McDonald’s cows died a less noble death which I’m guessing the average cow doesn’t give a shit about, but there you go…they’re selfish animals and I’ve devoted my life to ridding the earth of them, one medium-rare filet at a time.

No need for thanks, I’m just an American Hero doing his job as he sees fit.


We wound things up with two more signature cocktails – a Dew Drop for Paul and a Latin Manhattan for me. Paul’s drink went down easy; mine tasted good, but reminded me of something the Devil would make you drink to seal the bargain on that lifetime contract you signed.

Our waitress brought us a brownie with a scoop of ice cream and a candle on the top – it was on the house.

I don’t know if that’s normal at Musso & Frank or she was thanking us for not being dicks. We both attacked the dessert with gusto because the candle was making the ice cream melt and when we finally got down to bare plate nothing was left.

Which means we ate the damn candle.

Now that’s how you celebrate New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Day

I’ve got one day left here in L.A. and Paul and I plan on spending it watching football and eating lunch at Mel’s Diner on Sunset Boulevard. If I don’t go into a food coma on Paul’s couch after that, we’re going to wind this trip up with a Korean Barbeque dinner.

Tomorrow I’ll click my ruby slippers together three times while saying. “There’s no place like home” and one Spirit Airlines flight later, find myself back in the Midwest.

And then it will be my turn to whine.

In Kansas City, Thursday’s low is gonna be 32.