By Jeff Hoyt
It’s hard for me to visit Glendale without an old song popping in my head, “Somebody robbed the Glendale train, this morning at half past nine…” I wish I could have taken mass transit, as I washed down a fine lunch at Palate Food + Wine with 15 wines from France. As more and more people want value wines, you’ll be happy to hear that 13 of them retail for $20 or less, with the most expensive topping the scale at $27. I raised a glass to Jay Fiondella, the owner of Chez Jay, who recently passed on. I used to hang at his bar often when I lived a block away from the classic dive restaurant, and after I moved, was pleasantly surprised to find Jay living in my building. (As did actor Evan Handler from Sex and the City, but that’s another story.) Jay’s presence and his greeting, “Hi, neighbor!” will be missed.
Among the attendees were Joel Stein, whose writings I enjoy in the LA Times, and Barbara Marie, the General manager of Water Grill downtown, one of my top seafood restaurants in LA. She raved about her Smart Car, and we talked about her chef David LeFevre. When I mentioned that I had written an article about him when he first took over for Michael Cimarusti, she told me that my piece was hanging on her office wall.