31 January 2012

the l.a files: part one

Pluto’s Tim Arnold walks us through his journey as a muso making it big in the city of angels.



Our newest Denizen Tim Arnold, of Pluto fame, moved to Los Angeles to make his mark in the bright lights and big city of dreams. In the first installment of his ongoing series, Tim takes us through the trials and tribulations of making it in the L.A muso scene.

Los Angeles, California. HOLLYWOOD. The American Dream. Digging for gold in the desert; the wild, wild west. A town of cowboys and gunslingers, gangsters and gangstas, hipsters, wannabes, music and movies. I am here for all of these things. And a bit of food and wine, whenever I can find the time.

I touched down at LAX on Christmas Day. A friend, Adam Borich, was to pick me up from the airport. Adam is an expat Kiwi living and working in LA, courtesy of the Green Card lottery. He owns and runs Lucifer’s Pizza in Los Felix. He is one of the few people I know in this city. Baggage, a slow trudge through customs and then we were off to his apartment in West Hollywood. It’s winter but today it is sunny and 22 degrees. Ah, it’s good to be back in LA. Sunshine and optimism. It’s about a 20 minute drive into West Hollywood from the airport. Driving on the right remember, and watch out for potholes.( The roads in LA are surprisingly bad. Not a lot of taxpayers’ money spent on maintaining their infrastructure, obviously). We arrive, tyres intact, at our destination, in Olive Drive, West Hollywood. We have a few hours to kill. Adam suggests a drink. I concur. Right around the corner is what will be our first stop, Barneys Beanery (8447 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood 90069) My first taste of America in almost two years. It’s before noon so its Bloody Mary’s all around. Mmm, America tastes spicy. Barneys is a West Hollywood institution. Established in the 1927, this sports bar is apparently where a heavily intoxicated Jim Morrison once pissed on the bar top. He was thrown out, as were gay people at the time. As West Hollywood developed, so did its gay scene, but the sports bar remained. Jim obviously didn’t. And thankfully, neither did the bigotry.Barneys is a totally American affair. The menu is enormous, as are the portions. It’s open breakfast through dinner, seven days a week. The best thing that I saw on the menu was the “Barneys Champagne Breakfast”. A giant chilli cheese dog with a choice of side and a bottle of Dom Pérignon. All class.

After Barneys it was off to the hills for Christmas dinner with friends. An elderly couple from Austin, Texas, brought along a delicious bottle of riesling, made in Texas no less. Unfortunately, I can’t recall anything else about the wine. (I wonder why?). I do know this however: if you are looking to impress your wine snob friends with a painfully obscure wine choice, then try to track down a Texan Riesling. But my advice is to do it quickly, before everybody knows about it. Wines that good won’t stay quiet for long.

Our evening concluded back at Adam’s apartment with a bottle of 1990 Dom Pérignon. It was pretty late in the evening by this point, and I think we had all collectively lost our ability to taste. I know I certainly had. So obviously it was the perfect time to open such a bottle. It could’ve been Lindauer for all I knew, but the label on the bottle said it wasn’t. Cheers! Welcome to LA.

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