“a woman walks into a bar…” at Palate

on 03/06/11 at 10:49 am

a woman walks into a bar..., BoozeBlog

I’ve been meaning to go to Palate, in Glendale, for jazz nite for, well, since it started…what, two years ago? Finally, a couple of weeks ago, hurrah, Tuesday night was free so I zoomed over there, all excited to make it a twofer – wine tasting + jazz. Full disclosure: I LOVE JAZZ…deeply. I finally made it to jazz nite only to find out that the band was on the road. Bummer. Feeling foolish, I furtively slunk out but, really, no one noticed because no one was there. Empty!

Today I called just to be sure the band was in the house. Yes! Well, Palate isn’t a ‘bar’ per se, but it does have a wine bar in the restaurant so that’s where I parked my arse. Oh, jeezuz, why is this woman wearing an umbrella sized straw beach hat at the bar? No, lady, it’s not a fashion statement. She’s dead serious about wearing it. I can tell because the rest of her looks carefully curated in diaphanous folds of black jersey. Or something. She’s talking loudly about some art trust, software, expenses and how much it’ll cost to rep the guy who’s repping the old man’s (he’s 84) art collection. I guess it’s not proprietary or they wouldn’t want the whole bar to hear, right? Boring! I order the wine flight, all French: 2009 Pierre Boniface Apremont, Savoie; 2008 Le Rocher des Violettes Montlouis Sec “Cuvée Touche-Mitaine”, Loire; 2007 Doamine du Trapadis Rasteau, Rhone; 2008 Chateau La Caminade Cahors Malbec, Southwest France. All good, all under 20 bucks except the last one which is $22.

I had envisioned the bar being jammed. Where the hell is everyone? Merde. It’s the first night of the NBA finals. Do diehard Laker fans watch Laker-less finals? They must. No one’s here. Then I find out the band’s not playing in the bar so I take my wine glasses and move into the main dining room where they’ve set up. The musicians are milling around and even they’re checking the basketball score. C’mon start already. They’re in no hurry. Finally, they stroll over and blow a few notes to warm up. Hey, they’re good. Okay then.

Other than me, there’s one other woman at the far end of the bar compulsively checking her phone, trying to look busy and, with an almost audible sigh, is gigantically relieved when her friends finally arrive. Alone at the bar. Losing! So, since I am alone at the bar, I ruminate about what it’s like. Lonely? Awkward? A chance to zone out with a pseudo happy face so people think you’re really enjoying yourself? Well, all of those and maybe throw in – a little uncomfortable, a little weird. And the wait staff also doesn’t seem to know what to make of someone alone. No matter, it’s really okay. Listen, if you need a crutch being alone at a bar bring along a notebook, look purposeful, feign confidence, meditate. Revel in your ‘quiet time’. Okay, don’t. I don’t blame you for not wanting to feel like you’re in an Edward Hopper painting. Time to get up and check out another bar.

Palate Food & Wine

933 South Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91204-2107
(818) 662-9463

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