I was thinking of the opening line of Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights Big City, “You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this ..”
I was in Beverly Hills – and I always feel like I’m an illegal immigrant when I slide over the border into Beverly Hills. Everyone there is (or at least gives the impression of being) so slick, so moneyed, so untroubled by the realities of existence, so veal-calf-ish, that I think the secret police are going to ask for my papers, find I don’t have the right ones, and then, if I’m lucky, they’ll give me 30 minutes to get out of town.
In this case I was there because I’d been to a wedding at the Beverley Hills Courthouse (congratulations Elina, congratulations Anthony) and this was the post-reception drink. We were in Wally’s, which sounds like a modest kind of place, but this being Beverly Hills it isn’t. You want to read their blurb?
“Creating a space that allows Wally’s to elevate its core mission of providing quality, value and service – with the inclusion of a restaurant under the same roof – has spawned a unique environment in which to enjoy both an elegant dining and a unique shopping experience.”
Well it’s not untrue. The cheese counter in the back is hard to resist. And as you can see, the walls are lined with bottles of wine, which seems a very reasonable design choice, though I couldn’t help thinking that once in a while somebody must grab one of those bottles and try to stick it in their bag. Maybe there are security cameras – and I’m sure if they catch you they beat you up very discreetly, if very thoroughly.
Anyway, this cocktail is the main reason to blog about the Wally’s:
POMP IT UP - Belvedere vodka, Pamplemousse liqueur, grapefruit juice, up - $14
Personally I’d have squirted some lemon or lime in it – but that’s me all over, never quite sour or acidic enough.
These days I also find it impossible to hear the word pamplemousse without thinking of the song, “Foux Da Fa Fa” by Flight of the Conchords, currently being used in a TV commercial for milk:
And I did wonder why the drink was pinkish – pink grapefruit I supposed, which it is, but channeled (I’m now pretty sure) through pamplemousse rose liqueur, there are quite a few of them apparently and I can't swear this is the kind they use at Wally's, but you get the idea:
And the fact is, Wally’s do serve some kick ass charcuterie and cheese plates, almost worth the risk of crossing the border: