Skip to content

Happy Meal | LA | The Ivy with a side of Ricky Gervais and Paul Anka

May 16, 2010

As opinionated as I am about food, it’s always hard for me to suggest places to eat in LaLa. I’ve never matched the place with the person very well.

It was my recommendation, to a Prada-loving lawyer from DC,  that we go to a restaurant at a mall. Mind you, Gwen Stefani, Seal and even Posh frequent The Grove. It was clearly not upscale enough. She was so unimpressed we never spoke again.

Then a couple of weeks ago I suggested a Beverly Hills boite to a musician who fancies himself a working man. He was clearly uncomfortable amidst a fancy restaurant I did not think was so fancy.

So when the divine  Ms. Anabel asked where to go for brunch this morning, after seeing Ricky Gervais at the Nokia last night with girlfriends Helena and Roxann, I was not sure what to do.

So I went with my gut and suggested The Ivy.

The Ivy

It’s not my favorite restaurant in Lala. I’d have to give my vote to The Little Next Door.

It does not serve the best food. The casual dining spot, Porto’s, in Burbank is mas delicioso.

Trust me, it does not have the best service. When I made the reservation, I was put on hold for five minutes.

But for a girls’ weekend adventure, my thought was that The Ivy is located in the perfect area for shining and  star spotting.

I’ve seen everyone from the Hilton sisters to Jennifer Lopez along Robertson Boulevard. My personal best was meeting  Joni Mitchell when we were both dining at The Ivy.

Anabel and her posse also met a star on their way to meet me. A night after seeing him on stage, they met Ricky just a few storefronts away from the restaurant. The shot below was taken in front of the Armani Exchange by Ricky’s significant other.

It was  surprise, but if it was going to happen somewhere, it’s no surprise that it happened near The Ivy.

They report that the creator of “The Office” and the once and future host of the Golden Globes was wonderful. He hugged. He posed for multiple photos. He even called one of Anabel’s friends and left a voice mail.

I credit him for that–and the charms of Anabel.

By the time she, Roxann and Helena sat down to eat, they were beaming–and sending out Facebook updates.

The Menu

The price for being in this starry neighborhood does not come cheap. Most of the lunch entrees  at The Ivy go for about 20 bucks or more, including the signature chopped salad and the omelets that both Anabel and Helena ordered.

Roxann went for a crab concoction.

When I was having trouble figuring out what to select, the waiter suggested the enchiladas. I listened. Shame on me.

The very first time I went to the Ivy, I ordered an Indian dish.  It was meh. So I should have know better than to order an ethnic dish at a non-ethnic restaurant.

The beans were watery and tasteless. The enchiladas and rice were not much better. The burrito I had at a Baja Fresh last week was so much better at about a fourth of the cost.

To finish things off, I had more than a few bites of Anabel’s key lime pie. It was probably the best of the fare, although it was sweating. I realize that everyone works out in Lala, but I was a bit surprised to see that the pie was served unapologetically, even though the  meringue worked up a lather. If I were having company, I would not serve my key lime pie that way.

I’d give the overall  meal one tine out of five.

My meal mates could not muster much enthusiasm for the food either. Lucky for me, they were on a Ricky high.


When I asked for water, the waiter asked if I wanted bottled water. I guess he didn’t read the waiter manifesto published in The New York Times.

On the other hand, I never saw anyone refilling our water glasses.

I must have been asked four times, “Are you finished?” as I picked through the remains of my plate.

You get the feeling that they are told to turnover the tables quickly.

I will say, the last time I went to the Ivy, I was also unimpressed by the service. It’s le-tude beaucoup.

To be fair, the waiter did take photos of our group. Anabel deployed her charm.


There are no identifying signs outside The Ivy. The first time I went, I happened by,and stopped because I thought the joint was really cute.

I had heard about it since college. I even bought  a dress for the Emmys at the store next door. but  that first time, I had no idea that I was about to chow down at The Ivy, until I got the menu.

The decor is cozy, from the red geraniums to the over-sized coffee cups.

Amuse Bouche

After lunch, I offered to take the ladies on a quick look-see  shopping tour. So we hit up the Beverly Hills Neiman Marcus.

Helen wanted to see the  Louboutins. There were shelves and shelves of them. I discovered, it’s not just the stilettos that have red soles. So do the tennis shoes.

On our way out, singer and songwriter Paul “My Way” Anka was on his way into the store.

A few seconds later, Anabel charmed her way into getting photos with him and an invite backstage for his upcoming concert in Temecula.

Come to think of it, I met Anabel when she came up to me at one of my favorite places to eat in San Diego, the Costco in Mission Valley. She said she was a fan of my work on the telly. We’ve been friends ever since.

In so many ways, today was not about the food, it was about the company.

Thanks for the tasty day, Anabel.

Although, next time, I’m going to suggest that we hit up Subway or Baja Fresh and just cruise Robertson.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anabel permalink
    May 17, 2010 4:43 am

    Thank u sooooooo much for an outstanding day!!!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    December 1, 2010 3:20 am

    Wow great blog, I was looking for something else on ask but found your site on page 1 so thought I would pay a visit and now have bookmarked.


  1. Tweets that mention Happy Meal | LA | The Ivy with a side of Ricky Gervais and Paul Anka « Lenanozizwe's Starring in Your Own Life Blog --

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: