Archives for the month of: July, 2012

This photo was prominently placed on the Coffee Shop’s Chef’s Wall. Before chef Michel Richard opened restaurants across the country, he was a pastry chef and the owner of an eponymous pastry shop which was located on Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles.   There he served the distinctive pastries made famous by his mentor, Gaston Lenotre.
I worked there in 1978, but I can still remember the wonderfully unique tastes of his caramelized Napoleon (which stayed crispy even when refrigerated), his Opera Cake, Baba au Rhum, Raspberry Tart, Chocolate Mousse, the Chausson Pommes (the caramelized apples baking in the kitchen would perfume the shop all morning), the Country Bread, baked daily, the Roast Beef Salad with chopped chives, the Tourte Milanese. But mostly I remember the croissants. These were perfect French croissants that crackled as you broke them open.
Imagine my surprise to discover Maison Richard. a carefully constructed reincarnation of the original Michel Richard. Can’t wait to try it out.

Michel Richard


Bob Sherer, who starred as Benjamin in this 1997, 14 minute short directed by Geoffrey Gottlieb was another neighborhood actor who lived across the street in the Hollywood Tower.

I always thought that the original photo of Sandra Bullock we put on the wall made her look like a drag queen. She didn’t agree.  She brought this photo in (or maybe by then it was her manager), but we never hung it on the wall.

Good looking actor Rocco Vienhage  must love acting.  He has appeared in many small stage plays and recently a short film, The Kids Don’t Like It.  These parts pay little and unfortunately don’t always lead to better opportunities. But he also has a day job (and a BS degree in Finance from Saint Louis University). Too many actors go all in, and when it doesn’t happen right away, they give up and return to the small towns they came from.  If you love what you’re doing, its not a job.

Actress Stacy Galina is best known for her role on Knots Landing.  She has a long list of credits going back to 1989.

Beautiful Bruno. He played Franco in the movie Die Hard. One of my all time favorite films. And he could tell a story that would make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.

At the Coffee Shop everybody knew Chick. Since he lived and worked in the Hollywood Tower across the street, it was not surprising that we saw him almost everyday. That is until the Internet. Chick had spent his entire career as an Art Director in the advertising business. So, in 1995 when the Web was just taking off, Chick took off with it.  This is a photo from his wedding reception which was held in the back room.  Chick worked so much that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that after the party he went back to work.

Comedian and writer Mike Rowe (not the Dirty Jobs Guy) started in stand-up. He used to come to the Coffee Shop with his friends Phil Rosenthal and Eddie Gorodetsky.  On Saturdays.  Sundays was reserved for Victor’s Deli.

This menu from the Sage and Sand Motel is probably from the early 70’s. Best Western International, Inc. is the world’s largest hotel chain with over 4,000  hotels located worldwide.  Unlike other chains which include company owned locations, every Best Western Hotel is independently owned and operated. If you consider that these menu prices are 40 years old, breakfast is one of the few things in the world that is still affordable.

People come to Hollywood to realize a dream. Sometimes to realize a dream you need to constantly re-invent yourself.  You have to face rejection and overcome  fear.  For some it happens early on.  For others  it takes a lifetime. . Jeflaine has invented and re-invented himself many times since he left Michigan to come to California. Whether he calls himself Jeflaine, Jeff Laine, or Solomon King this musician is living his dream.