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Julie and Julia and Le Saint Amour

August 8, 2009

After days of stress at work, I looked forward to driving through Los Angeles Friday traffic to watch a movie and have dinner with friends.

 As I sat on the comfortable, soft leather, nicely-padded chair of the Westwood movie theater, I began to relax.  Munching on popcorn, we watched the upcoming attractions. 

 The audience expressed their reviews of the previews.  Some hissed and booed as they were seeing the next frightful destruction of the world.  It was another aim of showing off computer special effects in cinematography.  Then there was “The Blind Side”, a Sandra Bullock movie about a rich white family adopting a homeless black kid.  Some people clapped from just seeing the preview.  That’s a movie I want to see.

Watch Trailer

Watch Trailer

Then, “Julie and Julia” started.  I didn’t know what to expect about the movie.  I didn’t grow up knowing Julia Childs except seeing some spoofs of her in the “Electric Company.”  I only looked forward to seeing Meryl Streep again after I enjoyed her movie “Mamma Mia.”

 The 2 hour and 3 minute movie was really a culinary experience that one savors from beginning to end.  My emotional palate was sated.  Audiences laughed at the unpretentious good-natured Julia in her passion for cooking, food and butter.  I empathized with her when she tried to be happy for her sister being pregnant while her heart broke because she can’t a child of her own.  I felt her triumph as she held her published book.

 With their lives almost parallel, Julie also had to find what she loved doing – cooking and writing.  She found her goal of cooking all 594 recipes from Julia Child’s book in 365 days and focused on it.  Her mother thought that she was crazy and shouldn’t waste her time.  She almost lost her loving husband and her job.  It stormed on the night that she would have her first interview.  But at the end of all the struggles, she succeeded in her goals and much more.  

 At the end of the movie, I wanted to buy “Mastering the Art of French Cuisine”, have that bonding with Julie and Julia as I go through each recipe, and start a blog.

Le Saint Amour restaurant in Culver City

Le Saint Amour in Culver City

  After the gastronomic enticement, we headed for a French restaurant, of course.  We dined at Le Saint Amour, a small newly-opened restaurant in Culver City near Sony Studios. The interior was nice, clean, and cozy.  I had a hard time picking what to order from the menu not because they were all appealing to me.  Most of the main entree choices had French fries on the side.  It just didn’t give me the excitement of imagining the taste of all the ingredients cooked together.  

We had Morroccan lamb sausage with cumin carrot and house pate & prosciutto for hor d’ouvres. Not bad but I had better ones.   For my main course, I had Queue de Lotte en Bouride, Brittany monkfish in seafood broth, tomato tart and baby fennel.   The monkfish lived up to its name, simple and bland.   Maybe one really needs to order a good tasting wine to have with the dinner just to excite your palate.  I thought that maybe the dessert would give me something to remember.  Mousse au Chocolat a l’ orange and Tarte Tatin were not to die for. 

It was a good idea of having a theme when going out.  Good company of friends and a good movie made a good French Friday night.

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