Namedropping with the Stars | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Namedropping with the Stars

The last stop on our California trip is to hook up with Matthew, Jean's nephew, in Los Angeles. Matt is a musician, a member of the Hollywood anointed. He hangs out with the stars, intimidates headwaiters. He managed to score a coveted table at exclusive Studio City restaurant Nozawa Sushi.


Smug Matt, with the world on a string, entertains his Auntie Jean.

You could tell we were in star country. I parked my rented Taurus between the Escalades, Hummers and Nissan Armadas, mindful that their owners, at the last Academy Awards, had just given a special award to Al Gore for environmentalism.

When we entered, I craned my neck, asking in a loud voice, "Is that somebody? Matt! Is that somebody?"

The glitterati jostle for tables at Nozawa Sushi. The night we were there, Patricia Arquette and her retinue (a child and a nanny) held court, dazzling the trendy supper club's sparkling clientele.

It's a place where trend-setters go for abuse. Master chef Nozawa-san, called "the Sushi Nazi" behind his back, decides what you'll eat, in what sequence, and at what speed. Don't for God's sake order a California roll or anything with cream cheese in it. You'll be ejected with a warning not to return, ever. Nor may you use your cell phone. He's been said to throw rice balls at patrons who do.


Jean: Do you believe what that guy's eating.

This is a real sushi restaurant. No frills. No dynamite rolls. What you get is fish on rice. Period. You want avocado on that, go down the street to Fishy Sushi. The hard-core aficionado behind Jean is drinking a mysterious olive-colored drink and is eating—I'm not kidding—salted fish guts.

Since we had stopped shoving sushi into our mouths, Nozawa-san hustled us out of his place. His motto: Eat! No talk! So we lit out for a late-night joint called Pinkberry. This incredibly popular place is... wait for it... a Korean yogurt shop.

Don't ask me. All I can tell you is the place was jammed, the yogurt was the best I've ever tasted, and even Kirstie Alley waited in line with a bunch of kids for a medium green tea flavor topped with blackberries, mango and Cap'n Crunch.

OK, I know that's a lot of name dropping. Jean made me do it. When you grow up in Rensselaer, Indiana, you're easily star-struck.