Some quick notes about eats to brighten your Thursday:
Gaylord Indian Restaurant, despite its lengthy resume including outlets in Beverly Hills, Milan, Atlantis, and the Sea of Tranquility, doesn’t appear to be doing so well.Â The newish joint on 14th and O appears to be patronized mostly by empty chairs during the lunch and early dinner hours when I’ve walked by.Â Also, a former employee of the ‘Lord told me that, even though he hadÂ severed the employer/employee relationship weeks ago, he hasn’t seen a dime of his last paycheck.Â Hmmm, empty chairs and unwillingness to pay back wages, not a good recipe for business success, or nan.
A new restaurant is taking shape on El Camino, and no, it’s not another Mexican joint.Â In a small drive-in, briefly the home of a coffee shop cum Thai restaurant, comes “The Flaming Grill.“Â Â Like aÂ phoenix rising from the coconut curry ashes, it comes together, in a burst of flame and charred feathers.Â It’s got the look of a burger/chili/dog joint run by a Harley riding softie with a passion for hot sauces–the kind of place where you go to fill up before watching the Raiders game.Â I, for one, am excited.Â Ever since Tiny’s on FultonÂ closed down, the Arden/Arcade has been aching for a bomb-ass burger joint, and this might just be it.Â Look for a grand opening this month or next, across from St. Philomene’s between Fulton and Howe.
Bonn Lair is not nearly as offputting as I had previously thought.Â This might be helped by the fact that one of their new bartenders is a good friend.Â On my one previous visit, several years ago, I felt a bit slighted and ignored.Â This “regulars only” attitude seems to have lightened up a bit from personal experience and various reports.Â And really, the attitude was the only thing stopping me from dropping by frequently.Â Bonn Lair has one of the best selections of beersÂ anywhere in town–two casks, about a dozen taps, and “beer by the bucket” specials.Â Oh yeah, I’m there.
In his most recent story, a strangely post-modern, angular, and flowery piece, Bee writer Bob Sylva covers the meteoric rise of the Haines brothers, founders of the Bistro 33 empire.Â One specific passage caught my eye.Â When discussing his plans to open a nightclub, Matt Haines describes his vision: “Think Vegas, he says. Raw bar, bottle service, caged dancing girls. Like Pure or Tryst.”
Super, Matt.Â Really super.Â Just what we need, another goddamned douchebag magnet.Â Raw bar?Â RAW BAR?!?Â What the f#$% is your major malfunction?Â How about, just once, a set of brothers try notÂ to pattern their lives after the Maloofs?Â How about the lofty concept that adults, yes adults, with money, yes Matt, they have money too, might wantÂ a place to drink that doesn’t involve caged girls, guys with shaved chests and boom boom club tunes?Â How bout you invest 10 grand in a baby grand, a few more bills on mahogany furniture, and try to find a cocktail staff that doesn’t have lip rings, tramp stamps, piano key highlights and “sass,” and open a place that appeals to someone other than the elusive American, striped-shirted, coke-snorting douchebag?Â (I’m not sure if I sound passionate or just old and bitter…I’m going for passionate.)