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Mr. Chow’s

Mr. Chow’s

For our final evening in LA I asked the concierge for something truly outstanding. He recommended Mr. Chow’s, a top-end Chinese restaurant that I’m heading back to next time I’m in town. The house car drove us over.

We asked the captain to take care of our food, and he essentially kept sending it until we begged him to stop: steak, crab, chicken, shrimp, fish, and on and on. The place was filled with big names—we were given a very nice table, and from our vantage point alone we saw Rob Reiner and his family a few feet away, and self-made billionaire David Geffen and his family or friends in the other corner

The maître d’ in fact offered a choice of tables, and treated every guest the same, with courtesy and good humor. There was no special treatment, no fawning—every patron was special. (As he watched my son with his crutch and my wife with her cane he suggested I should get a fife and we could be the revolutionary war symbol, which I thought was pretty clever for someone from England.)

I noticed an actress across the way whom I’ve seen on TV but couldn’t quite place. A bit later, to my shock, I found her glancing over several times, quite obviously. I’ve never been the kind of guy whom women strain to look at, although my son is, and I thought at first she was trying to look at him. Yet she established eye contact with me and did not break it. A few minutes later, another woman was glancing over her shoulder, again making eye contact with me.

I quickly considered three possibilities: One, I was a standout in a room of great looking people. (I was wearing jeans and a casual shirt.) Two, these Beverly Hills/Hollywood women had read Million Dollar Consulting and had recognized me. Three, I had somehow managed to get the Dungeness  crab in my hair. Only number three seemed remotely feasible, and finding no food products on my head, I sheepishly asked my wife and son if I were hallucinating.

Jason set me straight. “The don’t recognize you,” he said, “so there’s a chance you could be a casting agent or more likely a producer whom they don’t know but would like to meet.”

“You’re joking!”

“No, they are simply pursuing all the angles in a restaurant where the movers and shakers routinely show up.”

And so I began to hum….

Hooray for Hollywood

That screwy, ballyhooey Hollywood

Where any office boy or young mechanic

Can be a panic, with just a good looking pan

Where any barmaid can be a star maid

If she dances with or without a fan

Hooray for Hollywood

Where you’re terrific, if you’re even good

Where anyone at all from TV’s Lassie

To Monroe’s chassis is equally understood

Go out and try your luck, you might be Donald Duck

Hooray for Hollywood

Hooray for Hollywood

That phony, super Coney Hollywood

They come from Chillicothes and Padukas

With their bazookas to get their names up in lights

All armed with photos from local rotos

With their hair in ribbons and legs in tights

Hooray for Hollywood

You may be homely in your neighborhood

But if you think that you can an actor

See Mr. Factor, he’d make a monkey look good

With a half an hour, you’ll look like Tyrone Power

Hooray for Hollywood


Meanwhile, I’m writing and posting this from a Virgin America A320 on the way back to Boston, our train travels over. Virgin Atlantic is my favorite carrier to London, and Virgin Australia is a wonderful local flyer Down Under. The American version has just eight first class seats, excellent food, power outlets, footrests, and outstanding service. (The senior flight attendant is dressed so well you could take her to any top restaurant without any change of clothing whatsoever. In fact, she’s overdressed for Mr. Chow’s!)

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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