Monday, September 01, 2008

Home of the Brave

Can't deny that beautiful Oakland where we have laid our weary heads these last 28 years has had a spate of takeover restaurant robberies, which (I am told) has spooked some folk. I'll admit I wouldn't like it if some thug threatened me with a gun, emptied my wallet, felt up my wife -- and quite possibly felt me up as well if I was looking particularly fine -- and fled into the night, trailing giggles and fumes of boo.

But what the hell? Late yesterday, Miss Baby, Caroline and I took a long slow walk around Lake Merritt. By the time we had looped back around to the pergola at the lake's north end, it was a little late, and we lacked the patience to go home and warm up the big pot of lamb shanks Miss Baby had so lovingly prepared for "the mister," as she calls me.

And there before us was Zza's on Grand Ave., so named because of the half of the huge neon sign that once said PIZZA attached to their back wall. A fine night, warm and thus a surprise since I am always surprised when it is warm in these parts. Freedom from the heavy hand of warm is one of the reasons we live here. But still sometimes one enjoys a balmy night.

We got a table next to an open window that provided a nice view of the lake's Necklace of Lights. Apparently, the youth were equally stimulated by the fine evening -- it's that kind of place -- and it was packed and perhaps a little understaffed. But that was fine. We drank cheap wine and had pizza, pasta and gnocchi, and it got late and later.

Finally, we got the waiter's attention, trumped the bill with some plastic and rose to go. It was about 9:30.

"Wanted to get out of here before the takeover guys arrive," I told the waiter, making a head gesture in the general direction of the door.

"Did you see somebody?" he said, his happy face collapsing.

Never give up, never surrender, as a great man once said.

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P.S. And here's the real story of the name.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cheap wine, my ass. Time to drop the boho stylin'. Man tits gives a fella license to treat himself. Wise to scoot home in a neighborhood like after scaring the help, however. Give you that.