Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Meet me at the Derby

The art deco period in Hollywood was pretty wild, with important people in important meetings doing important deals. There was lots of money, lots of flappers and lots of luncheon.

And yet in this day and age, we can step back in time and have an immersive experience of just what Hollywood must have been like - thanks to Disney magic.

The infamous Mickey's Sorcorer Hat - the view used to be of Grauman's Chinese Theatre until that monstrosity arrived.
Disney's Hollywood Studios brings back the golden age of the twenties and thirties - when it was all bootlegged liquor and cuban cigars ...... oops - sorry - seems like Disney is thinking of another 1930s Hollywood - one that was all ginger beer and little cakes.

The road to the Tower of Terror! Do you dare?!
Hollywood Studios replicates a special version of art deco Hollywood. And yet the young actresses of the time, like today, were hounded by the paparazzi tracking their every move.

Mobile phone addiction was just as much a problem back then. Except it was confused with crack addiction as young women attempted to get their fix by snorting their phones - and straight off the pavement
And infamous past-it actresses clutching their one and only Oscar got their personal chefs to parade them around town, as they searched for new pool boys to keep their cabanas well stocked.

Dara Vamp, with her driver Ben Appetit, offered a gold lame thong as the uniform for her cabana boys
When needing to do that important deal, the only way to do it was over lunch at The Brown Derby, where everyone who was anyone needed to be seen.

You knew you had made it to the big time if your caricature was hung on the wall.

Hundreds of faces, benevolently smiling down at you. And I was checked in by a young man from Bankstown, Sydney!
The interior of the Hollywood Studios Brown Derby is very similar to the original. In addition to the hundreds of caricatures lining the walls, there are the leather booths and the chandeliers.

I had seating up on the "people watching" raised level that surrounds the main floor. 

I have no idea what the average flapper cum actress ate back then - IF they ate back then. I like to believe it was cigarettes and mint juleps. I bet it was not this menu.

Brown Derby lunch menu - rather YUM!
As it was only lunch time I kept it light. (although my memory fails me I probably had a 32 course dinner the night before and a character breakfast meal).

I just had an entree and a dessert! (and the free bread rolls; and a fruity cocktaily thing - so - really - quite a lot!)

Crispy phyllo napoleon of bleu affinee, wild mushroom duxelles, grilled portobello, golden chanterelles, and a fig reduction
This was fan-freakin-tastic! I should not have been surprised that the blue cheese would blend so well with both the mushies and the fig, however I had not had that combo before, so it blew my tastebuds. I love wild mushrooms and these were technically cooked beautifully. Still some bite and buttery goodness flavour.

Sitting there feeling very pleased with myself, my dessert arrived.

Grapefruit cake with grapefruit cream cheese icing
The famous Brown Derby original! One of my favourite things and it is the only dessert I have whenever here. If citrus is your thing, this is the thing for you. A soft sponge with a hint of grapefruit sandwiched together with rich, creamy, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth grapefruit flavoured cream cheese and drizzled with grapefruit sugar syrup. And grapefruit segments on the side. What you don't see in this picture is that I already ate the wafer thin, dried grapefruit slice that decorated the top of the cake.

Oh - for the love of all that is citrus! How good is that?!

So feeling extraordinary pleased with securing a wonderful luncheon, I give this meal 2 Mr Creasotes (although 3 Mr Creasotes is very possible at this place). I managed to contain the volume.

However, because I licked the plates clean, this The Brown Derby lunch deserves 3 spoonfuls of sugar.

Then it was back out on the wild mild streets of Hollywood.

Where Officer Percival Peabody has retreated to his garbage can in his touching, and pre-emptive, dedication to Oscar the Grouch.
Pop culture question: What famous salad was accidentally invented at the original Brown Derby as a midnight snack? 


No comments:

Post a Comment