I had an excellent night out with Margaret, Jason, and Erik.

We began at 7 pm at the Music Center with the LA Opera’s beautiful,
sensual new production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser.

The opera was almost four hours long, but the set, costumes, and lighting were so gorgeous that we never felt bored.

Many of the singers were thrilling as well; I especially liked the ones who played Elisabeth and Wolfram.

Also: the overture was accompanied by an orgy of mostly-naked dancers, to represent the hedonistic, irresistible charms of the goddess Venus.* The LA Times review referred to the production as a “pornucopia“, which it was, at least the first ten minutes or so. We didn’t mind — we were just grateful it wasn’t the tenor who disrobed.

Seminar professors take note: naked dancers are the spoonful of sugar that helps a three-hour-long ordeal go down.
Call the dance department.

After the opera, we headed over to the Pacific Dining Car for a late-night breakfast-as-dinner. This place is a gem. It’s an old-school dining-car-themed fancy restaurant in a random neighborhood right next to a big hospital. The service is exceptionally gracious, the ambience refugial, butter is served in pretty curls in a small silver dish, and there are real towels in the bathroom.

This is where we ate: The Astor Room.
[link broken, but you can Google it]
Imagine us seated around that second table closer to the wall.

Dinner and dessert are served 24-7 at the PDC, as is breakfast, for which I was grateful — the breakfasts are hearty, delicious, and much much cheaper than the dinners, which run about $50/entree.

I ordered the Eggs Ellen, two poached eggs in hollandaise sauce accompanied by a grillet filet of wild King salmon.
The sauce was rich and creamy, the eggs soft-centered, and the salmon crisp on the outside and moist inside.
Erik had eggs benedict on Maryland blue crab crabcakes with creole sauce, Jason had eggs benedict with smoked salmon instead of ham, and Margaret had a crab omelette. We all had Lyonnaise potatoes or hash browns, toast, butter and jam. The waiters were sweet and courteous, and they refilled our water constantly.

We discussed the opera, sleeping habits, and deficiency diseases. I found out “scurvy” makes me laugh and want to make pirate sounds. Arr.

We got home at about 2 am.

Wonderful evening.

Here, occupy yourself for ten minutes! No cheating!

*They called Venus’s land “Venusberg,” which made us all laugh. It just takes some of the magic out of it.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]