Thursday, December 17, 2009

Night at the (Hammer) Museum

Last night was the Holiday Party at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, showcasing art by Charles E. Burchfield and R. Crumb, with open bar and hor d'oeurves from 7-9pm. That's my kind of party! Burchfield was a watercolorist and it was interesting to see his work progress over his lifetime. His earlier paintings was influenced by industrial Middle America while his later work was darker and a bit more morbid.

Hologram of a tree in the courtyard, alongside a real tree. Very mesmerizing visual art with swaying leaves and branches.

Parmesan bread sticks at every table
I know it's pretty unhygienic to have bread sticks sitting out all night and random hands grabbing for them, but our stomachs have come across more harmful germs so I am sure this was fine. The bread sticks were freshly baked and was constantly refilled by the waiters when they were running low.

Pizza slices. Various varieties such as Margherita and BBQ chicken. The poor waiters were attacked every time they walked out with a new plate of pizza.

Caramel popcorn on a stick

Fresh homemade potato chips with the right amount of salt

Spicy mixed nuts of candied walnuts, wasabi peas, peanuts and almonds galore.

As the event was shutting down, we walked across the street to Palomino. Palo was our favorite joint when I was in graduate school because of their late night happy hour that started at 10pm. Pizzas for $5, house wine for $4 and half priced appetizers. Through our years in school, we managed to sample every item on the happy hour menu. Last night, I was pleased to find out that their happy hour now runs all day! They must be trying to compete with neighboring Napa Valley Grille and soon-to-be-opening Barney's Beanery during these tough economic times.

Palo also has a restaurant section but the bar is the place to be with it's TVs and couch, table and counter seating.
$4 wine, generous pour too!

You can never go wrong with Palo pizzas which are their specialty. Everyone has their favorite. Mine was always sausage and mushroom. My friends loved the Prosciutto and Tomato, and the simple Roma Tomato and Basil. We all stayed away from the Four Cheese which we affectionately coined the feet pizza.

Sausage and mushroom pizza (half cheese)
All their pizzas are thin crusted Neapolitan styled and cooked in a brick oven. The sausage was spicy, the mushrooms were roasted and there was a thin layer of marinara sauce with mozzarella and Parmesan on top. I loved the thin crust which was like a flat bread as you won't carb up so late in the evening.

Hits: pizzas, cheap wine, happy hour all day
Misses: sometimes, there is an influx of under aged coeds
Rating: ***

10877 Wilshire Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 208-1960

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