There are a multitude reasons to hate the valley, enough in fact, that I could start another blog on it. We’ll start with one.
My reason for trekking to the valley this weekend, was a dinner with a couple friends I hadn’t seen since college. Ryan, it seems, had an “amazing time” at a sushi bar on Lankershim by the name of “Tokyo Delve’s.” Since Pincus lives right down the street (Why, Pincus? Why?) I agreed to attend. “It’s like a frat party in a sushi bar” Ryan warned me. And with that, I nervously drove through Hollywood and Highland traffic to get to the other side. It would be really great if the tourist capitol of Hollywood was NOT directly in front of my closest entrance to the freeway. Nine years later* I made it to Tokyo Delve’s with, at least, the expectation to get smashed with some friends in a riotous atmosphere.
Tokyo Delve’s was exactly like a frat party, and by frat party, I mean my cousin Mollie’s Bat Mitzvah. Decorated in star cut outs, glitter, flashing lights, bright blue paint, and posters of the 90s most famous actors, Tokyo Delve’s appeared more like an adult Chuck E Cheese than a sushi bar.
Somewhere between the yelling waiters, The YMCA and Cha Cha Slide, I found myself gripping the sides of my chair, excepting at any moment the waiters to hoist me in the air to Hava Nigila.
With the exception of Gaga’s Alejandro, DJ Joe, whose CDs they continually promoted, stuck to top 40 hits. From 2002.
We ordered our food, exposing Pincus to sushi for the first time, and our alcohol. Ryan got his sake bombs, and I settled for a strawberry sake mixed drink (which was literally two sips of beverage). No amount of alcohol would have fixed the atmosphere. Or the food. Prepared by Mexico’s most qualified sushi chefs, the sushi was less than admirable for the price. Perhaps we were paying for the atmosphere. Poor Pincus. I swear sushi is better than this mess that we consumed!
The entire night was narrated by the bartender, Alejandro, whose name was always accompanied by the hit song. He was an, I can only assume, out of work actor or singer masquerading as a Bar Mitzvah DJ in a sushi bar. The rest of the wait staff was no better. All of them, we can only assume, were the hottest things in their home town, who moved to LA and found no other option to dance like a maniac at Tokyo Delve’s. They either have to have had more sake bombs than Ryan to come to work, or they cry themselves to sleep every night. I can hardly imagine that this is what any of them came to LA to do.
The icing on these poor waiters cake? The lip-syncing show at the end of our dinner. Donning wigs, we were subject to a Milli Vanilli/ Right Said Fred/ Vanilla Ice montage of poorly danced and lip-synced “performances.”
We were ushered out precisely an hour and half later, so the next batch of poor unsuspecting customers could celebrate turning 13 in the valley.
Gimmick over food quality, found in the valley. Want to eat well, stay on the right side of the hill. Want to feel embarrassed for everyone around you? Try eating dinner in the valley.
Never again. I hate the valley.**
*Times are approximate
**This in no way reflects on Ryan and Pincus. I had fun with you guys!