Great Things About California - Part 1
01 May 2010
Dogs can come to restaurants. And sit indoors.
Recently I took Rex for a walk in Griffith Park with my friend Ingrid and her horse, Monty. We planned to go to dinner afterwards and sit at an outdoor table so we could bring Rex along (not Monty, though horses can be hitched up in the parking lot.) However, it was quite chilly by the time we got there and no one was sitting outside. Amazingly, the waiter said Rex could come inside the restaurant. This is a down home little bistro in Burbank called The Riverside Cafe. It's frequented by horse people who visit the nearby stables so the clientele is animal friendly. Still, this is not something you're likely to encounter in, say, New Jersey. (Or, in truth, most places else in California. But you know what I mean; the spirit is there.)
We were told that Rex should "squeeze" under a table but at 85 pounds that's not so easy. Ultimately he preferred to lie in the middle of the floor. After the place stopped serving, he found himself inexplicably drawn to the kitchen and the chef, Michael, took such a shine to him that he tried to get him to wear a chef's hat and, better yet, gave him two big meaty bones to take home.
I realize this is the kind of thing that makes much of the rest of the country hate California but I love it. I also love the Riverside Cafe. They make one of the best wilted spinach salads I've ever had in my life. So don't tell the Department of Health.
at left: Ingrid and Rex.