Thursday, January 28, 2016

Off the Map: The Wheels on the Bus Go Drink, Drink, Drink

Pasta Mama -- Hugo's, Los Angeles, CA

There are few things classier than using a hop-on, hop-off double-decker tour bus to fulfill one's Los Angeles restaurant reservations.  
Oh No, We're Not From Here -- How Could You Tell?
Without the use of a car, we had decided months ago to utilize the bus's route to help us get from one side of town to the other in order to save a few dollars on Uber.  Unfortunately for us, asking the bus drivers for door-to-door service doesn't really seem to be an option, which is how we find ourselves trudging up the sidewalks of West Hollywood in order to get to Hugo's to taste Susan Feniger's Best Thing I Ever Ate WAKE UP CALL dish, the pasta mama.
Dear StarLine Tours, We Have a New Route for You to Try
Despite the fact that Susan recommends eating the dish for breakfast, we wander into the place in the late afternoon (after all, we feel we've consumed enough breakfasts today to last us a lifetime).  At this point, Vodka's phone is on the brink of death (as opposed to the actual death it will experience on the streets of Santa Monica the next day, but that's another tale), and after we check in, she asks the hostess if it would be possible to be seated near an outlet in order to charge it.

To which Vodka receives a resounding, "No."
Clearly, the Hostess Doesn't Read This Blog, or Else She'd Know How Rapidly "Can I See the Manager?" Flies Out of Vodka's Mouth
Never one to take rejection well, the second our waiter appears at our table, Vodka accosts him with the same question.  Being that he is the kindest person on the planet, he volunteers to take Vodka's phone and charger and plug it in at the waiters' station, out of sight of the nasty hostess (who it becomes clear early on that everyone in the restaurant is afraid of.  So much for our "People in LA are excessively nice" theory).  
So Hardy Har Har, Ms. Hostess
In the meantime, once our new BFF, the waiter, tells us that Hugo's happy hour is currently offering all cocktails for $5, we are overwhelmed with glee.  Vodka orders a cucumber martini, and Ginger a margarita, which cause us to be so pleased with our lives that we each soon order another.
The Drunk Version of Cookies and Milk
In the middle of our bargain drinking, our bowl of pasta mama arrives, which, from what we remember, is spaghetti noodles with eggs, garlic, parsley, and parmesan cheese.  
Good Luck Following That Descriptive Recipe We've Provided
Almost immediately, Ginger, still sporting a hive on her cheek, decides to proclaim, "I think I may have an egg allergy."  This latest theory does not prevent her from diving into the bowl, which, almost immediately, Vodka decides to douse with salt.  
At This Point, Ginger Is Surprised Vodka Doesn't Carry a Flask of Salt in Her Purse
Overall, the pasta is tasty enough, if slightly chunky in texture due to the scrambled eggs.  
Yes, Hugo's, Could You Please Blend This for Us?
We could see how it could be pleasing in the early morning hours, especially since everywhere else in town seems insistent on only serving waffles.  
Nothing Like Some Good Carb-Loading First Thing in the Morning
And while we would certainly return to Hugo's for the $5 cocktails and sweet-as-pie waitstaff, the pasta itself would not be enough to lure us back.    
And Certainly Not Their Lack of Usable Electrical Outlets
As we prepare to leave, we watch a woman in a full down coat strut into the restaurant, despite the 65-degree temperature outside.  And we can only assume that she, unlike us, did not arrive here on a double-decker tour bus.

Hugo's Pasta Mama: 3 stars

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