February 27, 2011
Last night we went to Los Toros for dinner, this Mexican restaurant in the West Valley which is the same place that catered our wedding. There were a lot of margaritas, pitchers of them.
This morning we are taking my mother-in-law to brunch. For some reason, I’ve ended up going to the 94th aero squadron many times. It isn’t one of the best restaurants in the world but the kids loved it growing up because there used to be a duck pond and when brunch with my mother-in-law was over they could sneak off to that duck pond and get dirty. They loved watching the planes coming in and out and listening to the tower with ear phones. The food is great when you’re a kid because you can eat as much as you want, and they have a good kid menu.
For adults, they have the guys making you omelets, some seafood, waffles and Mexican food. I like the omelets because that’s something you never have at home and the rest is okay; I like the smoked salmon too.
The Valley is full of good Asian restaurants and that’s about it. There are sushi bars around every corner, some Vietnamese food on the Sherman Way corridor, but when people come to town, we have to go to Ventura Boulevard twenty minutes from our house where the real restaurants line up like sentinels—the Italian, Moroccan, Indian, Thai, Chinese and every half block, yet another sushi bar. The North Valley where we live, aside from the Asian restaurants, which are good, is all chain restaurants, with their food pre-made in huge vats somewhere. Going to chain restaurants like Dennys, Macaroni and Cheesecake Factory is good for lunches with people you don’t know well, that way the whole impersonal feeling can pervade. I do have one good friend who I meet at Chilis but that’s because we meet in Valencia which is also adrift with chains.
How much sushi can the residents of the Valley really eat? Well, considering that the Valley is home to 1.76 million people, the answer is probably quite a bit. My kids’ high school had 4000 students, their middle school nearly 3000.
I’m ready to move out of the Valley any time although I don’t think it will happen for a few years given the economy. The Valley tried to secede from Los Angeles so they could run their own schools, but the city of Los Angeles if divorced from its weary bride would have needed alimony paid to it from the Valley to sustain LA.
The Valley is where 90% of the porn distributed in the U.S. is made. Since the 70’s, porn studios settled down here in the Valley and have been successfully churning out films to feed this Christian nation’s insatiable need for pornography. In Europe where the church going population is smaller, there isn’t such an appetite for porn. (I can hear blog readers saying that is a segue that doesn’t work. Works for me, buddy.)
The Valley has many neighborhoods that are considered undesirable, so tiny neighborhoods like to rename their area as a kind of upgrade. Porter Ranch is an upgraded part of Northridge. Lake Balboa and Valley Glen sound so much better than Van Nuys, and the citizens of Valley Village are proud to not be living in North Hollywood. The good people in West Hills and West Glen thank god every day that they aren’t living in Canoga Park and the people of Arleta broke away from Pacoima, although people now speak of Sylmar/Pacoima/Arleta as if they were one big town.
The best neighborhoods include the words, “glen,” “hills,” “valley” or “lake.” Which is odd because the Valley has one artificial lake and not much in the way of valley, hill, glen or dale.
If we move by 2012, which I doubt, I’ll have been living in the Valley –five different locations—for 25 years which is quite long enough. It was fine for raising kids, but now it’s time to find a place that suits us. Maybe even closer to the press. I keep looking at Montrose, Altadena, Sierra Madre. Who knows what could happen?